Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

UPDATED 23:00 – Hurricane Irma now a powerful and dangerous Category 5 storm

Hurricane Irma is now a very powerful and dangerous Category 5 storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma has winds of 175 mph and is expected to affect the northwestern Leeward Islands as an extremely dangerous hurricane accompanied by life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall. The latest data shows the storm moving west but that would keep Jacksonville and the First Coast in the front right quadrant or the worst side of the storm. All of Florida is in the cone of concern. click here to read the story 09:06

UPDATED 23:00 National Hurricane Center – 1100 PM AST Tue Sep 05 2017 Hurricane Irma Public Advisory click here

LI fishing grounds mapped as wind farm plans take shape

More than a dozen Montauk fishermen have met with state officials to mark off vital fishing areas on a map that will help determine the best places for the hundreds of offshore wind turbines anticipated for the waters off Long Island. Led by the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, the group included trawl-boat captains, lobstermen, gill netters and trappers, each determined to preserve their fishing grounds as plans for wind-energy farms take shape. New York State’s offshore wind plan foresees some 2,400 megawatts of wind-turbines in New York and surrounding waters. That is likely to translate to around 240 turbines. click here to read the story 18:49

Don Cuddy: Stokesbury’s science continues to yield scallops for SouthCoast

It’s been a long and busy summer for Kevin Stokesbury and his team of scallop researchers at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology. But a lot of sea time, following many months of preparation, has paid off in a big way. “We surveyed the entire footprint of the scallop resource from Virginia all the way up to the Hague Line,” Kevin told me. “That’s 70,000 kilometers square, a huge area. We’re all really jazzed.” The data was gathered using the system developed by Kevin in the 90′s, dropping underwater cameras mounted on a steel pyramid to the sea bed from the deck of a commercial scalloper. The work began at the end of April and finished in mid-July. click here to read the story 19:27

Shell fisheries chairman charged with firing gun during argument

Leonard H. Voss Jr., 61, of Smyrna, was charged by Delaware State Police with possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, aggravated menacing, terroristic threatening and second-degree reckless endangering. The man in charge of the state’s shell fisheries commission was arrested this week following an incident where he allegedly fired a shotgun in the air to try to break up an argument. Voss was taken into custody Monday, Aug. 28, Delaware State Police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier said. click here to read the story 11:54

Crackdown Uncovers 340 Pounds Of Fluke Hidden On Fishing Boat

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers caught fishermen hiding fluke on their vessel, the DEC said. On Aug. 13, ECOs Chris Amato, Tim Fay, and Kait Grady patrolled Montauk Point for commercial fishing activity; when they checked a boat coming into Inlet Seafood after a six-day fishing trip, they found that the vessel crew had hidden 340 pounds of overage fluke in the fish hold behind empty boxes, the DEC said. The crew had also hidden a finned thresher shark, black sea bass, out of season, and several pounds of filleted fluke, black sea bas, and striped bass, the DEC said. click here to read the story 08:53

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 1, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates click here 08:39

Hurricane Irma holding steady as Category 3 storm in Atlantic

Hurricane Irma was holding steady Friday morning (Sept. 1) as a Category 3 storm in the Atlantic, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said. It’s unclear what impacts Irma might pose to land. Models are notoriously unreliable more than five days away, and Irma is not expected to near the Leeward Islands until sometime next week. The Leeward Islands are part of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea. As of Friday morning, the storm was about 840 miles northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and about 1,665 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It’s moving northwest at 12 mph. It’s expected to turn west again Friday night, followed by a turn to the west-southwest on Saturday. click here to read the advisory 08:29

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

NewYork State to close commercial fluke fishery Sept. 1

The notice by the Department of Environmental Conservation sent to commercial fluke permit holders Monday said the closure, enacted to preserve a fourth-quarter fishing period from October through December, “will remain in effect until further notice.”,,, Local fishermen say they had already been straining under an exceptionally low daily quota of just 50 pounds through most of the year, even though fluke have been relatively abundant this year. “I’m so angry,” said Mattituck fisherman Arthur Kretschmer, 61, who operates a bottom-fish trawler on the eastern Long Island Sound. Speaking of regulators he said, “These people have no clue how it affects people’s lives when they close down a fishery. We have nothing left to catch here.” click here to read the story 17:55

What It’s Really Like on a Wicked Tuna Fishing Boat

If you add it all up, the days and nights on the water, Captain TJ Ott has probably spent most of his 37 years on a boat. The captain of the 39-foot Hot Tuna is a bear of a man with a scraggly beard who loves the Grateful Dead, and he’ll be the first one to tell you without equivocation that his life as a commercial fisherman is a profession, but also a kind of addiction. All of it—the wind across the deck; the solitude of being out at a spot like Jeffreys Ledge in the Gulf of Maine; settled behind the wheel with a pair of Rottweilers named Reba and Ripple lounging at his heels, scanning the sonar screen—for a guy who grew up in the fishing community of Broad Channel, New York, it doesn’t get any better than this. click here to read the story 15:38

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program – 2017 Awards

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.3 million to partners around the country to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its . Bycatch of various species–fish, marine mammals, or turtles–can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community. click here to read the notice 14:10

Safe Harbor Bill Becomes Law, Ensures Legal Rights and Protection of Commercial Fishermen in Emergency Situations

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Ken LaValle today announced that Governor Cuomo signed their Safe Harbor Law on August 21. The bill provides commercial fishing vessels with safe harbor. Safe harbor means immunity from prosecution from State fishing regulations in certain emergency situations.,,, The Safe Harbor Law would apply when a commercial fisherman (1) encounters or is forecasted to encounter unsafe weather, (2) experiences a mechanical problem, that makes the continuation of the voyage unsafe and poses a risk to life and property, (3) experiences a significant medical emergency which requires immediate medical attention necessary to protect the health of any person on board, or (4) experiences loss of essential gear such as support systems that renders the vessel unable to remain at sea. click here to read the story 14:30

It’s not okay

As we get into the thick of tuna season right now, and plenty of “large-medium” and “giant” class bluefin tuna are being caught by anglers around Cape Cod, and “small mediums” as well as good-sized yellowfin in the New York Bite, I thought it more than appropriate to say this… It’s not okay…. It’s not okay for an angler to take his or her bluefin, or yellowfin, or bigeye or any fish for that matter and sell it to the local restaurant through the back door… for freak’n gas money. Unfortunately, this kinda thing happens pretty regularly up here. Don’t tell me that it doesn’t, because I hear the bragging frequently. And don’t tell me that it’s a victimless crime. The hard-working full-time commercial fishermen are the first to get screwed. But it’s the consumer as well,,, click here to read the story 10:34

Bonackers vs. Big Wind – Cuomo’s preposterous renewable-energy plan threatens Long Island’s fishing industry

Nat Miller and Jim Bennett didn’t have much time to chat. It was about 8:45 on a sunny Sunday morning in early May, and they were loading their gear onto two boats—a 20-foot skiff with a 115-horsepower outboard, and an 18-foot sharpie with a 50-horse outboard—at Lazy Point, on the southern edge of Napeague Bay, on the South Fork of Long Island. “We are working against the wind and the tide,” Miller said as he shook my hand.,, If Governor Andrew Cuomo gets his way, though, they and other commercial fishermen on the South Fork may need to look for a new line of work.,,, Deepwater Wind and D. E. Shaw have close ties to the NRDC and to Cuomo.  click here to read the story 19:11

2nd Round of 2017 Groundfish Assessment Port Meetings Scheduled

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is coming to a port near you! Join us for the second set of port meetings between August 28 and September 7 to discuss the upcoming groundfish operational stock assessments. These meetings will include an informal explanation of the stock assessment process, the cooperative research program, and ways that your concerns can be addressed by the science center.  We’d like to talk to commercial and recreational fishermen. We’re listening to what you have to say. August 28-Narragansett RI, August 30-Montauk, September 6-Portsmouth, September 7- Plymouth. See the full schedule of confirmed meetings. Click here 16:27

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 25, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here for older updates click here 13:47

Fish pie – Everyone wants a piece

Representatives of the haves and have-nots of American ocean fisheries gathered in a packed college classroom here on Wednesday to offer Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, their ideas on what he could do with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The now 40-year-old federal fisheries legislation is the legacy of the late and revered Alaska Sen.Ted Stevens.,,, And there is no doubt the MSA has problems when it comes to dealing with recreational fishing. Anglers, charter-boat operators, commercial fishermen and environmental groups are at the moment all in a Gulf of Mexico scrum fighting over red snapper. It is in many ways a tussle that almost makes the long-running fish war in Cook Inlet look tame. click here to read the story 08:25

The Fate Of The 1st Atlantic Marine Monument Is Likely Headed To Court

Environmentalists and fishing groups said Thursday they are prepared for a legal battle in the wake of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to preserve the nation’s first Atlantic Ocean marine monument.,,, The Atlantic monument has been contested from the beginning. Some fishing groups have said it was created through an illegal use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and jeopardizes their industry, and they’ve sued to challenge its creation. “I’m sure fishermen will appreciate any relief they get from the administration, but unless the monument is revoked it won’t cure the legal problem that we highlight in the lawsuit,” said Jonathan Wood, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the fishing groups. click here to read the story 16:01

The Latest: New England groups want fishing rights back – Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance president Richard Fuka says he hopes U.S. demand for locally harvested seafood convinced U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to recommend reopening the area to fishing. Fishing groups said they were encouraged by Zinke stating that his recommendations would “provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands for hunting and fishing.” click here to read the story 20:16

Magnuson Reauthorization, let’s get it right this time – Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

When the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) became law 0n April 13, 1976, one of its primary selling points, along with reserving the fish and shellfish in our coastal waters out to two hundred miles for U.S. fishermen, was that the eight regional Fishery Management Councils that it established had as voting members both government employees who were involved in fisheries management and private citizens who were knowledgeable about fisheries. Ideally this made for balanced decision making, allowing for both the official view of what’s going on in particular fisheries and the on-the-water observations of people with an actual working knowledge of the fisheries, and with the Secretary of Commerce required to sign off on any fishery management actions. (It’s important to note that this was well before supposed environmental crises were supporting a multi-billion dollar industry.) click here to read this article. 12:21

NY State, Fishermen Map Out Possible Conflicts At Sea To Help Clear Way For Future Wind Turbines

Commercial fishermen from throughout the South Fork last week pored over nautical charts showing the broad swaths of ocean south of Long Island being considered for future wind energy development by New York State—and saw a lot of the area where they harvest a living. But the state officials who hosted two open-house discussions with fishermen last week, one at Shinnecock Inlet and the other in Montauk, said that is exactly what they wanted the fishermen to point out to them—so they can work to reduce the impact.,, “I think the main concern is that fishermen don’t want to lose any fishing ground,” said Bruce Beckwith, a Montauk draggerman. “For me, I would rather not see anything in the ocean—just leave it the way it is. I have eight grandsons. They might want to go fishing someday. I don’t want to see them be shut out.” click here to read the story 15:48

Congress Picks Sides on Trump Plan to Expand Offshore Drilling

President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore oil drilling spurred dueling letters from members of Congress last week, 118 of whom say the plan is critical for U.S. energy security, while 69 others doubt it — plus nearly 18,000 letters of public comment, most of them opposing expanded drilling. Only 6 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is available for leasing to oil and gas drillers from 2017 to 2022, under a drilling plan completed in the final days of President Barack Obama’s presidency. The shelf is 1.7 billion acres of submerged federal land from 3 nautical miles off the coastline, state-regulated waters, to 200 nautical miles out. click here to read the story 11:06

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