Category Archives: South Atlantic

Environmental Citations Issued For Boat Captain During NOAA Environmental Research Cruise

The captain of a charter boat carrying government scientists on an environmental research cruise near the Keys has been cited for violating environmental regulations. The Ultimate Getaway is a 100-foot charter boat that takes people to the remote Tortugas, west of Key West, for diving and spearfishing trips. This month, it was chartered by the federal government for the Coral Reef Monitoring Program research cruise, which surveys reef and fish in Florida every other year. The FWC patrol saw the Ultimate Getaway at anchor inside the reserve. When they came alongside, they saw fishing poles and gear on the vessel’s stern, according to the FWC report. >click to read<11:19

Protect Shem Creek’s shrimpers

Without its shrimp boat fleet, Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant would be a different kind of place. But the number of boats has been dwindling for decades, and the loss of the dock that formerly housed the Wando Shrimp Co. could be a tipping point. The Wando dock is up for sale. And unless a nonprofit buyer such as the East Cooper Land Trust or even the town of Mount Pleasant is able to scoop up the property, it could be redeveloped in a way that would push out a few more of the remaining shrimpers in the creek. That would be a shame. Shem Creek and the nearby Old Village form the unofficial heart of Mount Pleasant. >click to read<09:46

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

Coast Guard rescues 2 survivors clinging to debris in Pamlico Sound, NC

Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday morning, after their fishing boat capsized Tuesday near Hog Island.,, The wife of a fishermen called for help Tuesday night, on behalf of her husband, reporting the generator on the men’s boat was not working properly and the men were trying to find safety near shore in the deteriorating weather. They had departed Ocracoke Tuesday morning and were planning to shrimp in Pamlico Sound before unloading their catch in Engelhard. >click to read<07:54

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

Two rescued after shrimp boat capsizes during storm in Pamlico Sound

The two-man crew of a small shrimp boat from Carteret County were rescued by the Coast Guard early Wednesday after their craft capsized in the Pamlico Sound during a thunderstorm. The Mad Lady II from Marshallberg was reported overdue Tuesday evening, after reportedly running into generator problems while trying to reach Englehard.,, A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City located the Mad Lady II capsized off Hog Island around 6:20 a.m., and a Good Samaritan also reported finding debris nearby, Kendrick said. At 7:32 a.m., the captain and mate were found by the helicopter crew clinging to debris about seven miles from where the boat went down. >click to read<10:26

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

The cost of offshore wind power: worse than we thought

A few days ago, the BBC’s Roger Harrabin mentioned a new suggestion that instead of cutting up redundant oil rigs, we should simply sink them to the bottom of the sea, where they would become artificial reefs that would encourage a flourishing of marine flora and fauna. Observant readers of his Twitter feed were of course quick to point out that this was exactly what BP had proposed for their Brent Spar platform nearly twenty years ago. At the time there was an outpouring from environmentalists, who accused the oil giant of deliberately polluting the seas.,, a recently published a paper on the potential decommissioning costs of all those offshore wind turbines that they are so keen on installing.,, costs for 34 turbines could reach £100 million ($131,654,735.40) >click to read<09:44

The MSA and Don Young’s partisan dilemma

“We must remain committed to the bipartisan, bicameral tradition of fisheries management,” Rep. Don Young wrote last Sunday, “and my legislation accomplishes just that.” He was referring to the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act. But when the House passed it on Wednesday, only nine Democrats voted in favor of it. Which explains why, in the same opinion piece, Young complained about “the hyper-partisan mentality” his “Democratic colleagues subscribe to.” Like the breakup of a marriage, there are two sides to this story. The reason why Young is arguing from both might be that he was caught in the middle. >click to read<09:00

Shem Creek’s Wando dock up for sale, one of last for area shrimp boats

One of Shem Creek’s last remaining shrimp boat docks is quietly up for sale. The loss of the Wando dock could be the tipping point for the vanishing fleet in the creek made famous by its hanging nets. The Wando dock is one of the last three commercial docks mooring shrimp boats that are a picturesque hallmark of the creek. Five boats now tie up there — about half the fleet that once existed. In previous years, it was common to see shrimp boats tied off three or more abreast and their catch sold from the docks. Losing it could mean those boats would have nowhere else to tie off, much less sell their shrimp. It also could put more development pressure on the owners of the other two. >click to read<19:32

House of Representatives – Debate and Passage of HR-200

July 11, 2018 House Session The House meets with debate scheduled on a fisheries management bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. >click to watch<20:52

House votes to overhaul fishery management law – “I’m proud to say that my bill protects our commercial and recreational fisheries’ interests and allow councils to do their jobs in a more streamlined and effective manner,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the bill’s sponsor, said on the House floor. >click to read<21:41

UGA researchers dive into a sea of questions

Captain Wynn Gale knew it was bad. He’d been commercial fishing off the coast of Darien, about 50 miles south of Savannah, since he was 12, and his decades of shrimping told him the industry was in trouble. Again..,,, But this time, off the coast of Georgia in the 1990s, there weren’t as many shrimp to catch, and the ones Gale and other commercial fishermen were pouring onto the decks of their boats had something wrong with them. They weren’t flopping around like normal; in fact, they barely moved. And their gills were black, a stark contrast to the milky clear color of Georgia’s famously sweet white shrimp. >click to read<09:43

Partisanship shouldn’t undermine our fisheries

Partisan rancor may be standard operating procedure for most of Washington, but let’s not allow it to unravel the progress we’ve made for our country’s vital fisheries.,,, The current reauthorization legislation on the table, H.R. 200, reauthorizes the MSA for the first time in over a decade. It has the needed type of collaborative, stakeholder-driven support that previous successful reauthorization efforts enjoyed. That’s because this reauthorization wasn’t created overnight — it has been carefully developed over the past five years with input from experts in fisheries’ science, commercial and recreational fishing groups, and a wide array of regional perspectives. >click to read< for various posts on the reauthorization >click here<06:25

Florida Keys fishermen talk impact of President Trump’s tariffs

Jeff Cramer is a longtime Keys commercial fisherman who operates a fish house in Marathon. He buys lobster from as many as 20 different boat captains and then sells them all to his Chinese buyer. “I’m just hoping our president can resolve this little trade war he’s got going with Europe and China. A lot of us voted for him and maybe this will work out in the long run, but for the short term, it’s really going to devastate us after we had that hurricane last year. A lot of guys are living off the SBA loans that they have to start paying back in a little bit,” Cramer said. “Let’s see what happens. He got Rocket Man to back down, let’s see if he can get the Chinese president to back down,” Cramer added. Gary Nichols also voted for Trump and is standing by him. >click to read<11:44

From trash to treat: Rock shrimp’s rise to fame in Florida

After trawling the Atlantic Ocean for days, Rodney Thompson returned to his Florida home and dropped buckets of rock shrimp in the middle of the kitchen. He ordered his four school-age children to stop playing and figure out a way to cook them. Rock shrimp were considered trash. Their hard, spiny shells would split thumbs open and take forever to peel. Thompson’s challenge to his children lasted for months, until his oldest daughter, a teenage Laurilee, had the idea to split them open, cut out the sand veins and broil them like lobsters. They were delicious. That was 50 years ago. >click to read<17:53

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for July 6, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<07:48

Murrells Inlet fishing community celebrates life of pioneer who passed unexpectedly

The fishing village of Murrells Inlet recently lost a true pioneer with the death of Phil Conklin, a fisherman extraordinaire and longtime owner of Seven Seas Seafood, located right on U.S. 17 Business in the inlet. Conklin passed away unexpectedly from natural causes on June 13 at the age of 71. Five days later a crowd of about 300 family and friends, including a who’s who in the Murrells Inlet fishing and restaurant industries, celebrated his life at Creek Ratz on the inlet’s Marshwalk. The Celebration of Life was indeed a party, complete with an open bar for attendees, per Phil Conklin’s request. His son, Chris Conklin, found a note hand-written by his dad among his closing documents that read “Don’t grieve, have a party. Bye.” >click to read<18:19

Trump Effort to Lift U.S. Offshore Wind Sector Sparks Interest from Europe

The Trump administration wants to fire up development of the U.S. offshore wind industry by streamlining permitting and carving out vast areas off the coast for leasing – part of its ‘America First’ policy to boost domestic energy production and jobs. The Europeans have taken note. The drive to open America’s offshore wind industry has attracted Europe’s biggest renewable energy companies, who see the U.S. East Coast as a new frontier after years of success across the Atlantic.,,, “This would be American produced energy, and American jobs,” said Vincent DeVito, energy policy advisor to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “It fits well with the America First agenda.” >click to read<14:32

Beaufort County fish whisperer retires with this advice on Lowcountry living

Al Stokes is a rare Lowcountry fish who’s finally getting away. He retired Friday as executive director of the Waddell Mariculture Center, an aquaculture research center on a sweeping bend of the Colleton River in Bluffton. Stokes has been there since the beginning, from the time the first water samples and soil samples were taken in late 1979. He was there as $4 million was invested in ponds, a few buildings and a hatchery that was dedicated in 1984 to a humming speech from the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.,,, Cut this out and put it on your refrigerator: Save the Lowcountry “It’s ours,” Stokes said. Video >click to read<11:24

U.S. Commerce Department Announces Appointments to Regional Fishery Management Councils for 2018

The U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. Twenty-nine of the new and reappointed council members will serve three-year terms from August 11, 2018 through August 10, 2021. One appointed member is filling an at-large seat recently vacated on the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and this member will serve through August 10, 2020. >click to read<17:02

U.S. House set to vote on key fisheries bill, HR-200, Tuesday

It’s called the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, or H.R. 200. It’s also referred to as the Modern Fish Act. Its author, Rep. Don Young, says the bill would update and improve the Magnuson Stevens Act, the primary law that guides federal fisheries regulators. “Reauthorizing the MSA will ensure a proper balance between the biological needs of fish stocks and the economic needs of fishermen and coastal communities,” Young said after the House Natural Resources Committee approved his bill in December. “MSA has not been reauthorized since 2006. It is long past time for this Congress to act and support our nation’s fisheries.” >click to read< Read the HR-200 Bill->click here< 08:39

Lets get every Rep. in the House to Co-Sponsor “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act” S1322

Greetings from Gloucester! My name is Sam Parisi, and as some of you know, I have been concerned with the process of how S-K Funds, and distribution of the funds have been handled by NOAA.
I have asked our Senators to support Bill S1322 and I am happy to say thanks to Angela Sanfilppo, The Mayor of Gloucester, The Mass Lobster Association, the Gloucester Fisheries Commission and fisherman up and down the coast that have contacted Senator Markey who is on the committee, and is now with us in support of this important the bill, which will be going to the House.,, I ask all of you to contact your Congressmen and Senators in your area’s to tell them to vote in favor Senator Dan Sullivan’s bill, the “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act”, S1322. >click to read<18:01

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 22, 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

Commerce Secretary allocates $200 million fishery disaster funding

Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allocated $200 million in disaster funding appropriated by Congress to help fishermen and the businesses and communities that rely upon them to recover and rebuild following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. Funding has also been appropriated and allocated for the disasters that devastated the West Coast and Alaska fishermen from 2014 to 2017. >click to read<10:03

11 shark fins, dismembered sharks found aboard boat near South Sound Creek

The U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel seized 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks Monday that were found aboard a 40-foot commercial fishing boat near South Sound Creek, Coast Guard officials announced Tuesday in a news release.  Authorities said an FWC officer first spotted the boat, dubbed Miss Shell, off South Sound Creek because of its improper display of navigation lights.  Authorities said they found 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks aboard the boat. The boat was then escorted to Port Largo. The catch was seized and handed over to NOAA officials Tuesday. >click to read<16:15

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 15, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA <click here>08:21

Commentary: Questions abound with industrial oyster farm bill, It’s dirty – plain and simple.

Wonder what all the heartburn is about with the oyster restoration bill sponsored by local legislators Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, and Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Dare? It’s dirty – plain and simple. And although the who, what and how parts are now visible, there are a ton of questions about various entities that are yet to be answered. The North Carolina Coastal Federation is taking the heat for the oyster aquaculture bill, H361, that contains a few needed fixes but primarily was written to benefit one company – a foreign company with a murky record in other states where it does business. But the Coastal Federation and the collaboratory that was appointed to map out a plan to grow the state’s oyster industry didn’t write the bill. >click to read<10:14

Tuna ruined his life, then saved it

Nobody knows more about the ups and downs of the fish industry than Dennis Gore. Riding high, he was one of the most successful tuna buyers in the world. At the bottom, he was bankrupt, depressed and loathed by commercial fishing captains he couldn’t afford to pay. At one point, his Rainbow Connections company was “doing $9 million in sales a year, mostly selling bluefin to Japan.” On the other end, he was sitting in his living room, “smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead.”For years Gore refused to talk about it. “I’ve kept all this inside of me for so long, and it’s been eating at me,” he said while sitting on a picnic table at O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in this sleepy little fishing and boat-building village. >click to read<16:30

Shrimp pass hard-shell crabs as North Carolina’s most lucrative seafood

Hard shell blue crabs had been the state’s leading seafood in pounds caught and in dockside value for decades. They still lead in pounds caught, but shrimp have taken over for the first time as the most lucrative seafood in North Carolina. Last year’s shrimp value came in at $29.6 million, besting crabs by nearly $12 million. In 2016, the shrimp sold for $28.2 million, again beating crabs. The 2017 shrimp catch reached 13.9 million pounds and 13.2 million pounds the year before that. Both years set new records. Hard crabs are being overfished, said Jason Rock, a state marine fisheries biologist.,,, Commercial fishermen disagree with the state’s alarm. >click to read< 12:03