Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

Report on U.S. Marine Sanctuary Oil Drilling Sent to White House, Not Released to Public

U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross sent a report to the White House on Wednesday containing recommendations on whether to change the boundaries of 11 marine sanctuaries to allow more oil and gas drilling, but the report was not made public. Commerce reviewed sanctuaries containing 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches, as part of an administration strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling. click here to read the story 07:18

Don’t just drink the Kool Aid – be diligent when you read all of the anti-commercial fishing rhetoric

In the October-November issue of Tradewinds, the bi-monthly magazine published by the North Carolina Fisheries Association, there is an intriguing column by Brent Fulcher, chairman of the association. “The Internet can be a very enlightening tool at time,” writes Mr. Fulcher. “It amazes me when I read comments from those who are opposed to commercial fishermen. When they post on certain sites that are known for their anti-commercial fishing rhetoric, there are no fish left in the ocean. The sky is falling, and those bad commercial fishermen are to blame. click here to read the story 13:59

NOAA Fisheries Recommends Actions to Help Right Whales

Coming at the end of a devastating summer for right whales, the North Atlantic Right Whale Five-Year Review and its list of recommended actions to promote right whale recovery is particularly timely.,, In July 2016, we initiated this Review, as we do every five years, to make sure that species are accurately listed as “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Our Five-Year Review is now complete and provides updates on the right whale population in U.S. waters. The Five-Year Review recommends, not surprisingly, that North Atlantic right whales continue to be listed as endangered, and confirms that they experiencing: click here to read the recommendations 13:06

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 20, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates Click here, for older updates listed as NCFA click here 12:50

Coast Guard assists fishing vessel taking on water near Ocracoke Island, NC

The Coast Guard came to the aid of a boat taking on water off Ocracoke Island Tuesday. Watchstanders in the Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received notification that the 72-foot fishing vessel Capt. Jimmy was taking on water in Pamlico Sound near Bluff Shoal Light at about 3:30 a.m.Two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews from Station Hatteras Inlet arrived on scene and passed dewatering pumps and personnel to the fishing boat to assist. The dewatering pumps helped keep up with the flooding while one of the Hatteras Inlet crews escorted the Capt. Jimmy south to the Neuse River entrance, where a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Fort Macon took over the escort. -USCG-08:25

North Carolina: Local shrimpers still competing with the flood of imported shrimp

Shrimp is the second largest commercial fishery in North Carolina, bested only by blue crabs in pounds landed and dockside value. But unfortunately, within the last 30 years or so, shrimp harvesting has been hit the hardest out of all the commercial seafood industries. A study funded by Sea Grant shows the number of seafood processors declined by 36 percent between 2000 and 2011, causing the economic value of North Carolina’s catch to decline from about $109 million in 1995 to $79 million in 2013. One of the main problems with the state’s seafood industry today is the workforce. Older fishermen are leaving the industry faster than younger watermen are joining their ranks. When adjusted for inflation, the price of shrimp has dropped by more than half since the late 1970s and imported shrimp is a big reason why. click here to read the story 15:23

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 13, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates listed as NCFA click here17:21

Floundering with the Fishcrats

Right now just three miles from Long Island’s beaches boats are dragging fluke, or “summer flounder”, as is their official title. These boats are from several regional states, among them New York. Most are fishing under Southern state “flags”, as it were, as these states have the biggest quota shares and therefore the biggest daily limits. Each boat will have to steam to a port in the state of the landing permit it is working under to off load and sell the catch. This fishing here has been going on this way for many decades, but it hasn’t been until recent years that boats had to sail the flatfish hundreds of miles to sell them.  Bringing them within New York’s boundaries constitutes a serious violation of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law, with potential felony convictions with huge fines, loss of license and vessel, and jail time. click here to read the story 09:02

Cuomo threatens to sue if fluke quotas aren’t reallocated

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo threatened Tuesday to sue the federal government if two interstate fishery-management agencies meeting in December fail to reach an “equitable” redistribution of the coastwide quota for fluke. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Tuesday, Cuomo wrote it was “imperative” that the federal and interstate agencies take “immediate action” to “reallocate” the quota for fluke “in a fair and equitable manner or New York will be forced to take legal action to protect the interests of fishermen in this state.” Cuomo gave the agencies until December to act. click here to read the story click here to read the letter 09:46

Deepwater Wind Adds Three Possible Spots On The Ocean Where Power Cables Would Come Ashore

Deepwater, which is based in Rhode Island, has been conducting an offshore survey to find the appropriate place to install the power cables for the turbines, Mr. Plummer told those in attendance. The firm has also been conducting geophysical and geotechnical surveys to determine the species that live on the ocean floor and could be affected by the presence of the turbines. Fishermen have been the project’s staunchest opponent, and were so again at last week’s meeting. “We provide food for the nation and when electricity goes out, we still need to feed people and that’s what we do,” Ms. Brady said. “Please reconsider this.” click here to read the story 18:12

Fishermen urge state to sue Feds over Fluke fishing limits

Several dozen fishermen, women and lawmakers last week urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to make good on a promise to sue the federal government over New York’s disproportionately low share of the fluke fishery.  At a meeting at East Hampton Town Hall last Wednesday, the gathering of fishing interests sought to unify their agenda before a meeting with top state officials scheduled for next month. The commercial fishery for fluke was shut down in September for the first time in recent memory. It reopened Oct. 1 with a 50-pound daily limit. New York gets 7.6 percent of the commercial fluke quota, while North Carolina and Virginia get more than 20 percent each. click here to read the story 07:37

31st annual N.C. Seafood Festival – It’s all about seafood

Rides are up, tents pitched and flags hung high. Now it’s time to cook up some seafood. With preparation work done, the waterfront will soon be alive with the smells of freshly cooked, locally caught seafood, and the sounds of laughter and amusement during the 31st annual N.C. Seafood Festival. The festival starts today and rolls to Sunday. It focuses on the importance of local seafood caught off the coast of North Carolina. To celebrate the fishing industry, the festival boasts a weekend full of activities with free music, sporting events, games, rides, the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony and more. click here to read the story 13:04

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 6, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates listed as NCFA click here11:33

Lower Township man gets 38 years in murder try on boat

A Lower Township man was sentenced to 38 years in prison Thursday in the 2015 attempted murder of a woman on a boat, according to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. Ernest P. Davis was convicted in June of attempted murder and aggravated assault of 39-year-old Dorris Howell, of Middle Township’s Whitesboro section. Davis also was convicted of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and hindering his own prosecution, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. Davis shot Howell with a shotgun on the fishing vessel Storm on Oct. 3, 2015. click here to read the story 12:31

On the Value of Fisheries

The chairman of the Town of East Hampton’s fisheries advisory committee told the town trustees on Monday that the committee has raised $35,000 toward the $100,000 cost of an analysis of the socioeconomic importance of fisheries to the town, and asked that the trustees consider making a contribution of their own. Brad Loewen, a bayman and a former town councilman, told the trustees that the State Industrial Development Agencies has awarded a $25,000 grant toward the study, which would be conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and cover the commercial and for-hire recreational fishing industries as well as aquaculture interests. click here to read the story 12:46

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 29, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates click here09:43

Strained Fluke Quotas, Hurricanes and Safe Harbor

Less than a month after a bill granting vessels safe harbor in New York was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fishing vessel bound for North Carolina carrying 6,000 pounds of fluke has tested the new policy, straining New York’s federally designated fluke quotas. The F/V Rianda S., which has long been a part of the Montauk fleet, was in transit to land its fish in North Carolina, where it has fishing licenses, on Sept. 17 after fishing in federal waters when it encountered the rough seas generated by Hurricane José and requested safe harbor in Montauk. New York’s fluke fishery is closed for the month of September,  due to banner fluke landings this summer that strained the state’s already low federally mandated quotas. click here to read the story 08:25

Opinion: Fishing Violations? Cite Captains and Crew

Two recent high-profile incidents involving Montauk party-fishing boats have drawn attention to a problem on the water in which paying customers take too many or too small fish, while the crews, captains, and vessel owners evade responsibility.,,, It also is interesting to note that the state appears to be finally paying attention to how recreational fishing affects fish stocks. For decades the majority of its enforcement efforts was directed toward commercial harvesters, despite statistics that, in many cases if not all, indicated that sportfishing had an equal or greater impact on the resource. click here to read the op-ed 12:05

MSA Reauthorization – Fishing rule reforms debated on Capitol Hill

How large of a role should the federal government have in regulating fishing fleets? Republicans and Democrats on the House Committee on Natural Resources discussed this question Tuesday in Washington, D.C., as part of renewed efforts to reauthorize and potentially amend a 40-year-old law that works to prevent overfishing and provide aid to fishing fleets.,, Several changes to the law have been made since 1996, such as setting annual catch limits and a 10-year timeline to rebuild overfished or depleted fish stocks. Republican committee members such as Alaska Rep. Don Young said these changes have taken a one-size-fits-all approach rather than provide more flexibility for regional fishery management councils to manage their own fisheries. click here to read the story 09:47

Watch Legislative Hearing on 4 Fishery Bills – click here for video

Hurricane Maria Public Advisory 0800 AM EDT Update

At 800 AM EDT, the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 33.3 North, longitude 73.1 West. Maria is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through tonight. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will pass east of the coast of
North Carolina during the next couple of days. click here to read the update 08:59

Hurricane Maria Public Advisory 200 PM EDT

At 200 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 31.4 North, longitude 73.0 West. Maria is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so. click here to read the update 14:04

Fishery management goes back many decades

Beginning in the early 1970s, I became interested in fishery management. The declining number of striped bass or rockfish caught my attention, and I tried to help the situation the best way I knew how. I became a member of Save Our Stripers and then a part of Bob Pond’s effort to get the government to pay attention to his studies on the Nanticoke River that indicated there was something wrong with the eggs carried by female rockfish. Then there was a group of watermen in the Upper Chesapeake Bay that tried to establish a hatchery in Elkton. I went with them to collect males and females and then breed them in tanks before placing the tiny fry in ponds once used to grow catfish. Unfortunately, one pond still held a few catfish that were very happy to see all that food dropped in their laps. click here to read the story 16:43

Legislative Hearing on 4 Fishery Bills – Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:00 AM

H.R. 200 (Rep. Don Young), To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes. click here  H.R. 2023 (Rep. Garret Graves), To modernize recreational fisheries management Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 click here  H.R. 3588 (Rep. Garret Graves), To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide for management of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes. click here  RED SNAPPER Act Discussion Draft of H.R. ____ (Rep. Jared Huffman), To amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and for other purposes. click here To read the notice, click here 12:29

Menhaden battle once again pits Virginia against Northern states

Five years ago, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cut the menhaden harvest by 20 percent, forcing the largest employer in the rural tip of the Northern Neck, Omega Protein, to lay off workers and decommission a ship.,, Since then, ASMFC, which manages fisheries from Maine to Florida, changed its method of assessment and says stocks are now healthy. It began easing catch limits to where the quota is now only about 6 percent short of the 212,000 metric tons it once was. Omega, which catches a half-billion fish each year, replaced two of its seven ships this year with larger, more efficient ships and rehired some of its employees. But the company sees a new problem. click here to read the story 11:27

Hurricane Maria path: Category 2 storm may get uncomfortably close to East Coast before turning

A weaker Hurricane Maria continued on a path northward off the U.S. East Coast on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center said Maria, a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 110 mph, will continue to track northward parallel to the coast before making a turn away from land and to the east. It’s where and when that turn will happen that is problematic. Forecasters think the core of the hurricane will stay offshore, but it could come close enough that parts of the coast will feel some of its effects. For that reason, the hurricane center said tropical storm — or hurricane — watches may be issued for parts of the North Carolina or Mid-Atlantic coasts today. click here to read the story 10:48

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 22, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates click here16:02

New Projects for Boksa Marine Design

Florida based naval architecture and marine engineering firm Boksa Marine Design said it has kept bust over the past few months, with many of its 2017 projects having progressed from design and engineering phases on some and build-to-water on others. Boska provided an update on several of those projects. (Of special interest) The Two Dukes, a 70’ lobster boat, got her feet wet for the first time in the inlets leading into the Pamlico Sound of North Carolina.The Two Dukes was built by Custom Steel Boats in Merritt, N.C.  click here to read the story 17:18

Commerce chief Ross makes waves, roils fisheries rules

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has wasted little time in giving a jolt to the nation’s fisheries. In June, the 79-year-old billionaire investor who now oversees NOAA Fisheries singlehandedly extended the fishing season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, ignoring protests from scientists and environmentalists that it could spur overfishing of the popular species. Then in an unprecedented decision in July, he handed a big win to New Jersey fishermen and the state’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, by overturning catch limits for summer flounder that had been approved by an interstate fisheries commission.,, “Secretary Ross finally challenged them — the first time in the history of the commission they got challenged — and they don’t like it,” said Donofrio, who gave the president a “Fishermen for Trump” bumper sticker at a recent event. “I love it. … The commission got kicked in the balls, and they don’t like it. That’s just too bad.” click here to read the story 12:27

What would they say if it were commercial fishermen? – D.E.C. Officers Target Another Party Boat

On Saturday, for the second time in three weeks, State Department of Environmental Conservation officers boarded a Montauk-based party boat and charged anglers with possessing undersize and over-the-limit black sea bass and porgies. Benning DeLaMater, a D.E.C. public information officer, said in an email yesterday that the agency’s officers, along with a fisheries enforcement officer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, had been on patrol in Montauk Harbor and inspected the Viking Starship when it returned to port.,,, A subsequent inspection of the vessel allegedly turned up more than 1,800 additional fish in 9 coolers and 19 buckets, all of which had been abandoned.,,, On Aug. 31, State D.E.C. officers observed fish being thrown overboard from another party boat, the Fin Chaser, click here to read the story 07:57

The Latest – Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose Updates 800 PM AST

At 800 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located near latitude 39.4 North, longitude 68.6 West. Jose is moving toward the northeast near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through tonight. A slow westward motion should begin by Thursday night. On the forecast track, the center of Jose is expected to meander off the coast of southern New England during the next few days. click here to read the advisory

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located by an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 18.9 North, longitude 67.5 West. click here to read the advisory 20:23