Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

Opponents say Block Island wind farm is causing problems across prime fishing grounds

The five enormous turbines that have been generating electricity off Block Island over the past year are considered a model for the future of offshore wind. But the nation’s first ocean-based wind farm also has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables across prime fishing grounds.,,, Wind power companies have dismissed most of their concerns, and fishermen have become increasingly frustrated, saying that they’re being ignored.>click to read<09:38

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 16, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 21:06

US fisheries’ leader Oliver asserts ‘business-minded’ stance

The US’ top regulatory authority on fishing used his first appearance ever at a Seafood Expo North America (SENA) conference on Sunday to describe how he was reshaping the mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create more of a pro-business environment. Commercial fishermen largely applauded the Donald Trump administration’s selection of Chris Oliver to serve as NOAA’s assistant administrator of fisheries in June 2017. >click to read< 09:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 58′ Steel Stern Trawler, 6 Cylinder Cat 343, Lugger – 8KW Generator, Permits

Specifications, information and 4 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here< 13:01

New York Releases Offshore Wind Master Plan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, an extensive document that highlights the state’s progress on offshore wind development while charting an ambitious path forward. The plan is designed to help meet the Governor’s previously announced goal of procuring 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy by 2030. >click to read<09:44

U.S. States Slow Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion Plan

The Trump administration’s plan to broadly expand drilling in U.S. offshore waters is moving slowly due to opposition from coastal states and indifference from oil companies that have turned their focus to other opportunities. The administration hopes encouraging U.S. energy development outside of shale oilfields will further its goal of “energy dominance.” But existing Obama administration lease rules remain in place through 2022 unless the new rules gain approval. The Department of the Interior this year proposed opening vast new acreage in the U.S. outer continental shelf to drilling. >click to read< 08:56

North Carolina: Maersk Shanghai Container Containing Acid Yet to be Found

The U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA and Environmental Protection Agency are continuing to monitor 76 shipping containers lost from a container ship off North Carolina, but are yet to locate one containing 5,900 pounds of sulfuric acid. On March 4, the Maersk Shanghai alerted watchstanders that during stormy conditions they lost about 70 containers about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Maersk later confirmed the total number of containers lost overboard was 76 as well as their contents.>click to read<10:48

What a disappointment. It seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322, American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

What a disappointment. I just got a call from Bruce Schactler of the National Seafood Marketing Coalition, and it seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322…the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act. Senator, I have always supported you because you were there for us with regards to fisherman. I am a retired Captain and we have met in the past. I have reached out to you many times recently regarding this important bill by Senator Sullivan of Alaska who has a bill that we want passed, and expect you to support. Sam Parisi>click to read< 21:15

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 9, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 12:35

Zinke promises to ‘partner’ with oil industry, as offshore drilling opponents push back

Opponents of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling proposals pressed their case as a first 60-day public comment period drew to a close this week. Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, speaking at a Houston energy industry conference Tuesday, talked up the offshore plan and other administration moves to streamline drilling and infrastructure permits. The Department of Interior, Zinke said, “should be in the business of being a partner” with industry. >click to read<10:11

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, along with everyone from every coast.

In the late-1970s, an unlikely alliance between environmentalists and commercial fishermen in this storied seaport helped block plans to open up Georges Bank to oil exploration — an effort that ultimately led to a federal moratorium on offshore drilling. Georges Bank, a shallow and turbulent fish spawning ground southeast of Cape Ann and 100 miles east of Cape Cod, has been fished for more than 350 years.,,, In Gloucester, those who fought similar efforts a generation ago are confident the city can again win a David vs. Goliath battle with energy companies. >click to read< The non-stop articles about the opposition to drilling is overwhelming. No one wants it. Wind farms are the real threat.  14:05

East Hampton Selects Captain Julie Evans to Represent Fisheries on Wind Farm Project

East Hampton Town’s Fisheries Committee has selected Captain Julie Evans, who has worked on commercial and charter boats out of Montauk for decades, to be the Fisheries Representative working for local fishermens’ interests with regard to Deepwater Wind’s proposed South Fork Wind Farm project off the coast of Montauk. Ms. Evans began fishing for striped bass commercially in 1975, but became a charter boat captain after the commercial striped bass fishery was put out of business by PCB contamination, she told the East Hampton Town Board at their March 6 meeting. She has also worked as a journalist and used her background in environmental science to help run ecotours.>click to read<14:54

Mistrial declared in case alleging illegal fluke fishing

A federal judge in Central Islip has declared a mistrial in the case of an East Northport fisherman charged with illegally harvesting $400,000 worth of fluke.  After three days of deliberations, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case of Thomas Kokell, who was charged in a multicount indictment of falsifying federal fishing records, wire and mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco declared a mistrial on Monday.  Kokell, who pleaded not guilty, was the first Long Island fisherman to demand a court trial in the ongoing federal fisheries probe,,,>click to read< 09:27

House kills fish bill: Does Virginia risk falling out of compliance with menhaden catch limits?

The House of Delegates on Tuesday killed a bill, opposed by an influential Northern Neck commercial fishing operation, that would have brought Virginia into compliance with new menhaden catch limits adopted last fall by a consortium of Atlantic states. Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, made a motion to send his House Bill 1610, which had been sent down by Gov. Ralph Northam last month, back to committee, effectively spiking it for the year. In an interview, Knight said he did so in hopes that Northam’s administration and Omega Protein,,>click to read<20:42

70 stray cargo containers pose threat to mariners off North Carolina

The Coast Guard is warning mariners of navigation hazards after about 70 cargo containers fell off of a cargo ship Saturday night, about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. The cargo ship Maersk Shanghai contacted watchstanders at Sector North Carolina’s command center via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16, notifying them that they lost approximately 70 to 73 cargo containers due to high winds and heavy seas. The Coast Guard urges all mariners to transit this area with caution. –USCG– 11:35

Winter Storm Riley: At Least 9 Dead on East Coast

Deaths have been reported in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia, where two people were killed. Two of the victims – a 6-year-old boy in Chester, Virginia, and an 11-year-old boy in Putnam Valley, New York – were children. The governors of Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia declared states of emergency due to the conditions. National Guard members were activated in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to assist in the aftermath. More than 1.9 million customers were still powerless Saturday afternoon, >click to read<09:14

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 2, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 12:35

Coast Guard warns mariners, prepares for storm, New Jeresey and North, Hurricane Force Wind Warning for Coastal NE

The Coast Guard is advising mariners and swimmers along the New York and New Jersey coasts to use caution as a powerful storm approaches Thursday night through Saturday. Mariners are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews: “With the potential for severe weather, our overall concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work on the water,” said Capt. Jason Tama >click to read< 17:27

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING

National Weather Service – 417 PM EST Thu Mar 1 2018 .Synopsis for Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal waters… A powerful and long duration coastal storm gets underway tonight into Sat, and perhaps lingers into Sun. >click to read<17:35

Virginia: Heavily lobbied menhaden bill finally emerges

After weeks of intensive, behind-closed-doors lobbying, the Chesapeake Bay’s oily, inedible menhaden fish finally landed on the General Assembly’s plate. After more than 90 minutes of debate, the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee decided by an 11-10 vote that the best answer was: sort of. Earlier in the session, it let die a measure that would enact the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s purse seine quota cut, to 51,000 metric tons, into state law. On Wednesday, it approved a measure, introduced by special permission a month after the usual deadline, that would strike the current quota of 87,216 tons from state law and empower the head of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to set a new purse seine quota of not less than 51,000 tons once the state had made its case to the commission that the quota cut was too steep. >click to read< 15:14

Hitting the Trail: NOAA’s GARFO leader looks to cultivate culture of collaboration

As debuts go, Mike Pentony’s first day on the job as the regional director for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was a corker. The federal government marked his ascension on Jan. 22 as only the federal government can — shutting down all but the most essential government services as a consequence of the usual congressional mumbley-peg. “My first action was to come in and proceed with the orderly shutdown of government operations,” Pentony said recently during an interview in the corner office on the uppermost floor of GARFO headquarters in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park. The respite was short-lived. The shutdown lasted a day. >click to read< 23:52

NOAA FOIA Response Suggests Refusal to Search Council Member Email Accounts for Records on At-Sea Monitoring Amendment

Earlier this month, Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) filed an administrative appeal of a final response by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) to CoA Institute’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request concerning NOAA’s efforts to expand industry funded at-sea monitoring—specifically, to the herring and mackerel fisheries—and to lay the foundation for industry funding across all of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. NOAA’s processing of the request suggests that the agency failed to search email accounts belonging to members of the fishery management councils even though they are subject to public disclosure. Based on the limited records that were disclosed, NOAA’s search appears improperly limited to its own employees. >click to read< 15:00

Billion Oyster Project – Environmentalists, Scientists Pledge 10 Billion Oysters By 2025, Watermen Skeptical

Drilling away, waterman Guy Spurry was working hard on Monday – not oystering – but building his boat. And in Annapolis the same morning, scientists and environmentalists say a new plan will have them working hard too. That plan – to bring 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by the year 2025. Spurry says he’s skeptical. “It may work and it may not. It’s just a guessing game and it cost a lot of money to play these games,” Spurry said. It’s a money game that some argue needs to be played. >click to read< 18:31

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for February 23, 2018

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates Click here, for older updates listed as NCFA click here 08:23

Nil’s Stolpe writes, The Magnuson-Stevens amendment I want under the Christmas tree

OVERFISHING! This has become one of the oceans branch of the doom and gloom prognisticator’s (aka Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or ENGOs) principal calls for alms. To wit, they have collectively raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from big business-supported foundations and trusting members of the public to persecute (generally commercial) fishermen who they preach are the cause of “overfishing,” the major threat to the sanctity of the oceans. (I’ll note here that the Pew “Charitable” Trusts was the multibillion dollar foundation that initiated the war on fishermen.) This purposeful misuse of the term “overfishing” has been one of the most subtle and most effective weapons in the anti-fishing activists’ arsenal. Nils Stolpe FishNetUSA >click to read< 18:00

Their View! Building trust with fishermen is key for wind energy companies

There’s a lot of buzz in New Bedford these days about the offshore wind industry- and for good reason. Blowing in with the massive turbines will be the promise of good-paying jobs; new activity along with the waterfront; and even the prospect that SouthCoast could become a training center for those interested in offshore wind careers.,, Amid the hubbub, however, we can’t lose track of the industry that has made New Bedford the most lucrative seafood port in the nation for 17 years in a row,  The city’s hard-working fishermen-beset by changing regulations, dwindling catches, competition from foreign fleets and the ever-present hardship of storm-tossed seas-must be given serious consideration in any changes,,,>click to read<10:40 

Fisherman’s case yields complicated evidence trail

The federal trial of Thomas Kokell features a trail of evidence including hand-scrawled freight tickets and fishing-trip reports. Stacks of paper slips have cluttered a U.S. courtroom in Central Islip over the past two weeks, a multicolored trail of evidence in the first major criminal trial of a Long Island fisherman charged in a probe of alleged illegal fishing.,,, The charges stem from a five-year federal probe of an auction program that let fishermen harvest beyond their quotas. The investigation has netted seven guilty pleas and prison or home-detention sentences for five other people. One of the men who pleaded guilty is Mark Parente, a fish dealer from New Jersey,,, >click to read<11:16

NMFS Weighing Privately Funded Assessment of Summer Flounder Stock

For the first time, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will consider privately funded science in formulating regulations for summer flounder. Funded by the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF) and its contributing partners, a groundbreaking sex-structured model created by Dr. Patrick Sullivan of Cornell University was presented in January to the NMFS’ Stock Assessment Workshop in the hope of obtaining a clearer picture of the summer flounder population. The ultimate goal is to improve the accuracy of the next stock assessment,,, >click to read< 23:14

Hit TV series ‘Wicked Tuna,’ filmed off Cape Ann, releases a new season

The fishing tales of six captains on the hunt for giant tuna swim through the airwaves starting next month, when National Geographic’s hit series “Wicked Tuna” premieres its seventh season. The stakes are always high at sea, as the Gloucester-based fishermen compete to pull in the most lucrative catch of “monstah” bluefin, which can be worth upward of $20,000 per tuna. Season seven kicks off with an extended 90-minute episode on Sunday, March 11, at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. >click to read< 10:10

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm. The Block Island Wind Farm consists of only five wind turbines and is tiny in comparison to the large offshore wind farms operating off the coasts of Europe, but Deepwater Wind is planning larger wind farms off the coasts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Jersey. Other developers are doing the same with other projects up and down the East Coast of the United States. >click to read< 14:37

Man Gets 56 Months for False Distress Calls, Threats to Coast Guard

A 39-year-old Newport News man was sentenced in Norfolk federal court on Tuesday to 56 months in prison for making a false distress call and threats to the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said.
Justin P. Stahmer was convicted of the crimes by a federal jury on Nov. 13, 2017, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. Court documents state that Stahmer made a false distress call on June 20, 2016 while several miles northeast of Cape Henry. >click to read<07:20