Category Archives: National

Tropical Storm Isaias no longer forecast to restrengthen into hurricane, forecasted impacts remain the same

Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to move northward and skirt the east coast of Florida today. While Isaias is no longer forecast to restrengthen into a hurricane, the impacts will remain essentially the same. Dangerous storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is expected in some coastal areas regardless of whether Isaias makes landfall in Florida. How much heavy rain occurs over eastern Florida will depend on the exact track it takes. Isaias is then forecast to move north toward the Carolinas and potentially make landfall there Monday night, causing high winds. Heavy rainfall totals are expected to cause potentially life-threatening flash flooding over the Carolinas and then the Mid-Atlantic Monday and Tuesday as Isaias moves north, and Moderate Risks of flash flooding are in place. Please see the National Hurricane Center for further and updated information on Isaias. >click to read< 08:31

Boats are blessed on the bayou during the annual St. Bernard Blessing of the Fleet

Shrimp, crab and fishing boats adorned in flags lined up for the annual Blessing of the Fleet in Saint Bernard Parish. Each boat was blessed with holy water by Archbishop Gregory Aymond in front of Robin Seafood Co. The Charlito donates money to the church during the annual St. Bernard Blessing  of the Fleet in St. Bernard, La., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. Decorated shrimp, crab and fishing boats lined up to be blessed by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. The Ellie Margaret shrimp boat travels down the bayou fore the annual St. Bernard Blessing of the Fleet in St. Bernard, La. More photo’s, >click here< 22:36

Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory – Expected To Re-Strengthen To Hurricane Overnight

At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 25.3 North, longitude 78.9 West. Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A general northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected for the next day or so, followed by a north-northwestward motion by late Sunday. A turn toward the north and north-northeast is anticipated on Monday and Tuesday with an increase in forward speed. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will approach the southeast coast of Florida tonight and move near or along the east coast of Florida Sunday and Sunday night. On Monday and Tuesday, the center of Isaias will move from offshore of the coast of Georgia into the southern mid-Atlantic states. >click to read< 20:08

Deadliest Catch Fisherman Mahlon Reyes, Dead at 38

Mahlon Reyes, who was best known for starring in Deadliest Catch has died at the age of 38 after suffering a heart attack. The deckhand’s family have confirmed the news while sharing their “shock” over his tragic death. The sad news has been confirmed by Mahlon’s wife, who said his loved ones are “completely shocked” that he suffered a “massive heart attack”, as he had no existing health conditions his family knew of. His other half confirmed he died in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana after his heart attack last Saturday morning. Mahlon initially survived the heart attack after being rushed to hospital. >click to read< 14:23

Whale info way off, by Maine Lobsterman Leonard Young

Reading Bill McWeeny’s July 23 commentary bothered me a great deal. His statement that right whales have never been so close to extinction since they were hunted is untrue. I’ve been a lobsterman for almost 50 years, and we’ve been dealing with the whale issue for almost two decades. When we started this process, we were told there were 200 of these animals. Mr. McWeeny decided to omit the fact that we had modified our gear many years ago with sinking ground lines, breakaways in our end lines and more traps on end lines to decrease end lines. Since we did this, entanglements decreased considerably. These animals had increased to almost 500. Then they changed their feeding ground,, by Maine Lobsterman Leonard Young, Corea >click to read< 11:20

Fishing Industry Opposes New Floating Wind Farm Project Area

Navy says no to proposal to move floating wind farm area. The idea was discussed at the task force’s July 1 webinar, which replaced a planned public meeting in Morro Bay. Tom Hafer, president of the 90-member Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, criticized the proposal, saying it amounted to a “bait and switch.” Originally, Castle Wind, one of the proposed developers, suggested it would ask for a site for up to 100 turbines some 30 miles off the coast. The company spent months huddling with the Morro Bay fishing industry and the city and got them to agree to the idea. A memo of understanding was signed. The new task force proposal being discussed could move the 900-foot-tall turbines as much as half the distance closer to shore into waters they use for fishing, Hafer said. “This is going to screw up fishing,” Hafer said. “This is going to change the migratory habits of a lot of fish out there — albacore, salmon, black cod. Who knows what these are going to do?” Hafer also is concerned that the wind industry will want more territory in the future as well. >click to read< 09:15

Foreshadowing of a fire

A funny thing happened last month, at the June 15 meeting of the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department. The firefighters were talking about whether the department could use a fire boat, and Chief George Watkins told the story of how 46 years ago when he was still in high school, the 72-foot Kingfisher burned in the Apalachicola River. On Tuesday, June 16, Watkins and Jimmy Moses were working on Little St. George Island when they got a page, “We didn’t see any smoke, but about the time we got almost to the bridge it blew up and we saw black smoke,” Watkins said. “We knew it was bad.” The 45-foot Desperado, captained by Michael Redman, was in in the process of coming up Scipio Creek from Port St. Joe when the mishap occurred. >click to read< 07:53

Hurricane Isaias Public Advisory

At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the center of Hurricane Isaias was located by Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 22.9 North, longitude 75.9 West. Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and a general northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected for the next day or so, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest by late Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near or over the Central Bahamas tonight, near or over the Northwestern Bahamas Saturday and near the east coast of the Florida peninsula Saturday afternoon through Sunday. >click to read< 20:31

Still Love NY? NY’s Offshore Wind Obsession Means Vastly Higher Power Price

Offshore wind is the renewable-energy industry’s shiny new toy. Led by New York, seven Atlantic-coast states have now imposed mandates to expand offshore wind use over the next decade, with the Empire State last week soliciting bids for an additional 2,500 megawatts of offshore power, on top of the 1,700 megawatts procured previously. Advocates claim offshore wind will contribute to a low-carbon future, spur an economic renaissance, and create thousands of jobs. Don’t buy it. The mandates are yet another boondoggle that will benefit a well-connected few, saddling everyone else with even higher power costs. Consider Rhode Island’s 30-megawatt, six-turbine offshore wind project located off Block Island and operated by Deepwater Wind.  >click to read< 14:34

CARES Act: California Fisheries Relief Funding Soon to be Available for Select Sectors Affected by Coronavirus

Coastal and marine fishery participants – including licensed commercial fishermen, fish buyers, aquaculture businesses, charter boat owners and guides – who have experienced a loss of income due to the effects of COVID-19 may be eligible for federal relief funding disbursed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The funding is part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This more than $2 trillion economic relief package provides direct economic assistance for American workers, families and small businesses that have been impacted COVID-19. About $18 million in CARES funding was earmarked specifically for fisheries assistance in California. >click to read< 12:07

What a life Stevie Robbins had

Inside an old trap shop on West Main Street down by the harbor, Stevie Robbins for many years played his guitar and sang on Sunday mornings, starting at 7 a.m. Anyone who wanted to could join him, and many did. ,, He was a highline fishermen, one of the first to fish off the Georges Banks. A master boat handler and lobster catcher, he was tough and strong and determined, said Brian in a phone interview. “He could walk across your living  room floor and there’d be a lobster hanging off his pant-leg by the time he got to the other end,” he said. At first he fished inshore with Brian. Then the stories about the offshore fishermen, Bob Brown and Benny Beal, started to trickle down to the Robbins boys. In 1977, they set out for the offshore grounds in the 44’ Shirley and Freeman, named for his mother and grandfather. At first, they had little luck. What they did catch they sold to Clyde Conary. “We didn’t make Clyde any money,” said Brian. “He’d have a cigarette, and say, ‘I got faith in you boys.’” photo’s,  >click to read< 08:25

A message from Chris Oliver on National-Level Observer Waiver Criteria; Redeployment in Northeast To Begin

To improve transparency in our approach to observer deployment, we have established national-level criteria for vessels to be waived (released) from observer or at-sea monitor coverage. Going forward, observer or monitor coverage may be waived, for both full and partial-coverage fisheries, on a trip-specific basis if one of the following two criteria are met: (1) Observers or at-sea monitors are not available for deployment; or (2) The observer providers cannot meet the safety protocols imposed by a state on commercial fishing crew or by the vessel or vessel company on its crew. Within our limited authority, our efforts are intended to ensure observers and monitors are following the same safety protocols that fishermen are following. >click to read< 17:50

UPDATE: U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation into loss of F/V Scandies Rose has postponed Pubic Hearing

The U.S. Coast Guard has postponed the public hearing, part of the larger investigation into circumstances surrounding the sinking of the commercial fishing vessel (F/V) Scandies Rose and the loss of five of its seven crewmembers. The hearing was scheduled to take place in Seattle September 8-18, 2020. The decision to delay the public hearing was made to protect the health of the investigative team, the witnesses, and families and to comply with federal and state travel restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “The public hearing is a critical part of the Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) process, one that requires transparency. Those affected by this tragedy have the right to attend in person and, if we can’t afford them that, we owe them an alternative means,” said Cmdr. Greg Callaghan, MBI Chair. >click to read< 13:57

Florida fisheries wait for federal aid as prices take a deep dive – fisheries across the nation have experienced steep sales decline

Federal officials Wednesday defended the delay in releasing $300 million on fisheries assistance funding, including $23.4 million for Florida, saying the pandemic has set them behind in analyzing data to determine how much each fishery is due. Senators on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee urged faster action to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., noted that fisheries across the nation have experienced up to a 90 percent decline in sales.,, In May, the CARES Act allocated $300 million for fisheries assistance funding. Florida received $23,447,815, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not approved the state’s plan. >click to read< 13:03

Trump admin Coronavirus task force urges Alaska to require masks for seafood plants and hot spots

The state should mandate masks, especially in seafood processing plants and places with high or rising case counts, to slow Alaska’s explosive coronavirus infection rates. That’s the recommendation of a July 26 report distributed to states by the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force,,, The update summarized the state’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks to date. The top four involve the seafood industry and together involve more than 350 people: 139 out of about 252 workers at the OBI Seafoods plant in Seward; 85 out of about 119 workers on the factory trawler American Triumph; 76 workers out of about 135 at the Copper River Seafoods plant in Anchorage; and 62 out of about 150 at the Alaska Glacier Seafoods plant in Juneau. >click to read< 09:49

Bristol Bay Fisheries Report: July 29, 2020

In the penultimate episode of the season, we take a look at the beating heart of our show — commercial fishing. We parse through updates on federal and state relief funding for fishermen, perspectives on the Naknek-Kvichak’s huge year, and a final look at the market. >click to read< 08:11

A Fundraiser: Memorial Expenses for Sig and Helen Decker

On July 28, Julie and Gig Decker learned that they lost both their children, Helen and Sig Decker in a car accident in Petersburg, Alaska. Helen was 19 and Sig was 21. Although both were born and raised in Wrangell, Helen and Sig were in Petersburg fishing side-by-side for the summer to help pay for college. This unimaginable loss comes during an already challenging time. The initial $10,000 in funds raised will go towards funeral costs and related expenses. We are looking to raise $50,000 to fund the rest of the brand new Wrangell Mariner’s Memorial where Helen and Sig will be the first names on the wall. Additional funds raised after that will be used to start a Memorial Scholarship Fund,,, >click to read, and, please donate if you can<21:17

Coast Guard assists a 77-foot fishing vessel taking on water

The Coast Guard assisted a 77-foot fishing vessel taking on water near Freshwater Bayou, Louisiana, Wednesday. Sector/Air Station Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report of a 77-foot fishing vessel with three fisHermen, aboard taking on water. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Sabine Response Boat-Medium boat crew to the scene. Once on scene, the Air Station Houston helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer and a dewatering pump to the vessel, F/V Capt. Cardin. The source of the flooding was secured and the vessel was dewatered. Video, >click to read< 17:12

Memorial Fund for Helen and Sig Decker organized and facilitated by United Fishermen of Alaska

Yesterday the unimaginable happened. Julie and Gig Decker learned that they lost both their children, Helen and Sig Decker in a car accident in Petersburg, Alaska. Helen was 19 and Sig was 21. Although both were born and raised in Wrangell, Helen and Sig were in Petersburg fishing side-by-side for the summer to help pay for college. We are asking for an outpouring of support, and have set up a memorial fund organized and facilitated by United Fishermen of Alaska. >click to read<  You can find the GoFundMe organized by UFA >here< 14:20

This is the unimaginable – Four dead in vehicle wreck south of Petersburg – it is linked here for a few reasons. The tragedy that has shocked so many is described, and mentions two other victims in this horrible turn of events. They are identified as Ian Martin, 29 of Petersburg and Dennis Lord, 37 of Elmira Heights, New York.  Bob Thorstenson Jr. manages two seiners, F/V Magnus Martens and F/V Vigilant, says the crew had come into Petersburg to meet a marine mechanic after one of their vessels had engine trouble. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have been on this island with this godforsaken highway, you know,”  >click to read<

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument showdown reaches high court

The Obama administration exceeded its authority in 2016 when it designated the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and cut off access to key fisheries, attorneys for the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association and other groups argued in their petition filed with the Supreme Court yesterday. A recent move by the Trump administration to preserve the monument but dissolve fishing restrictions has not erased the need for the high court to consider the case, the groups wrote. Those rollbacks are now subject to a separate lawsuit launched by environmental groups. >click to read< 12:28

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 57′ Fiberglass Scalloper, 3408 Cat, Limited Access Part Time Scallop Permit

To review specifications, information and 10 photos, >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<11:31

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, bait shrimping business is good

Over the past few years, the shrimping business has been struggling. Even the number of boats licensed to catch bait shrimp in Texas bays has dropped. There are currently only about 300 boats licensed to catch bait shrimp in Texas bay waters compared to 2,378 in 1988. Just days after Hurricane Hanna slammed into the Coastal Bend, those few bait shrimping boats were back at work to meet the public demand. “They have been selling as fast as we can get them. It is gone. We are steady every day; every day we need 200 pounds every day,”, video, >click to read< 09:22

On the fishing docks of Point Judith: Sales are down, but they still work hard in the heat

She was surrounded by 450-pound barrels of the bottom fish, brought in by draggers. Despite wholesale lobster prices being down from the pandemic, boats are still going out to scratch out a paycheck. It’s all they have. Andrea was wearing orange oilers and rubber boots in the sun, driving a huge needle through four frisbee-size skates at a time to make a “string.” The bait not only lures lobsters but is good eating for them during the days they’re in traps before being hauled. Andrea joked that her skates are what makes lobsters taste good. I asked how old she is. She smiled and said, “None of your business,” then allowed she might be in her mid-60s. She’s a longtime fixture on the docks, having started “The Bait Company” there 36 years ago to serve the big boats that go out to sea. photos, >click to read< 22:15

Coast Guard rescues fisherman as commercial fishing vessel sinks near Columbia River entrance

The Coast Guard rescued a fisherman from the water Tuesday morning after his vessel began taking on water and sank near the Cape Disappointment bar. At 1:30 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a VHF-FM radio mayday call from a man aboard a 37-foot commercial fishing vessel taking on water near Cape Disappointment, identified as the Fishing Vessel F/V Brejoh.  A Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew and a Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew responded. >click to read< 20:14:

Coast Guard rescues two after fishing vessel sinks near Barnegat Light, New Jersey

The Coast Guard rescued two men 33 miles east of Barnegat Light early Tuesday morning. Watchstanders at Sector Delaware Bay were notified at 5:30 a.m. via Channel 16 that a 68-foot fishing vessel, F/V Viking Stariper had begun taking on water and its crew requested assistance. They informed the watchstanders that they had begun to make preparations to abandon ship into a life raft. “The crew’s use of their emergency equipment helped Coast Guard search crews locate them quickly and prevent loss of life today,” >click to read< 15:43

The U.S. “wind belt” – Map Shows ‘Low-Impact’ Locations for Wind Power

Wind energy developers both onshore and offshore face numerous challenges. Concerns about noise from wind turbines, disruption of visual aesthetics, and danger to wildlife have led to the cancellation or delay of several projects in recent years. The group’s analysis focused on finding land with high wind energy potential, but where impacts would be low to wildlife and the surrounding land. The Nature Conservancy partnered with organizations in each of the 17 states it studied, and gathered more than 100 data sets from conservation and land use organizations as well as state agencies. The group said more than 60 scientists worked to develop the siting map, with an eye toward helping developers avoid unsuitable sites. >click to read< 09:16

Cole Charles Rutzer – Memorial service is planned, date to be announced

Cole Charles Rutzer was born to Greg Rutzer and Lesley Ashby at Providence St. Peter in Olympia, Washington on March 5, 1998. The past few years Cole spent most of his time with his father and captain Greg, cousin Brent Gilbertson and friends Dylan Furford and Kaleb Orton working as a deckhand on the Pacific Dynasty. Cole died on July 2, 2020. His loyal companion, black lab Trigger, stayed with him until the end. Cole’s family plans to hold a service to honor his life near the end of August at Roberta Merino’s home. The date has yet to be set. Details of this gathering will be announced to the community once confirmed. >click to read< 08:03

UPDATED: Maine Marine Patrol Investigates Apparent Fatal Shark Attack today near Bailey Island

The Maine Marine Patrol is investigating the fatality of a woman today near Bailey Island. According to Marine Patrol, an eye witness reported that the woman was swimming off the shore near White Sails Lane when she was injured in what appeared to be a shark attack. Kayakers nearby brought her to shore and EMS responders were called to the scene where she was pronounced deceased. No other information is available at this time and the investigation into the incident is continuing. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Until further notice, swimmers and boaters are urged to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schooling fish or seals. The identity of the woman is being withheld pending notification of family. Department of Marine Resources 19:35

Woman dead from apparent shark attack in Maine – The Maine Marine Patrol says they are investigating the death of a woman who was injured in an apparent shark attack Monday afternoon. According to Marine Patrol and News Center Maine who spoke with witnesses at the scene, a woman was swimming off the shore near While Sails Lane. video, >click to read< 21:12

Maine lobstermen prepare for uncertain summer season, hoping for further federal relief

More than 1,300 lobstermen in Maine – about 1 in 3 – received forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with the majority amounting to roughly $10,900.,, New data from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that altogether, Maine’s lobster industry received roughly $24 million in PPP funding, the most given to any business concern in the state; dine-in restaurants, beauty salons, real estate, and home building received the next highest amounts. While the bulk of the fishing sector money – nearly $15 million – went to fishermen, some dealers, retailers and processors received loans between $150,000 and $1 million. >click to read< 17:49

Juneau processor sanitized, screened, quarantined but Coronavirus still got in

On July 4, a Juneau resident who works at Alaska Glacier Seafoods started showing COVID-19 symptoms. He quarantined at home immediately and got tested. “Unfortunately, you can be contagious for days prior to showing symptoms,” said Jim Erickson, vice president and co-owner of the company. “That’s what makes this disease so hard to get in front of.” Health officials who investigated the case say it resulted from community spread — not from inside the plant. “We’re not sure where he contracted it initially, because he’s probably not sure,” Erickson said this week. “I mean, let’s face it, you could pick it up anywhere.” >click to read< 15:10