Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

Talbot Watermen’s Association honors four local watermen

The Talbot Watermen’s Association and Gov. Larry Hogan honored four local watermen and remembered 15 during an opening ceremony for the eighth Watermen’s Appreciation Day on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The four local watermen who were honored with Governor’s Citations and citations from the Maryland General Assembly were Clifford “Big Daddy” Wilson, Capt. Stanley Larrimore, Capt. Woody Faulkner and Joe Spurry Sr. Talbot Watermen’s Association President Jeff Harrison said Faulkner began crabbing when he was 16 years old. While he did have to find work on land as a carpenter sometimes, due to “hard times” on the water, Harrison said Faulkner always came back to the water. “We want to honor him … for the spirit he had as a waterman,” Harrison said. click here to read the story 16:57

Christie gets it right on off-shore drilling, Virginia’s governor, not so much

In an Aug. 16 letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin made clear the Christie administration does not support offshore drilling, rejecting the Trump administration’s commitment to expand off-shore energy exploration. click here to read the op-ed Then, there’s this. Virginia Opts Out of Offshore Lease Program –The Governor in the U.S. state of Virginia has changed his mind about offshore drilling.,,The letter says that with the Trump administration’s “reckless actions” regarding oil revenue-sharing with coastal states and the proposed cuts to funding for regulatory environmental agencies, “Virginia is left with only one option.” click here to read the story  In Virginia, its all about the money. 12:52

Don Cuddy: Blue Harvest a major new presence among city fish houses

New Bedford is the top-grossing fishing port in the United States and has been since 1999; an enviable record and a tribute to the vision and expertise of all those involved in sustaining an industry that is constantly evolving. While industry momentum has not flagged, the players come and go as markets shift, regulations change and fish stocks rise or fall. Seafood processor Blue Harvest Fisheries is a big presence on the waterfront today yet the company was unknown in the city until relatively recently. So last week I had a chat with CEO and Acushnet native Jeff Davis, a 30-year veteran of the seafood industry, to learn more about Blue Harvest and all that they do. click here to read the story 20:06

Fish Stocks And Our Balance Of Payments

Our balance of payments is overly burdened by our consumption of seafood: We import approximately 90% of the seafood that we eat. Given our natural resources, we should be net exporters of seafood. The total value of edible and non-edible fishery imports in the United States was $35.8 billion in 2016. The total value of edible and non-edible exports was $21.3 billion. The imbalance does not imply only a shipment of dollars abroad. It also implies a number of jobs exported, a number of jobs that could be created in this country, were we not to import that much more seafood than we export.,,, The reason for the imbalance in our accounts with other nations is not due to lack of fish in our waters. Not to put too fine a point on it, the imbalance is due to rules and regulations imposed by our National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that prevent our fishermen from catching fish. click here to read the article by Carmine Gorga 09:21

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 18, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 12:37

New Blue Catfish Regulation Threatening Health of Chesapeake Bay and Business

The blue catfish is putting up quite the fight and it’s making Delmarva crabbers like Ryan Crouch frustrated. A new federal regulation will make it harder for those who catch blue catfish to sell them. The more catfish caught – the better off the crab population and the livelihoods of the watermen who catch them. The regulation, which goes into effect in September, requires watermen to hire an inspector before the fish can be sold. Watermen like Crouch and business owners like Joe Spurry Jr. of Bay Hundred Seafood are fighting this new regulation. They say the more catfish out of the bay, the more crabs there are to catch. click here to read the story 10:02

Warming oceans: fish on the move

The oceans are getting warmer, and fish are adapting to rising ocean temperatures with their fins and swimming to waters that better suit their temperature preferences. Shifts in the distribution of important coastal fish species are resulting in changes to historical fishing options, new fishing opportunities and new fisheries management challenges.,, These northern shifts in fish populations have presented fisheries management challenges. Coastwide or regional Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are used to manage all of these species, but these FMPs have not always kept up with the changing distribution of these species. Take summer flounder and black sea bass as examples. click here to read the story 10:51

Christie rebukes Trump Administration over Atlantic offshore drilling plan

The Christie administration Wednesday issued a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s bid to open Atlantic Ocean waters to offshore drilling. In formal comments filed with the federal government, Gov. Chris Christie reaffirmed his opposition to any industrialization of the New Jersey coast that could affect the state’s natural resources, coastal communities or economy. It’s a rare case of policy agreement between environmental groups and Christie. New Jersey officials have long opposed drilling in the Atlantic because any spills could put New Jersey’s estimated $700 billion in coastal properties at risk. The state’s $45 billion Shore-based tourism industry and its commercial fishing industry, which generates $8 billion annually and supports about 50,000 jobs, could also be impacted by a spill. click here to read the story 09:20

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman off Manasquan Inlet, NJ

The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman suffering chest pains approximately five-miles off Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, today. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay were notified  via radio, of a 49-year old man aboard a fishing boat, F/V Miss AM, who was reportedly suffering shortness of breath and chest pains at 2:30 p.m. A Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Manasquan Inlet responded, took the man aboard and brought him to awaiting emergency medical services at Station Manasquan Inlet. –USCG– 17:53

Organizers: Baltimore seafood business masks shocking labor abuses

Phillips Seafood is a Baltimore-based company that trades on its historic connections to the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. The signature dish at its restaurants is the famed Maryland-style crab cake, and its dining rooms feature models of antique fishing boats and romanticized images of the bay watermen culture that is fading fast. But organizers say it’s mostly fake — a cover story for a rapacious, globalized business that preys on poor Indonesian women to extract rich profits for its U.S. owners. click here to read the story 15:47

Maryland fishermen fight federal catfish regulations

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration has joined the cause and also sent a letter to UDSA Secretary Perdue, asking for “immediate regulatory relief” from the mandated inspection program for the wild-caught, U.S. catfish industry. “With the U.S. seafood trade deficit reaching historic proportions, strict harvest limits on most other wild seafood species, and traditional U.S. seafood jobs on the decline, the (Trump) Administration must provide every possible advantage to Americans seeking to invest in the business of wild-caught, domestic catfish,” Hogan wrote in the letter dated Tuesday, Aug. 8. Hogan wrote that American consumers increasingly are demanding wild, domestic seafood, and catfish is among that. The “seafood market for catfish in the Maryland/Virginia/D.C. region has grown from zero to millions of pounds sold in just a few years,” the letter reads. click here to read the story 08:30

Fairfield woman part of first all-female team at White Marlin Open

In the small town of Fairfield, Jaime Lynn Buffington is well-known for one specific reason. “Everybody that knows me knows that I’m a huge fisherman,” Buffington said. Fishing is Buffington’s passion. Having spent most of her childhood fishing with her grandfather at the Maryland shore, the 37-year-old has always spent time on boats and for the past three years has fished competitively.She’s worked hard to make a name for herself in the Maryland fishing community, even winning a tournament in Baltimore. But in Buffington’s mind, her biggest accomplishment occurred this past week when she competed at the 44th annual White Marlin Open in Ocean City with her team, the Women’s Offshore Alliance. Comprised of six women, it’s the first all-female group to compete at the tournament. “Two of the ladies are commercial fishermen and do this for living,” Buffington said. click here to read the story 16:10

Groundfish: NEFSC to Hold Port Meetings With Fishermen to Talk About Upcoming Assessments

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has scheduled a series of port outreach meetings to talk with commercial and recreational fishermen about the upcoming operational assessments for 20 groundfish stocks. Below is the list of confirmed meetings to date.  August 15 in Chatham, 4 p.m, Aug. 16 in New Bedford, 4 p.m., Aug. 17 in Portland, Me. 3 p.m.  Aug, 18 in Gloucester,10 a.m., Aug. 28 in Point Judith, 4 p.m. Aug. 30 in Montauk, Details to be announced. click here for locations, and more information The Groundfish Operational Assessments Peer Review is scheduled for September 11-15, 2017 at the science center in Woods Hole, MA.  Additional information is available at NEFSC.  Need to know more?  Contact Stock Assessment Outreach Coordinator Ariele Baker at (508) 495-4741, [email protected]

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 11, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 11:48

Fishermen, Public Invited to Meeting With Deepwater Wind

The East Hampton Town Trustees’ harbor management committee will host officials from Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island company planning to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 30 miles from Montauk, when it meets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the trustees’ offices at the Donald Lamb Building in Amagansett. The public, particularly members of the town’s commercial fishing industry, has been invited to attend, according to Rick Drew, who heads the committee and is a deputy clerk of the trustees. click here to read the story 11:09

Commercial crabber calls out Al Gore on fake science, explains sea level hasn’t changed at all since 1970

In promotion of his latest film, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” former vice president and global warming activist Al Gore is still desperately trying to make the case that planet earth is heating up, and that only carbon taxes can fix it. But as per usual, he failed miserably during a recent CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper, during which a commercial crabber and local mayor explained that sea levels around his tiny island have remained the same for over half a century. James Eskridge oversees the day-to-day activities on Tangier Island, in Virginia, and he’s been fishing crab there for decades. He’s quite familiar with the tides, the currents, and various other elements in and around the coastal terrain. And other than an ongoing problem related to erosion, in which the shorelines of Tangier Island are progressively disappearing due to constant waves and storms, he says that everything is exactly the same as it’s always been, at least as far as ocean levels are concerned. click here to read the story 09:25

Wanchese fisherman pleads guilty to federal charges

Gaston L. Saunders, 53, of Wanchese, pled guilty on Aug. 3 to federal charges regarding the illegal harvest and sale of Atlantic striped bass from federal waters. The charges stem from a 2010 Lacey Act investigation by NOAA, assisted by the Coast Guard. Since 1990, there has been a ban on harvesting Atlantic striped bass in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which spans between three miles and 200 miles seaward of the coastline. Eleven other commercial fishermen have entered guilty pleas for conduct uncovered in the investigation. Saunders also pled guilty to one count of federal tax evasion and three counts of failure to file federal taxes. In the plea agreement, he agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $544,946.35 payable to the Internal Revenue Service. A sentencing hearing will be set at a later date. Saunders faces a total maximum sentence of 13 years imprisonment and/or a $800,000 fine. click here to read the story 14:19

Feds slash Red Hake possesion limit – BIG reduction from 3,000 lbs per trip to 400 lbs per trip

The northern red hake commercial possession limit is reduced from 3,000 lbs per trip to 400 lbs per trip. Effective immediately, federally permitted vessels may not possess on board or land more than 400 lb of northern red hake per trip for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year (i.e., through April 30, 2018). This reduction is required because the northern red hake fishery is projected to have reached or exceeded 37.9 percent of the total allowable landings. Vessels that have started a fishing trip when this possession limit reduction becomes effective may retain northern red hake under the previous possession limit of 3,000 lb for the remainder of that trip Dealers issued federal dealer permits for small-mesh multispecies may not purchase more than 400 lbs of northern red hake per trip from federally permitted vessels for trips started after August 7, 2017. Read the full notice click here 21:19

For New Commercial Fishermen, Licensing Hurdles Are High

For Sag Harbor native Aaron Rozzi, embarking on a career as a commercial fisherman was always going to be a steep uphill climb. Increasingly stringent regulation of fish stocks, and the ever-escalating costs of equipment, fuel and simply living on the South Fork make the life of a traditional bayman a hard path to follow in today’s world.,,, Stian Stiansen, a Hampton Bays fisherman who died at the age of 85 when his boat capsized while returning from fishing into Shinnecock Inlet in 2013, thought he had made all the necessary arrangements to transfer his licenses to his nephew, Norman Stiansen, before he died. Norman, also a Shinnecock Bay-based dragger captain, like his father and uncle, intended to take Stian’s licenses and transfer his own licenses to his son, Peter, who was nearing the age when he would take over a boat and go to work for himself. click here to read the story 09:34

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting August 8 – 10, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s August 2017 meeting to be held August 8-10, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. The meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott, 21 N. Juniper St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, Telephone 215-496-3200. Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda click here   Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect Click here Listen Live! www.mafmc.org 12:12

As eels grow in value, US government clamps down on poaching

Law enforcement authorities have launched a crackdown on unlicensed eel fishermen and illicit sales along the East Coast.,, In Maine, more than 400 licensed fishermen make their living fishing for elvers in rivers such as the Penobscot in Brewer and the Passagassawakeag in Belfast every spring. They say law enforcement is vital to protecting the eels and the volatile industry. Randy Bushey, of Steuben, has been fishing for elvers since 1993. He said he saw his income balloon from as little as $5,000 per year in the 1990s to more than $350,000 in 2012. He said tighter quotas mean he’s earning less these days, and in the most recent season he made about $57,000. “I’ve seen the best, and I’ve seen the worst,” Steuben said. “I want to see it preserved. I want to see it straightened out.” click here to read the story 08:16

Our View: Federal fishery decision undermines management

Years of measured, responsible attempts to improve the effectiveness of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in these dynamic and troubled waters are challenged by a new threat: the secretary of Commerce, the next to last stop (before the president himself) in the chain of command for fishery management. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, known as the “King of Bankruptcy” for his investment strategy, overruled at the end of July a decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, potentially undermining the cooperative management of near-shore fisheries of the 15 coastal states from Maine to Florida. click here to read the op-ed 09:38

Time is running out to protect the Atlantic coast

President Trump has proclaimed that his administration is seeking “American energy dominance.” The reality is we’re already there. The United States produces more natural gas and oil than any other nation. We do import about 25 percent of our oil needs mostly from Canada and Mexico. However, that’s only because we export about 1 million gallons a week of the type of domestically produced oil we don’t want. The U.S. is beholding to no other country for our energy security. If these facts come as a surprise to you, then you are ripe for being deceived by those who want to use airgun blasting to explore for oil and gas off the Atlantic Coast. The petroleum industry and its allies are trying to convince you that current technology and procedures for testing for offshore oil and gas deposits are safe. click here to read the story 09:13

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 4, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here  “If I don’t go, I’ll wish I had. If I do go, I’ll wonder why I went”. 13:45

The American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act: S-1322 – Sam Parisi, Gloucester

Last year I served on a panel to review applicants for S-K Grant money in Saint Petersburg, along with ten other experienced fisherman thru out the USA. After two days of reviews we graded those and our mission was done. We had no idea who was awarded the grant money at the end of the two days. After a month the ones that were chosen were published. I notice one recipient from the East Coast was awarded $375,000 dollars yet I never saw come before the panel. I called the head man in Saint Pete and ask why I never saw it, and he said it was on a different panel. I was on both panels and it never came up. I believe that NOAA decides who gets the funds and the panel is there to appease the public. A Senator from Alaska heard my story and told me he was putting in a bill to go back to an advisory panel like it had in 1954. Bear in mind, this a year in the making and he asked for my help by contacting our Politian’s in the North East which I did. Two days ago Commerce Department approved his bill S-1322. The vote was 26 to one. What this means is NOAA will no longer receive the SKG money. A panel will be chosen by the Secretary of Commerce. Perhaps our fisherman will now see some of this money. Thank You, Sam Parisi,  Gloucester Mass.  click here to read the bill  Commerce Approves Eight Bills and 10 Nomineesclick here Thank you, Sam!  10:46

Crooks in a Crab Pot

Most people in the bays and estuaries of coastal South Jersey, including places such as Barnegat Bay, have concerns about someone stealing their crab pots or lifting the blue crabs in it. This applies to commercial fishermen as well as the recreational potters. What neither of these groups realizes is that there are probably thieves in their crab pots as well. And these thieves often go undetected even though they are stealing during the day and night and at all stages of the tide. These thieves are the ones that steal the bait from the crab pots. We learned about these thieves by placing a video camera in one of the mouths (tunnels) of a typical pot for blue crabs and  dropping it into Willitt Creek with a feed that was attached to a monitor in my office. This approach allowed real-time observations and recording and also prevented me from getting a lot done when there was interesting behavior in the crab pot. click here to read the story 08:51

Jim Lovgren – Fishery managers responsible for Summer Flounder mismanagement

Earlier this year the state of New Jersey was found to be out of compliance by the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission [ASMFC] in regard to the proposed recreational catch specifications for Summer Flounder, [fluke].The ASMFC which jointly manages summer flounder with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, [MAFMC] had recommended an increase in the recreational size limit for Summer Flounder to 19 inches for New Jersey. New Jersey fishery management representatives balked at that proposal and instead presented an alternative proposal that would keep the size limit at the present 18 inches but with a shorter season which would still meet the conservation goals as the Commission’s plan. The Commission denied this alternative and declared New Jersey out of Compliance, an action that would result in the shutdown of the Summer Flounder fishery, both recreational and commercial sometime later this summer. Unfairly this shutdown would have occurred after the recreational season was over, and would only impact New Jersey’s commercial fishermen, who are already struggling with a 50% cut back in the quota over the last two years click here to read the story 11:32

10 ‘Unprecedented:’ Another right whale carcass washes up on Newfoundland shore

Another North Atlantic right whale carcass has washed up on the west coast of Newfoundland. Four right whale carcasses have now been identified on the west coast of the province, bringing the number of dead right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to 10. In a release sent Aug. 1, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says “this is an unprecedented number of deaths and the situation is extremely concerning.” In the release, the department said the carcass was discovered south of the River of Ponds area. Its identity was confirmed after a surveillance flight. click here to read the story 11:03

Dead whale washes ashore on Rockaway Beach NJ – A dead humpback whale was found washed up on the sand along Rockaway Beach in Queens Tuesday morning, officials said. click here to read the story

Jury clears fish broker in alleged tuna smuggling scheme

A Marblehead tuna broker has been cleared of federal charges  that he orchestrated a scheme to illegally catch and export bluefin tuna. Robert Kliss and his Lynn-based business North Atlantic Traders were found not guilty of charges that included conspiracy, smuggling and falsifying records, by a U.S. District Court jury on Friday. Kliss, his business and a captain-for-hire, John Cafiero, were indicted in April following a four-year investigation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and federal prosecutors. The allegations came to the attention of investigators in 2012, after a member of the crew on the famous fishing boat the F/V Hannah Boden came back from a swordfishing trip off the coast of Long Island, New York, and reported to the boat’s manager that Cafiero had also been fishing for bluefin. click here to read the story 21:17

Coast Guard medevacs 43-year-old fisherman 25-miles south of Shinnecock Inlet

The Coast Guard medevaced a 43-year-old man from a fishing vessel 25-miles south of Shinnecock Inlet, New York, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound watchstanders received a notification at 1:50 a.m., of a crewmember aboard a fishing vessel (F/V Ashton Matthew) who was suffering from shortness of breath and tightening in his chest. A Coast Guard Station Shinnecock 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew got underway at 2:30 a.m., and arrived on scene less than an hour later. Members of the boat crew brought the 43-year-old man from the fishing vessel aboard the Coast Guard MLB, then transported him to Station Shinnecock where he was then safely transferred to a local EMS crew. -USCG-18:11