Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

America Needs To Stop Relying On Countries Like China For Seafood Markets

When Americans visit a supermarket and wander past the meat counter, they see this century’s equivalent of the fishmonger’s stall: the seafood department. Laden over crushed ice in glass cases sits an array of fish products — whole snapper or shrimp, maybe, but almost always pre-sliced filets in a bevy of hues. Oysters and clams complete the display. In the rare cases where stores divulge the provenance of seafood, placards will often list Thailand, China or South American countries. Less frequently, however, will one see U.S-raised or caught seafood in such displays. This is disappointing to the patriot who wishes to ‘buy American.’ >clickto read< 07:00

Delaware: Hungry for holiday crabs? Better get out the wallet – “best price that we’ve gotten for crabs in 26 years,,,”

This year’s crabbing season didn’t start out quite so hot for Smyrna’s Brian Hoffecker, Thankfully for Mr. Hoffecker, along with many other commercial crabbers in Delaware, things didn’t stay that cold for too long. With Independence Day coming up Saturday “This weekend is a holiday,” said Mr. Hoffecker. “I’ll tell you what, this will be my 26th year or something on my own (crabbing) and this is the best price that we’ve gotten for crabs in 26 years. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the coronavirus or with the restaurants being shut down,,, >click to read< 17:25

Re-Deploying Observers and At-Sea Monitors: Northeast Observer Waiver Extended Through July 31, 2020

Although we had announced plans to resume observer deployments on July 1, we recognize the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and as such, has required us to re-evaluate and adapt to changing circumstances.  In response, NOAA Fisheries is extending the waiver granted to vessels with Greater Atlantic Region fishing permits to carry human observers or at-sea monitors through July 31, 2020. This action is authorized by 50 CFR 648.11, which provides the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator authority to waive observer requirements, and is also consistent with the criteria described in the agency’s emergency rule on observer waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. >click to read< 16:00

Dominion debuts first offshore wind farm in U.S. federal waters

Gov. Ralph Northam joined state and local officials, industry representatives and stakeholders Monday for a boat excursion 27 miles off the coast to take an up-close look at the massive turbines. Before embarking on the tour, Northam signed landmark offshore wind legislation during a ceremony in front of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. He said the legislation will continue to position Virginia as a national leader in offshore wind development as the state builds a new industry with thousands of clean energy jobs. >click to read< 12:09

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Officials examining right whale found dead off N.J. – wounds are “consistent with a vessel collision”

The whale’s carcass was spotted floating in the ocean near Monmouth Beach at 12:15 p.m. Friday after first being seen a few miles south in the water off of Long Branch, according to a statement from NOAA.,, was working on a plan to tow it to shore so it could be examined and its cause of death could be determined by a team of investigators.A preliminary examination of the mammal showed several wounds along its head and body that are “consistent with a vessel collision,” however its official cause of death was still unknown, NOAA officials said. >click to read< 08:50

Coronavirus: LI fishermen concerned about restart of onboard monitoring program

Some fishermen in Montauk this week said they plan to refuse to allow the federally mandated observers and monitors to board their boats, given the resurgence of COVID-19 around the country and the uncertainty around potential infection from observers, some of whom are housed in Hampton Bays, once considered a Long Island hot spot for the virus. The federal agency ordering the resumption of monitoring said it has enacted a series of safety protocols to protect fishermen and observers, including requiring that observers quarantine for 14 days before the start of a fishing trip. >click to read< 17:14

Displacement of fishermen? Offshore Wind Could Have Major Adverse Impact on Commercial Fisheries

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts indicates that offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries.,, The study also notes concern that offshore wind turbines and transmission cables could entangle with fishing vessels and gear, and that wind farms could result in the temporary or permanent displacement of fishermen in certain areas.  >click to read< 13:02

N E looks to Europe to assess environmental impacts of offshore energy facilities – “In the next 20 years there will be more than 2,000 wind turbines off the coastline,” “We think there’s lots of potential for environmental benefit of putting offshore aquaculture together with offshore renewable — from an environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view,” she said. “Sharing space is going to be the only way I think we can move forward in this industry,,, >click to read<

Update on Fishery Observer Program Restart, Which Resumes July 1st

On May 29, NOAA Fisheries announced that on July 1, the waiver of fishery monitoring will expire, and we will begin deploying observers and at-sea monitors on vessels fishing in northeast fisheries. In a letter released today, Northeast Fisheries Science Center Director Jon Hare is providing an update on preparations  for a safe and efficient redeployment. For more details and to download the letter, >click to read< 18:30

Virginia’s Latest Pricey Boondoggle: Offshore Wind Power

As reported in an earlier article, Virginia’s green electric power plan calls for 5,000 MW of offshore wind generating capacity to be built in the next decade or so. This is a huge amount given that the worldwide total is just around 15,000 MW. We are talking about something like 800 giant windmills, embedded in the ocean floor and sticking hundreds of feet into the air above the water. They will be on the order of one and a half times taller than the Washington Monument, which is really tall. Two features make this offshore wind plan a folly — too little wind and too much wind. Let’s look at too little wind first. >click to read< 15:22

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 36′ Fiberglass Wayne Beal Tuna/Charter boat, 485HP Scania Diesel, Entec-West 4 kw Generator

To review specifications, information and 41 photos, >click here< Vessel is in good condition. To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:43

Lawsuit Challenges Trump OK of Commercial Fishing in Atlantic Marine Monument

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. by the Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Zack Klyver, lead naturalist with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company in Maine. “Trump’s order was illegal because he can’t just declare commercial fishing is allowed in a protected marine monument,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Seamounts monument was created to permanently safeguard this amazing ecosystem and vulnerable species like the endangered sperm whale. Presidents can’t be allowed to gut protections by decree as a favor to commercial fishermen.”  >click to read< 11:40

Richard R. “Capt. Rich” Dulski

Richard R. “Capt. Rich” Dulski, 58, of Brielle passed away on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. Rich was born and raised on Staten Island, NY. Rich took his boating captain’s license at the age of 17 and passed on the first time which is rare. He has been a captain for over 40 years working for the Gambler, F/V High Stakes, F/V Austin and, most recently, the F/V Amanda C, out of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative, Pt. Pleasant Beach. Rich has fished everywhere from Cape May to Montauk, L.I. to the Grand Banks. He is survived by his devoted wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth Dulski, two sons Richard and Michael, his Mother, and many relatives, and friends. >click to read< 20:36

New Jersey’s Commercial Fishing Industry Struggles to Stay Afloat

In the wake of the pandemic, the industry—the fifth largest in the country—has been in rough waters. Will July and August bring relief? Atlantic Cape Fisheries, of which Sam Martin is chief operating officer, is a large commercial fishery as well as New Jersey’s largest producer of farmed oysters. “Last year we sold 2.5 million oysters, and we planned to sell 5 million this year, but sales so far are down about 80 percent compared to last year.” The bottleneck that Martin spoke of has throttled not only oystering, but New Jersey’s entire commercial fishing industry, “When I tell my boats to go fishing, I tell them, ‘Don’t bring in a lot,’” says David Tauro, general manager of the docks at the Belford Seafood Co-Op Belford, founded in 1953, is the smallest of New Jersey’s six commercial fisheries, but its pain is shared by the larger ones, such as Viking Village in Barnegat Light and Lund’s Fisheries in the state’s largest commercial fishing port, Cape May. >click to read< 17:53

Commercial Fisherman Scott M. Boyce Sr., of Belford, New Jersey

Scott M. Boyce Sr., 61, a lifelong resident of Belford, passed away May 30 at home. Scott was born Oct. 26, 1958 in Red Bank, a son of the late Norma and George Boyce. Scott was a commercial fisherman with the Belford Seafood Co-op. He and his brother Brian owned and operated the fishing boat The Linda. Scott is survived by his devoted wife of 32 years, Ann Boyce, along with their son Scott Boyce Jr.  Scott also leaves behind his brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Ronnie Boyce; nephews, Brian and Heron; and nieces, Lauren and Ivy. He was predeceased by his brother George Boyce. >click to read< 14:18

Long Island Coronavirus Hangover: Fishermen’s business remains in the doldrums even as restaurants reopen

While many local fishermen sell to local retailers, a steady local business even through the pandemic, the lion’s share of local fish go to companies that distribute to restaurants throughout the region and across the country. Three months of lockdowns over the coronavirus has backed up the market for the products, leaving warehouses for local frozen fish such as squid fully stocked, while drastically reducing demand for local clams and oysters..,, The summer  is normally a prime time for fishing trawlers that harvest squid, said Greenport commercial fisherman Mark Phillips, but the market has been backed up by months of shutdowns and a closure of some export markets, including to China. Phillips said he was hopeful the start of restaurant reopening increases demand for squid, his primary fishery right now. >click to read< 07:47

Reminder: June Webinar Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting, June16th-17th

Due to public health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s June meeting will be conducted by webinar only.,, The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet via webinar this week, June 16-18, 2020. The agenda, briefing materials, and other details are available on the June 2020 Council Meeting web page. Participants are encouraged to review the June 2020 Webinar Guide for step-by-step instructions for joining the webinar, connecting your audio, commenting and voting procedures, and troubleshooting tips. >click to read, with plenty of links!< 14:38

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

Maryland’s wild oyster harvest doubles from last year

Despite having fewer days to work, Maryland watermen harvested nearly twice as many wild oysters last season as they did the previous year, state officials report. Even so, a new study finds the state’s population of bivalves is in much better shape now than it was two years ago, with abundance up and overfishing down. As a result, state fisheries managers say they’re weighing whether to maintain catch restrictions put in place last season or relax them for the next wild harvest season, which normally begins Oct. 1. Data presented Monday night to the Department of Natural Resources’ Oyster Advisory Commission indicates that the overall abundance of adult, market-size oysters in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay has rebounded considerably since 2018 and is now at the fifth highest level since 1999. >click to read< 17:01

Fishermen’s Superstition’s: No bananas! No Whistling! But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!

Luke Whittaker set out to learn whether there are superstitions that live on among local fishermen. Here’s what he heard. Jerry Matzen III, commercial fishermen “Hang your coffee cup mouth towards the stern so you don’t sink. And no whistling in the wheelhouse or cabin — otherwise you’ll whistle up a storm, like we are having today. I learned the coffee cup one from Kerry Suomela Sr. when I worked on the F/V Southern Cross and it always stuck with me.” Tim Teall, commercial fishermen “Well, to begin with, you never want to paint your boat green because it’ll beach itself in a storm. Never set a coffee cup or a bucket on the boat upside down — the boat will roll over! Don’t whistle in the wheelhouse, because it’ll make it get windy out. But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!” >9 photos, click to read<10:41

Here you go, Fishermen. Feds see 2,000 East Coast turbines over 10 years

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) this week issued a supplement to its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind I project, a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables seeking to build an 84-turbine wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. A 45-day public comment period begins Friday. “This supplement analyzes reasonably foreseeable effects from an expanded cumulative activities scenario for offshore wind development, previously unavailable fishing data, a new transit lane alternative, and changes to the proposed Vineyard Wind 1 Project,” the document says. >click to read< 10:06

Offshore wind to have major ‘adverse’ effects

Offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries, according to a long-awaited analysis from the Interior Department released yesterday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind, the first anticipated large-scale wind project in the United States, arrives nearly a year after a final decision on the project was expected. BOEM delayed a final environmental analysis at the eleventh hour last summer and announced the launch of the supplemental review, arguing that the rapid expansion of offshore wind proposals and coastal state wind procurement policies necessitated a broader examination of wind’s foreseeable impacts >click to read< 14:37

RODA Receives NMFS Grant to Convene State of the Science Symposium on Fishing and Offshore Wind Interactions – The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) has received a $150,000 grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to aggregate existing knowledge, then convene a first-of-its-kind symposium on the current science regarding fisheries and offshore wind interactions. The project, “Understanding the State of the Science,” will advance agency, fishing industry, offshore wind energy developer, and public understanding of existing research on interactions between the two industries. >click to read<

Trump Rights a Wrong by Opening Marine Monument to Commercial Fishing

President Trump used the occasion of a visit to Maine last week to do right by an industry that hasn’t had much good news lately when he reopened to commercial fishing nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean south of New England that President Barack Obama closed in 2016. Stay tuned. In the process of righting a wrong,,, Obama created the area, known as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, just a few months before he left office. He portrayed the monument, the only one in the Atlantic, as a hedge against climate change.,,, Obama also >considered the area around Cashes Ledge<, 80 miles off Rockland, for monument status, which would have been devastating for Maine fishermen. Ultimately, he took a pass, but environmentalists have not given up on the idea. By Jerry Fraser,  >click to read< 08:00

Family Fishermen Move to Block Industry-Killing At-Sea Monitoring Rule

Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today filed a motion for summary judgement on behalf of a group of New Jersey fishermen, asking a D.C. Federal Court to vacate job-killing fisheries regulations called the “Omnibus Amendment.” CoA Institute filed suit in February to challenge the industry-killing rule, which requires certain boats in the Atlantic herring fishery to carry “at-sea monitors” at their own cost. The Omnibus Amendment—designed by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and finalized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Commerce—is expected to cost fishermen upwards of $700 a day, leading to a projected 20% drop in returns-to-owner (profit). Not only is this industry already overregulated, but the agencies are forcing this unlawful rule upon fisherman without any statutory authority to do so. >click to read< 15:25

Oregon Fishing Industry Tells Lawmakers Of Economic Hardships – Murkowski pushes for an another Billion in federal fisheries relief funds

The coronavirus has hit Oregon’s commercial fishing industry hard. That was the message to state lawmakers during a recent meeting of the House Interim Committee on Natural Resources. Anthony Dal Ponte is with Pacific Seafood, which is based in Clackamas and has several facilities on the Oregon coast. He said the company had to lay off more than 500 employees after their restaurant and hospitality industry markets dried up virtually overnight. >click to read<  Meanwhile, Murkowski pushes for an additional $1 billion in federal fisheries relief funds – Additional money could    be on the way for the fishing industry. Senator Lisa Murkowski said that she is working to add more fisheries funding in the next round of pandemic relief legislation. “As we think about the impact to our fisheries, $50 million is not going to be sufficient to address the need,” she said. “I have been working with colleagues to urge us in this next round of relief to include $1 billion in fishery assistance funds.” >click to read< 15:07

‘Did She Die for Your Fish Filet?’

As beaches and boardwalks reopen, PETA has erected a billboard next to Phillips Seafood along the Atlantic City Boardwalk,,, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group offers free vegan starter kits and encourages everyone to try healthy, humane vegan meals such as Gardein’s delicious Golden Fishless Filets. ooh! yummy! >click to read<, or laugh! 08:51

Commercial Fisheries and Fishermen Can Apply for CARES Relief But Not Yet

On May 7, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding provided to states, tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. As a next step, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration will use these allocations to make awards to its partners – the interstate marine fisheries commissions, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. But relief may take some time. No funds have yet been made available to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission or states. The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection staff is working diligently to develop a spending plan and application process that must be approved by NOAA. >click to read< 11:07

Fishermen Finding Windows Of Opportunity, Necessity Opened By Coronavirus

“Guys are getting creative,” said Edward Warner Jr., a commercial bayman from Hampton Bays. “You have some guys going on the internet and selling and going to the green markets in the city more. Different people are trying different things to make few bucks here and there.” Before the epidemic, the majority of fish landed by local boats was simply packed in waxed cardboard boxes, topped with crushed ice and trucked into New York City’s central seafood market in Hunts Point, Brooklyn.,,, In mid-March, when restaurants and thousands of other businesses were ordered to close, and people scrambled to pack into their homes and venture out as little as possible, prices for fish cratered.  >click to read< 12:25

NOAA – Their mission

Back in the sixties when I was fishing with my dad we would fish about a one hundred miles east of New Bedford for whiting in the spring. We had a ninety foot dragger. And there were Russian vessels there that were three hundred foot  and they were using a small mesh net that caught everything in the water. At the time there was no 200 mile limit. The Russians and other foreign vessels could come into our waters and were restricted to within fifteen miles of our coast. Today  no one knows how much damage they did but our fisherman would eventually pay the price. Finally in 1978, we enacted the 200 mile limit. That was great so we thought, but we created a monster. That being NOAA. >click to read< Thank You, Sam Parisi 08:52