Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

How China’s squid fishing programme is squeezing its neighbours and creating global sea change

Critics have said China keeps high-quality squid for domestic consumption, exports lower-quality products at higher prices, overwhelms vessels from other countries in major squid breeding grounds, and is in a position to influence international negotiations about conservation and distribution of global squid resources for its own interest. Fishing ships from China have accounted for 50 to 70 per cent of the squid caught in international waters in recent years, effectively controlling the supply of the popular seafood, according to an estimate by the Chinese government. A price hike for squid bought by the United States from China has been accompanied by a decline in quality, Video, >click to read<12:54

Misguided Opposition to Wind Farm? The rambling random notions of an unhinged crack pot.

As we face multiple global ecological crises, magnified by climate change, it is puzzling, even frightening, to see opposition to one of the major and already functioning forms of renewable energy, especially from the marine resources community. One would think that this community was completely ignorant of the proven threats of oil tankers to our fisheries and estuaries, or of the overfishing of food fish, or the destruction of coastal estuaries, the fish breeding grounds, for condominiums, hotels, resorts and other incompatible uses, or the polluting runoff from farms, sewers, cesspools and industry. The commercial fishing community has long sat on the sidelines as environmentalists fought the good fight to preserve ocean life.,, >click to read<10:19

Wind Turbine Development and the future of fishing? Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

Let’s start with commercial fishing perspectives on wind farms in the North Sea: Seventeen fishing vessels docked in the centre of Amsterdam, a city that built its wealth and prosperity on the herring fishery. Between 600 and 700 fishermen from Holland and Belgium arrived in the city for a peaceful but highly visible protest that was followed by dozens of journalists.,,, In spite of the fact that in the U.S. our experience with producing electricity with offshore wind turbines is virtually nonexistent, we are apparently well on the way to committing billions of dollars to the effort – and most of that effort is going to be in the waters off New England and the mid-Atlantic. How much experience do we have with offshore wind turbines in the United States? >click to read<12:23

Commentary: Questions abound with industrial oyster farm bill, It’s dirty – plain and simple.

Wonder what all the heartburn is about with the oyster restoration bill sponsored by local legislators Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, and Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Dare? It’s dirty – plain and simple. And although the who, what and how parts are now visible, there are a ton of questions about various entities that are yet to be answered. The North Carolina Coastal Federation is taking the heat for the oyster aquaculture bill, H361, that contains a few needed fixes but primarily was written to benefit one company – a foreign company with a murky record in other states where it does business. But the Coastal Federation and the collaboratory that was appointed to map out a plan to grow the state’s oyster industry didn’t write the bill. >click to read<10:14

Tuna ruined his life, then saved it

Nobody knows more about the ups and downs of the fish industry than Dennis Gore. Riding high, he was one of the most successful tuna buyers in the world. At the bottom, he was bankrupt, depressed and loathed by commercial fishing captains he couldn’t afford to pay. At one point, his Rainbow Connections company was “doing $9 million in sales a year, mostly selling bluefin to Japan.” On the other end, he was sitting in his living room, “smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead.”For years Gore refused to talk about it. “I’ve kept all this inside of me for so long, and it’s been eating at me,” he said while sitting on a picnic table at O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in this sleepy little fishing and boat-building village. >click to read<16:30

Shrimp pass hard-shell crabs as North Carolina’s most lucrative seafood

Hard shell blue crabs had been the state’s leading seafood in pounds caught and in dockside value for decades. They still lead in pounds caught, but shrimp have taken over for the first time as the most lucrative seafood in North Carolina. Last year’s shrimp value came in at $29.6 million, besting crabs by nearly $12 million. In 2016, the shrimp sold for $28.2 million, again beating crabs. The 2017 shrimp catch reached 13.9 million pounds and 13.2 million pounds the year before that. Both years set new records. Hard crabs are being overfished, said Jason Rock, a state marine fisheries biologist.,,, Commercial fishermen disagree with the state’s alarm. >click to read< 12:03

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Future Reporting Requirements for the American Lobster Fishery

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently approved Addendum XXVI to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for American Lobster to improve the scope and type of data collected in the lobster fishery in order to improve stock assessments, assess potential impacts of wind farms, and better assess interactions with marine mammals. The addendum includes recommendations to: Require all federal lobster permit holders to report on catches for each fishing trip. Have NOAA Fisheries collect data on where, when, and how long fishermen are fishing. Expand NOAA Fisheries’ offshore biological sampling program. >click to read<17:07

AP Investigation reveals Sustainable Seafood dealer sold fishy tale

Even after winter storms left East Coast harbors thick with ice, some of the country’s top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York. But it was just an illusion. No tuna was landing there. The fish had long since migrated to warmer waters. In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood. But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a U.S. dock — and sometimes the very boat that brought it in. Over the years, Sea To Table has become a darling in the sustainable seafood movement, >click to read<13:37

New Jersey Lawmakers Calling on Feds to Lift Strict Limits on Fluke Fishing for This Season

The State Assembly is asking the federal government to suspend a 40 percent quota reduction that enters its second year until a new fluke stock assessment is completed and new rules can be established based on those findings. “NOAA recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 seasons were based on flawed data collected from inconsistent sampling and methodology,” said Assemblyman Edward H. Thomson (R-Monmouth/Ocean), who sponsored the resolution to freeze limits to 2015 levels.,, “New Jersey desperately needs Washington to stop relying on flawed numbers and bad science and complete newer, more precise stock assessments so we can accurately assess the health of our fluke stocks while protecting our fishermen’s livelihoods,” >click to read<12:55

Ocracoke’s Two Blanches

Blanche Howard Joliff was a young teenager when her father, Stacy Howard, decided in 1934 that he needed another boat. He commissioned a master boatbuilder, Tom O’Neal, to begin building him a fine skiff. The work was finished by another island boatbuilder, Homer Howard, who added a rounded cabin near the prow. Proud of his well-designed craft – a traditional deadriser with a V-shaped hull at the bow that’s flatter toward the stern – Howard gave it the name of his daughter, Blanche. >click to read<13:47

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom

The Trump administration is “bullish” about offshore wind, working with governors in the Northeast to transform what was once a fringe and costly investment into America’s newest energy-producing industry. “When the president said energy dominance, it was made without reference to a type of energy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “It was making sure as a country we are American energy first and that includes offshore wind. There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish.” On a recent tour of coastal states, Zinke found “magnitudes” more interest in offshore wind than oil and natural gas drilling. >click to read<11:20

AIS Inc. Wins Northeast Fisheries Five-year, $50 Million Dollar Observer Contract

AIS Inc., a scientific services company headquartered in Marion, Mass., has been awarded a five-year, $50 million contract to provide fisheries observers for federal monitoring programs in the Northeast. NOAA Fisheries has been contracting for fisheries observers in the Northeast since 1989. The work is fundamental to understanding and sustaining fisheries. AIS, Inc. is an experienced fisheries observer service company, employing people to monitor federal fisheries along the U.S. East Coast and in Alaska. Under this contract, the fisheries covered occur from Maine to North Carolina. >click to read<16:48

Giant great white ate its cousin during Sandbridge research expedition

When a Virginia Institute of Marine Science longline fishing survey caught a black tip shark on Friday, a much larger white shark couldn’t turn down an easy meal. Researchers just three and a half miles off Sandbridge were reeling in their 1.2-mile longline, equipped with 100 baited hooks, last week when a 12- to 13-foot great white showed up to see what all the fuss was about.,,VIMS began studying sharks in the mid-Atlantic in 1973 with its Shark Survey. It’s one of the longest running studies of shark populations in the world. The survey has shown a serious decline in shark numbers because of overfishing. That discovery led to the first shark management plan by NOAA Fisheries in 1993. >click to read<12:28

‘Big Earl’ prepares to head back to sea

Fishing vessel “Big Earl,” the shrimping boat that beached on the Holden Beach strand last month, is preparing to head back out to sea. For the last couple of weeks, Big Earl has been stationed at the Holden Beach Marina, getting some much-needed repairs. Reese Atkins, Big Earl’s owner, said the boat had to have several holes patched, a new starter installed, wooden posts replaced, engine repairs and a paint job. Yet he believes the boat will be ready to shrimp by the end of the month. “We are almost completed with repairs, I’m thinking the repairs will be done by this weekend,” Atkins said. >click to read<18:41

Forget Maine, Jersey fisherman catch quality lobsters

As the sun begins to set over Shark River, the boat “Fully Loaded” approaches the dock. As the name suggests, it’s fully loaded with lobsters. “It’s like gold mining. When you come in with the boxes full, it’s gold,” said Joe Horvath, co-owner of Jersey Shore Lobster Brothers. It’s a family business for Joey and Adam Horvath. How do they catch the lobsters? “Well, people think you just throw a trap out there and get them like a crab, but they’re totally not like a crab. You have to go out, you have to find what water depth they’re in, you have to find where they’re at. At certain times of the season they’re shallower, they’re deeper,” said Joey. >click to read<11:59

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

Bill’s changes would allow industrial-scale oyster farming in N.C.

Should oyster farming in North Carolina be a cottage industry or marine industrial operations owned by nonresident corporations? That is the question facing legislators working on changes to the state’s oyster aquaculture statutes enacted in 2017. Senate Bill 738, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow and Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, drew strong opinions when it was discussed on May 30 at a meeting of the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee co-chaired by Cook and Sanderson. >click to read<11:46

 

Responsible Offshore Development Alliance forms on the East Coast

With offshore renewable and wind energy development becoming increasingly common on the East Coast, a new alliance has formed to ensure that these developments are compatible with the existing interests of the nation’s fishing communities. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) brings together a broad range of commercial fishermen from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to advocate for their shared concerns over emerging offshore developments. >click to read<17:24

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Philadelphia, June 5 – 7, 2018

The public is invited to attend the June 5 – 7 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting at DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City 237 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Briefing documents will be posted as they become available. Meeting Agenda >click to read<. For online access to the meeting, enter as a guest >click here< www.mafmc.org12:12

Coast Guard Suspends Search For Two People Missing After Plane Crash

The U.S. Coast Guard and East Hampton Town Police have announced that the search for the Piper Navajo and its two missing occupants has been suspended due to “rapidly detiorating sea conditions.”,,, The cause of the crash is still under investigation but many have commented on the strong thunderstorm that had swept across the South Fork at almost the same time as the crash. The captain and crew of the Montauk-based fishing boat Caitlin & Mairead, which was one of the first vessels on the scene of the crash yesterday, said that the strong squall had blown through right before reports of the crash. “The weather was awful savage,” said David Aripotch, the captain and owner of the Caitlin & Mairead. “There wasn’t a lot of wind, but there was a lot of rain and lightning, a lot of lightning.  It went by quick and right after that the Coast Guard came on [the radio] and said there was a plane crash. We were 4 to 5 miles east so we headed there. >click to read<18:04

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 1, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA <click here>19:55

Lawmaker Apologizes To New England For Cuomo Making Its Energy More Expensive

Republican Sen. Robert Ortt of New York criticized the state’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday for unambiguously opposing natural gas production while citizens contend with rolling blackouts and expensive energy prices. Ortt apologized to New England in a lengthy editorial for the Democratic governor’s antagonistic approach to energy production. The Republican state senator also accused Cuomo of twisting New York laws to the point of barring any form of inexpensive energy from entering the region. Cuomo is not the only official in the New England area who is opposed to natural gas. >click to read<11:10

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 25, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<10:04

Barnegat Light, Shining at the North End

“It is a quintessential port town that boasts one of the busiest commercial fishing operations on the East Coast, and all the culture that comes with such standing.,, Like the lighthouse that beckons, the town of Barnegat Light is a compelling attraction to visitors and those fortunate enough to live there. There’s something – many things – unique about the historic, scenic, tightly knit community at the far north end of the Island. Just ask the people who are its proud and loyal fans. They’ll share some common themes, but invariably they’ll add something personal about what Barnegat Light means to them. >click to read<23:02

Maryland congressman seeks reassurance on impact of offshore wind

An amendment to legislation has been passed that requests the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the effects of offshore wind projects on wildlife offshore Maryland.
The House Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY19 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill earlier in May. Congressman Andy Harris authored, and the committee passed, an amendment ordering the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “to study the effects of offshore wind projects on marine mammals and fish, as well as the need for any mitigation measures.” >click to read<09:30

NY Dems’ Anti-Energy Policies Forced New Yorkers To Pay 46 Times More For Power

Natural gas prices in the New York City region skyrocketed in January, costing New Yorkers roughly 46 times more than the 2017 average for the area, according to a Tuesday report from the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA). Despite neighboring natural gas-rich Pennsylvania, New York residents pay 44 percent more for energy than the national average. A lack of transportation infrastructure between the two states has effectively cut off New Yorkers from a large supply of fuel. (because we’re gonna have wind farms!) Due largely to a lack of oil and gas infrastructure, much of New England was forced to rely on imported natural gas from Russia to keep neighborhoods heated during over the winter. >click to read<14:20

Nearly 200 NC Fishermen Travel To Raleigh For Second Annual Seafood Lobby Day

Today, commercial fishermen will forego a day working on the water and instead work the halls of the Legislative Building for the 2nd Annual Seafood Lobby Day. The event, coordinated by North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), provides an opportunity for legislators to meet the individuals that provide fresh, NC-caught seafood to their communities across the state and to hear directly from commercial fishermen about the challenges they face. Nearly 200 fishermen from up and down the coast traveled to Raleigh for the event. >click to read<12:34

Offshore Wind: Deepwater In Too Deep?

It looked so good at first blush. It checked all the hot boxes — Green. Alternate Energy. Zero carbon footprint. We would end our dependence on fossil fuel, the developers promised. But when folks in East Hampton started taking a closer look at a proposed Deepwater Wind project off the coast of Montauk, the negatives began outweighing the positives for a lot of people who felt they would be adversely affected, especially those in the fishing community. The erosion of support occurred gradually. During the election, the victorious Democratic candidates favored the development of the wind farm though the Republican challengers didn’t. But recreational and commercial fishermen, some armed with data from wind farms in Europe, reported that the wind turbines are detrimental to fish and fatal to migratory birds. >click to read<09:20

Con groups disagree with NOAA decision to remove Western Atlantic bluefin from overfished list

The decision by NOAA Fisheries to remove Western Atlantic bluefin tuna is not sitting well with conservationists. Last week, the agency released its Status of U.S. Fisheries report for 2017. In it, officials announced that the number of stocks on the overfished list had dropped to 35, an all-time low. The Western Atlantic bluefin was among six stocks removed from the overfished list. NOAA, in a press release, said “significant scientific uncertainty” about the stock after last year’s assessment led to the ruling. >click to read<13:29

Lost Crab Pots: Not as Bad as We Thought?

Back in 2016, a team of scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science said watermen lost an astounding number—145,000 crab pots, leading to the deaths of millions of dollars’ worth of crabs trapped in those pots. But a different panel of scientists says it’s not as bad as they originally thought. Glenn Davis, who chairs the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, told a winter meeting of fisheries managers that the VIMS numbers are wrong.,,, But once the VIMS study was out there, it was hard to take back. And sure enough, somebody tried to monetize it.>click to read<09:05