Category Archives: South Atlantic

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

F/V Jamie Lynn sinking near the mouth of Shem Creek

The Jamie Lynn shrimp boat is currently sinking, positioned southeast of the entrance of Shem Creek in front of the bank of the Old Village. On Wednesday, June 24 residents of the Old Village contacted the Moultrie News about the boat sinking near residential docks. Mount Pleasant Police Department confirmed the U.S. Coast Guard is in charge of the investigation. This is a developing story that will be updated as more information is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. photo’s, >click to read< 14:00

“The most generous guy you’d ever meet.” Friends mourn loss of Virginia Beach boat captain who died trying to save a sea turtle

Bill Jenkins was a man of great energy, passion and commitment, according to those who knew and worked with him. And the 53-year-old husband and father of two grown sons did a lot: Virginia Beach police officer, charter boat captain and owner of a seafood market and commissary kitchen were among the jobs he held. Jenkins died Thursday trying to help a sea turtle in distress. Police said he jumped off his 52-foot fishing boat a couple of miles off Virginia Beach’s shore after seeing the reptile entangled in some rope. >click to read< 17:01

Virginia’s Latest Pricey Boondoggle: Offshore Wind Power

As reported in an earlier article, Virginia’s green electric power plan calls for 5,000 MW of offshore wind generating capacity to be built in the next decade or so. This is a huge amount given that the worldwide total is just around 15,000 MW. We are talking about something like 800 giant windmills, embedded in the ocean floor and sticking hundreds of feet into the air above the water. They will be on the order of one and a half times taller than the Washington Monument, which is really tall. Two features make this offshore wind plan a folly — too little wind and too much wind. Let’s look at too little wind first. >click to read< 15:22

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 19, 2020

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 10:35

Fighting for fishermen on a bi-partisan, bi-coastal basis during Coronavirus crisis – Senator Ed Markey

Restaurants have shuttered and large export markets have been disrupted. Fishermen have lost access to critical points of sale and sources of income. With a decreased demand for fresh seafood, many boats sit idle in port. Meanwhile, boat payments are due and families need to be fed. In the U.S. Senate, I have been fighting on a bipartisan basis alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to secure dedicated economic assistance for the fishing and seafood industries in COVID-19 economic relief packages. Thankfully, this bi-coastal effort got results. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, included $300 million in assistance for fishery participants and $9.5 billion for affected agricultural producers. >click to read< 12:22

Fishermen’s Superstition’s: No bananas! No Whistling! But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!

Luke Whittaker set out to learn whether there are superstitions that live on among local fishermen. Here’s what he heard. Jerry Matzen III, commercial fishermen “Hang your coffee cup mouth towards the stern so you don’t sink. And no whistling in the wheelhouse or cabin — otherwise you’ll whistle up a storm, like we are having today. I learned the coffee cup one from Kerry Suomela Sr. when I worked on the F/V Southern Cross and it always stuck with me.” Tim Teall, commercial fishermen “Well, to begin with, you never want to paint your boat green because it’ll beach itself in a storm. Never set a coffee cup or a bucket on the boat upside down — the boat will roll over! Don’t whistle in the wheelhouse, because it’ll make it get windy out. But above all, it’s bad luck to be superstitious!” >9 photos, click to read<10:41

Shrimp Season begins in Georgia waters

Darrell Gale and his crew hit the Darien River Tuesday night and had an early morning for the start of shrimp harvest season. Gale said he had a good catch, but it could have been better. The captain caught more small fish than he would have liked, but still ended up catching about 1,000 pounds of shrimp. However, that’s 2,000 pounds less than last year’s season opening. “They waited a little long to open the beaches and the smaller shrimps came out. Well…you don’t get as much profit with the smaller shrimps,” Gale said. Video, >click to read< 10:02

Depoe Bay Harbor: “Best Harbor in the U.S.”

The second annual contest to find the best harbor in the U.S. wrapped up on Sunday, May 31, with winners announced shortly thereafter. US Harbors, an online site for tides and weather, providing localized information on more than 1,400 harbors on the coast and Great Lakes,,,, Depoe Bay Harbor captured the most votes, and runners up in this year’s contest were Onset Beach, Mass.; Padanaram/South Dartmouth, Mass. (Best Harbor 2019); Boothbay, Maine; Cuttyhunk, Mass.; and Oriental, N.C.,, Depoe Bay, a picturesque harbor of only six square acres, claims the title of “smallest navigable harbor in the world.” It is both the whale-watching capital of Oregon, and home to a working fishing community. >click to read< 14:25

A Fisherman’s Family

Melba Willis of Harkers Island has been around commercial fishermen her whole life. Her dad, husband and even her father-in-law worked on the water.  She married her husband, Billy, in 1960 and they were together for 54 years before his death approximately six years ago. They had three sons, Kerry, Billy Joe and Stephen. Being married to a commercial fisherman was a hard, yet rewarding life. Melba says they got through the years because they loved each other so. Most years, they made good money to feed their family, but there were what she called “dull” years. This meant that they were always having to be sure to “put back” money in the good years to cover the “dull” ones, the years that the ocean was not good to them. >click to read< 09:47

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 05, 2020

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 23:07

Offshore Fish Farms Opposed

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order the White House said will ‘remove unnecessary regulatory burdens’ and improve America’s seafood industry. But Dr. Ryan Orgera, CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, said the order will fast-track approval for fish farms, which he said don’t belong in our waters. “This would be a way to do things quickly without proper environmental checks,” Orgera said. “I think in 10 years when we’re having fisheries emergencies and the collapse of several stocks, I think we would turn back and say, ‘Why would we do that for a short-term gain?’”One Hawaii fish farm company, Ocean Era (formerly Kampachi Farms), has already applied to put a small, test fish pen in the gulf 40 miles offshore Sarasota. >click to read< 10:09

Oregon Fishing Industry Tells Lawmakers Of Economic Hardships – Murkowski pushes for an another Billion in federal fisheries relief funds

The coronavirus has hit Oregon’s commercial fishing industry hard. That was the message to state lawmakers during a recent meeting of the House Interim Committee on Natural Resources. Anthony Dal Ponte is with Pacific Seafood, which is based in Clackamas and has several facilities on the Oregon coast. He said the company had to lay off more than 500 employees after their restaurant and hospitality industry markets dried up virtually overnight. >click to read<  Meanwhile, Murkowski pushes for an additional $1 billion in federal fisheries relief funds – Additional money could    be on the way for the fishing industry. Senator Lisa Murkowski said that she is working to add more fisheries funding in the next round of pandemic relief legislation. “As we think about the impact to our fisheries, $50 million is not going to be sufficient to address the need,” she said. “I have been working with colleagues to urge us in this next round of relief to include $1 billion in fishery assistance funds.” >click to read< 15:07

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 29, 2020

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 13:06

Jonathan Robinson, commercial fishing advocate, Carteret County Commissioner and former N.C. House member

The county announced Carteret County Commissioner and former N.C. House member Jonathan Robinson, 68, of Atlantic, died late Thursday. In a brief Friday morning release, the county said it is “deeply sadden(ed)” by the commissioner’s death. Mr. Robinson, born in Morehead City into a fishing family, had represented Carteret County’s Down East District 6 on the county board since November 1998. Prior to that, he served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1995-96. He is survived by his daughter, Staci Robinson Rinehardt, son, Mathew Robinson, and a grandson. “His voice for the commercial fishing industry was always based on his own understanding of the people who make up the industry and his unwavering pride in being part of that community,” said Ms. Amspacher. >click to read< 15:53

Legal battle brewing over where shrimp trawlers can fish in North Carolina

One conservation group in North Carolina is taking a stand, saying fish like Gray Trout and Croaker can’t survive if commercial shrimp trawlers are allowed to run their nets in the Pamlico Sound. “We’ve seen a decline in the past 40 years in our fin fish populations, most recently the southern flounder, which is probably the most favorite fish we have here in North Carolina,” said Joe Albea, a spokesperson for the NC Coastal Fisheries Reform Group. A representative from the Division of Marine Fisheries tells Nine on Your Side they have received the notice and are reviewing it. video, >click to read< 19:32

Average forecast as shrimp season opens May 27 in South Carolina

Commercial shrimp trawling will open in all legal South Carolina waters at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Georgia officials have not yet set an opening date for trawling season in their state waters. Shrimping season in South Carolina typically starts in spring with the opening of a small subset of waters, called provisional areas, that allow shrimpers to take advantage of the harvest offshore while still protecting the majority of shrimp that have yet to spawn. This year, following a mild winter, South Carolina’s provisional trawling areas opened unusually early, on April 15, 2020. >click to read< 22:38

NOAA – Their mission

Back in the sixties when I was fishing with my dad we would fish about a one hundred miles east of New Bedford for whiting in the spring. We had a ninety foot dragger. And there were Russian vessels there that were three hundred foot  and they were using a small mesh net that caught everything in the water. At the time there was no 200 mile limit. The Russians and other foreign vessels could come into our waters and were restricted to within fifteen miles of our coast. Today  no one knows how much damage they did but our fisherman would eventually pay the price. Finally in 1978, we enacted the 200 mile limit. That was great so we thought, but we created a monster. That being NOAA. >click to read< Thank You, Sam Parisi 08:52

“I’m in fear of my livelihood,” “They really don’t listen to us.” Florida shortens stone crab season over industry objections

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the shortened season and other new limits are necessary to sustain Florida stone crabs,,,    The agency’s scientists said many crabs don’t survive their claws being removed, and crabs have been overharvested since the late 1990s. Its data, challenged as inaccurate by the industry, showed the fewest pounds of stone crab claws harvested since 1986 during the season that ended last year.  Wholesale claw prices in some areas have tanked from low demand, as diners avoid restaurants and consumers reduce spending amid concerns about the economy. The commission said Gov. Ron DeSantis may reduce the amount of money crabbers must pay for next season’s trap certificates as part of a crab-industry bailout related to the virus. >click to read or listen< 15:14

For troubled Outer Banks commercial fishing industry, Coronavirus is one more blow. Louisiana, too.

At the state and federal level, increasing regulatory requirements and catch quotas, fueled in part by aggressive lobbying of elected officials by the well-funded recreational fishing industry, have caused even more commercial fishermen to leave the industry. And now COVID-19 strikes another blow to the solar plexus of an industry that, no pun intended, can barely keep its collective heads above water. And interviews with two local operations — of distinctly different sizes — help shed light on how the COVID crisis has affected the Outer Banks’ commercial fisheries. Mark Vrablic of the Willie R Etheridge Seafood Company, one of the last remaining large-scale seafood distributors in Wanchese, minced no words when he described the losses created by the worldwide pandemic.  >click to read< 19:15

Shrimp industry in Louisiana hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic – Shrimp processors are shut down and the baskets that are usually filled are empty. Brown shrimp season started on Monday, and so far it hasn’t been good. “Absolutely terrible, last year I had 42 boats going out during brown shrimp season, this year I only have 9 boats,” said Craig Napoli, C&A Seafood. >click to read<

Eight Projects Selected for S-K Funding – Here we go again! Fisherman get the shaft, thanks to NOAA

To those fisherman who put in an application for Saltonstall-Kennedy Program Funding money, I feel badly for you who were not selected. Again, NOAA gave the money to universities, foundations, and other special interests and not you, who it should be for. Unfortunately for those who applied, this has been going on for years under NOAA’s selection of those that apply. I believe when authored by Senators Leverett Saltonstall (R-Mass.) and John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 1954 to promote and market domestic seafood, that they didn’t think our fisherman would be left out. Two years ago, I was chosen by NOAA to serve on a panel to review those who applied.,, by Sam Parisi, >click to read< including the press release. 19:12

Captain David Vincent Haynie Sr., Reeadville Va.

David Vincent Haynie, Sr., age 81, of Reedville died Sunday, May 17 from complications of lung cancer. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Capt. E. Vincent Haynie and Frances Armsworthy Haynie. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, their children and grand children, family, and friends. His maritime career began at age 16 rowing the striker boat on his father’s menhaden fishing vessel in Lewes, DE. He owned and was captain on his trawler F/V Lady Jennifer operating from Texas to New Hampshire. He was a menhaden fish spotter from 1965 to 1974 and a well respected captain serving on numerous menhaden vessels for 31 years on the Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 07:56

A group threatens a lawsuit over NC shrimping rules

A group pushing for changes to North Carolina’s commercial fishing rules sent formal notice last week that it plans to sue the state and one of the largest shrimping companies on the coast. The N.C. Coastal Fisheries Reform Group said that after “over a decade of unsuccessful attempts to engage in meaningful fisheries management reform dialog” with multiple governors, lawmakers and state officials it was filing a notice of claim under the Federal Clean Water Act. That starts a 60-day clock ahead of a lawsuit. The group said in a news release that, with another shrimping season approaching, time is of the essence. >click to read< 12:00

UPDATED: Coast Guard sets Port Condition Yankee for Port of Morehead City, N.C.

The Captain of the Port for North Carolina set Port Condition Yankee for the Port of Morehead City at 2 p.m., Sunday, and anticipates setting Port Condition Zulu at 10 p.m. Port Condition Yankee closes the identified port to inbound traffic without permission from the Captain of the Port. All affected vessels are encouraged to seek an alternative destination. Owners of pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 34 mph or when an evacuation is in progress. Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport Site. The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages: >click to read< 19:54

Captain of the Port reopens Port of Morehead City, N.C. – The Port of Morehead City has been returned to the Seasonal Alert port condition and is reopened to all vessel traffic. For guidance on specific issues or questions, contact Sector North Carolina at 910-343-3880.

Coast Guard assists fishing vessel taking on water 60 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C.

The Coast Guard assisted a vessel taking on water 60 miles southeast of Charleston, Thursday. A Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew transferred a dewatering pump to the vessel and a Coast Guard Station Charleston 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew transported the two crew members ashore once the vessel flooding was secured. Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center watchstanders received a report at 10:20 p.m. via VHF Channel 16 from the Norris L, a 44-foot fishing vessel, stating they were taking on water with two people aboard. >click to read< 13:37

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 15, 2020

The General Assembly gets back into work mode next week, allowing for the public to also access the two legislative buildings, although using safety measures. Temps will be taken for all entering the buildings and they ask that those attending only do so if necessary. Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 11:37

Coast Guard medevacs Fisherman 5 miles east of Fernandina Beach

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center watchstanders received a medevac request via VHF Channel 16 at 4:50 p.m. from the AMG stating a crew member had sustained a head injury. The Coast Guard medevaced a man from the AMG, a 77-foot fishing vessel, approximately 5 miles east of Fernandina Beach, Thursday. The Coast Guard Cutter Sea Dog crew embarked the man and safely transported him to Dee Dee Bartels Public Boat Ramp where EMS was waiting and transferred him to the Nassau County Trauma Air Unit. >click to read< 19:46

Coast Guard medevacs fisherman near Winyah Bay, Wednesday

A Coast Guard Station Georgetown 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew embarked the man and conducted a hoist with a Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew who safely transported the man to Georgetown Memorial Hospital for further medical care. Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center watchstanders received a medevac request at 8:20 p.m. via VHF-Channel 16 from the operator of the Lillie Jane, a 65-foot fishing vessel, reporting a crew member had fallen and suffered a head injury. The RB-M crew and Dolphin aircrew were in the area conducting training and diverted to assist. Once on scene, the RB-M crew embarked the man, and the Dolphin aircrew safely conducted the hoist. -USCG- 14:19

Trump Executive Order Opens the Door for Massive Industrial Fish Farms in Oceans

Last week, the Trump administration announced an executive order opening the door for large-scale fish farming. That order, as reported by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), is designed at its core to expand the scope and facilities for aquaculture. What that likely means is a reduction in regulations, and the creation of large offshore fish farms.,, While offshore fish farms would be a boon to major seafood corporations, smaller fishermen would be harmed by it in several ways. Those environmental effects could deplete the health of wild waters, which fishermen depend on. They could also flood the market with cheaper farmed fish, harming the demand for more sustainably caught seafood.  >click to read< 08:04