Category Archives: South Atlantic

Rep. Young fights fish farms

In his 46 years as Alaska’s lone representative in Congress, Don Young helped toss out foreign fishing fleets from Alaska waters with the onset of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and today he is intent on doing the same with offshore fish farms. The MSA established an ‘exclusive economic zone’ for US fleets fishing from three to 200 miles from shore. Young’s effort follows a push that began a year ago by over 120 aquaculture and food-related industries to have lawmakers introduce an Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, which failed to get any traction. The campaign is organized under a new trade group called Stronger America Through Seafood and includes Cargill, Red Lobster, Pacific Seafoods and Seattle Fish Company.  >click to read<15:50

Exploring Potential Changes in Bluefin Tuna Management

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of a scoping document on Amendment 13 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan and our intent to prepare an environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.  Issues and options paper The issues and options paper explores management options with a focus on: Refining the Individual Bluefin Quota Program. Reassessing share distribution and allocation of bluefin tuna quotas, including the potential elimination or phasing out of the Purse Seine category. Other regulatory provisions regarding the directed and incidental bluefin fisheries. >click to read<11:19

Florida Digests Worst Stone Crab Season In Decade

Florida’s worst stone crab season in recent memory closed last week marked by a lower-than-normal catch of the flaky, sweet crustaceans in many parts of the state and higher prices for consumers. Co-owner Stephen Sawitz of the iconic Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, which recently celebrated its 105th season, said his business felt the pinch all season long.,,, Joe’s is a good barometer of the industry,,, Rich Tradition, Red Tide, Frozen Vs. Fresh, New Crab On Menu, >Video, click to read<16:07

SAFMC Recruitment Announcement – Council Executive Director

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, headquartered in North Charleston, S.C., is responsible for the conservation and management of fish stocks within the federal 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida to Key West. The Council is responsible for Coastal Migratory Pelagics from New York to Florida and for Dolphin/Wahoo, from Maine to Florida. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is responsible for managing all administrative and technical aspects of Council operations. >click to read details<10:40

MFC draft plan would cut southern flounder harvest

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) heard a presentation on draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Friday during its meeting in Jacksonville and voted to send the draft plan to advisory committees and hold a meeting for public comment on June 3 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City. A time has not yet been set. The draft amendment calls for significant management measures for the commercial and recreational fishery and includes significant harvest reductions for southern flounder coast-wide. >click to read<14:31

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 17, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<13:28

How was the stone crab season? Good in the Keys, but rough in other parts of Florida

Florida Keys and Miami fishermen fared much better than their colleagues on the west coast of the state during this year’s stone crab season, but production varied depending on where they fished in South Florida, the head of the Keys commercial fishing trade association said. Wednesday was the last day of the eight-month season, which began in October. “Supply was good, prices were high and demand was strong,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association. But a persistent red tide algae bloom that plagued the Gulf>click to read<16:48

Casting a line for congressional candidate’s fishing perspective

The following is a personal opinion and should not be implied as an endorsement of any candidate. I’ve read and heard many comments prior to and after the primary election but merely want to put out my thoughts from a commercial fishing perspective for what they’re worth. Last month’s primary whittled down 17 Republicans to 2; 6 Democrats to 1; and 2 Libertarians to 1. From a commercial fishing standpoint, where does that leave us? On the Republican side we have Greg Murphy and Joan Perry. Democrats have selected Allen Thomas and Libertarians have Tim Harris. Of those, all responded to the questionnaire sent out by NCFA except for Allen Thomas even though he was reminded of it. by Jerry Schill >click to read<08:36

NOAA – Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Implementation Plans by Region

NOAA Fisheries has released nine implementation plans that identify priority actions and milestones for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management nationally and regionally, including for Atlantic highly migratory species, for the next five years. Each plan identifies milestones for a specified geographic area. The milestones relate to six guiding principles laid out in the 2016 EBFM Policy and Road Map >click to read<13:03

Saving Fishing Into The Future, Rocky Novello

Most all fishermen in the U.S.A., are having the same problems in fishing which include: NOAA Fisheries which uses outdated science, and outdated fishing regulations, which should have been changed as our oceans were changing. The big environmentalist organizations, funded by big oil, who collectively spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting rid of many our fellow commercial fishermen from so many places. They did a great job.,,, >click tor read, and comments from others will appreciated<10:40

Opinion: Atlantic drilling issue dries up again, without lasting resolution

The curtain has come down on the latest of “to drill or not to drill in the Atlantic.” It ran two years, just a bit longer than the one before it in a series dating to the 1980s. The ending, as expected, was the same, since deepwater drilling in the Atlantic wouldn’t be profitable and is broadly opposed. A renewed federal effort begun in May 2017 to offer leases to drill for oil and natural gas off the East Coast was suspended indefinitely by the Trump administration. A similar push by the Obama administration ended with reinstatement of a temporary moratorium on drilling. Other than the presidents, most of the players remained the same. Opposition was led by state and local officials in both parties the length of the coast,,, >click to read<18:36

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 10, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<11:58

Fisherman pulls in Florida university’s drone, but the school won’t pay, suit claims

Eric Cziraky was fishing for dolphin about three miles off the Boynton Beach Inlet when he hooked into an expensive, high-tech whopper. His catch? An 11-foot underwater drone that Florida Atlantic University researchers were using to explore the mysteries of the deep.,,, Under centuries-old admiralty laws, Cziraky is entitled to be compensated for rescuing a vessel that was in peril, said attorney Matthew Charles, who filed a federal lawsuit this week on Cziraky’s behalf. >click to read<09:23

NOAA Team Reaches Consensus on Right Whale Survival Measures

“This is hard work. The Team members brought not only their expertise but also their passion for the people and communities they represent to the table. Everyone understands that there are real and difficult consequences to fishermen as a result of the choices made in this room,” said Sam Rauch, NOAA Fisheries deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs.,,, The group will meet in Providence, Rhode Island for four days. At the end of the meeting, they hope to agree on a suite of measures that will reduce right whale serious injuries and deaths in fishing gear in U.S. waters from Maine to Florida to less than one whale per year, the level prescribed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<09:15

Hurricane Florence And The Fish Industry

The fishing industry in Southeastern North Carolina came to a grounding halt when Hurricane Florence pounded the coast in mid-September. Since then, officials say, the industry has rebounded thanks in part to the Hurricane Florence Commercial Fishing Assistance Program. Captain Dave Tilley is starting up one of his boats in the harbor at Carolina Beach. He has fished these waters for most of his life. However, Hurricane Florence forced Tilley to take a few weeks off. “When the hurricane came through, we had a lot of damage both to the infrastructure,,, >Click to read<08:26

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 3, 2019

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<15:21

What’s the future of Port Royal’s waterfront? Here’s what the town is considering

The town of Port Royal was set to welcome a new kind of marine vessel to its waterfront Thursday afternoon.  A Maxi 72 racing sailboat will dock in Battery Creek, with its long fixed keel requiring water depth not possible many places on the East Coast. Its arrival is meant to show off the possibilities of the deep channel and introduce other possible uses for the waterfront as town leaders mull whether charter fishing boats, ferries and sails will eventually join or replace some of the iconic shrimp boats that mark one of South Carolina’s last remaining working waterfronts. Increased competition from imported shrimp and an unwillingness of a younger generation to take up shrimping are commonly blamed for the industry’s decline. >click to read<13:02

Putting the Brakes on finfish aquaculture in federal waters, Young Introduces Legislation to Protect Wild Fish Populations

Don Young, the Republican congressman for Alaska, has introduced the Keep Fin Fish Free Act, which would specifically prohibit federal agencies from permitting marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federal ocean waters, unless and until Congress passes a future law authorising such permits. “My legislation takes needed steps to prevent the unchecked spread of aquaculture operations by reigning in the federal bureaucracy and empowering Congress to determine where new aquaculture projects should be conducted.>click to read<08:52

House Resolution 1568 – SAVE Right Whales Act, committee backs right whale conservation bill

House Resolution 1568 — whose lead sponsor, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., is one of nearly two dozen people running for the Democratic nomination for president — provides $5 million per year from 2019 to 2029 that would go to relevant state and tribal agencies, research institutions and nonprofits with expertise required in right whale conservation.,,, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., presented the bill and said it’s been endorsed by the Massachusetts Lobster Association and the Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance. It’s also backed by Oceana, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Humane Society of the United States, among others. >click to read<11:43

North Carolina – Senate Mulls Fisheries, Shellfish Overhauls

Bills to establish a new shellfish leasing program and extensive changes to the state’s marine fisheries oversight began moving through the Senate this week. Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, introduced both measures Wednesday morning in a review-only session of the Senate’s Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Committee. Sanderson said Senate Bill 554, Marine Fisheries Reforms, represents the most significant set of changes to the way the state handles fisheries issues since the landmark 1997 legislation that created the current system. >click to read<09:48

Working Waterfront – One of last SC commercial fishing hubs could close. Land trust seeks funds to save it.

Larry Mcclellan can look from the porch of his century old farmhouse out across Jeremy Creek where the shrimp boats rock under their hanging nets. Mcclellan captains one of the boats there and his son captains another. The creek, which leads to the rich Bulls Bay shellfish waters, is his livelihood and his life. The hub of it all, where the boats are moored, is the Carolina Seafood dock. That’s how integral Carolina Seafood owner Rutledge Leland’s business is to McClellanville, the modest fishing village north of Charleston. >click to read<12:44

Trump officials halt plans to expand offshore drilling

The Trump administration is hitting pause on its ambitious and controversial plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency has indefinitely sidelined its exploration of offshore drilling options as it grapples with a recent court order that blocks similar drilling in the Arctic. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Thursday, Bernhardt said the department has decided to wait on the outcome of appeals to the March case before deciding whether to move forward with additional drilling plans. >click to read<17:14

Editorial: Deals for Shem Creek docks worth a look

Mount Pleasant is poised to take a direct role in propping up the local seafood industry by buying the Wando dock at the mouth of the creek using town funds, then leasing the tie-ups back to shrimpers and the onshore facilities to seafood processors. The roughly 1-acre property would probably contain a public pocket park as well. At the same time, East Cooper Land Trust is applying for $1.3 million in Charleston County Greenbelt funds to improve and preserve the Geechie dock, also on Shem Creek. Assuming the funding is granted, the land trust would place a conservation easement on the property to ensure it continues to operate as a seafood dock. >click to read<07:57

Bickering in D.C. holds up Florence relief for N.C. fishermen

Political infighting in Washington over Puerto Rico seems to be holding up needed relief for North Carolina victims of Hurricane Florence. Keith Bruno, whose business, Endurance Seafood, sustained devastating damage, said federal dollars could drastically speed up the pace of rebuilding and get his business back on track. “People get tired of asking if I’m back in business and they just forget about you,” >Video, click to read<11:40

Shark Research Could Help Ga. Shrimpers

Shrimpers like William “Catfish” McClain have a shark problem. “They, well they just attack your nets and they eat holes everywhere in ’em,” he said. “And there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them.” Those nets are expensive, in the thousands of dollars each, and the sharks cost shrimpers in other ways.“It hurts us. It hurts the commercial fishermen, because like I say he works for two days, and then he’ll have to sew on his nets for two days. So that’s two days he’s not fishing,” said McClain. “And it causes a lot more work.” >click to read<09:59

Shrimp season to open next week in outer SC waters

The fresh shrimp of the coast will be back on the plate, and soon. Commercial netting opens Wednesday — two months earlier than last year. It’s a welcome change after the brutal winter in 2018 halted any commercial shrimping until late June. The relatively early opening had been expected after this year’s warmer winter. Shrimper Tommy Edwards, who works out of Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, predicted in February the S.C. Department of Natural Resources would open the “provisional,” or outer, waters by the first full moon in April. >click to read<21:00

McClellanville working to preserve working waterfront

McClellanville is a small town working towards a big catch. The town is trying to protect one of last working waterfronts in the Lowcountry. Fishing and shrimping remain a major source of income for many residents. However, the future of the local docks is uncertain. The docks sit along Jeremy Creek, ushering in boats from sun up to sun down. The town has been partnering with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Carolina Common Enterprise, and the East Cooper Land Trust, on developing a plan to save the docks. >click to read<18:01

Responses from Third Congressional Candidates on Fishery Issues

NCFA sent questions to the Third District Candidates in reference to commercial fishing and below are the answers that we received back.  We received responses from the following Candidates: GARY CERES PHIL SHEPARD MICHAEL SPECIALE GREG MURPHY PAUL BEAUMONT JEFF MOORE FRANCIS DELUCA SHANNON BRAY TIM HARRIS RICHARD BEW MICHELE NIX ERIC ROUSE CELESTE CAIRNS GRAHAM BOYD JOAN PERRY >click to read< 11:39

Mechanical Failure Blamed for Fire on Fishing Vessel

About 0545 on March 18, a rigman took the helm so that the captain could rest. About a half hour later, while the vessel was proceeding at “idle speed” (about 2.5 knots), the rigman heard something that sounded like a small “boom” or “heavy thud.” The captain returned to the wheelhouse when he heard the sound and told the rigmen to pull in the nets and gear. Lighting remained on and the vessel’s main engine continued to propel the boat. However, about a minute later, the vessel started shaking. >click to read< 08:15

Working Waterfront: SC commercial shrimp docks battle for public money

The privately owned Wando shrimp dock is under contract to be sold and go public. Three-hundred yards away, the Geechie dock owners want public money to help it stay in business. The fate of two of the last of Shem Creek’s commercial shrimp boat docks hangs on the hooks along the Mount Pleasant waterfront. The creek is a marquee destination, the place where the shrimp boat fleet is a treasured part of history and the hanging shrimp nets are what tourists and diners come to see. >click to read< 10:17