Category Archives: South Atlantic

Subtropical Storm Alberto Public Advisory

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 26.3 North, longitude 84.4 West. The storm is moving toward the north near 15 mph (24 km/h). A turn toward the north-northwest at a slower forward speed is forecast tonight. A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected Tuesday through early Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will cross the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico today and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area tonight or Monday. Heavy rainfall and tropical storm conditions will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast well before the arrival of the center of Alberto. Alberto is expected to move northward into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday. >click to read<08:24

F/V Big Earl – Shrimp boat on Holden Beach finally back in the ocean

A shrimp boat that called the Holden Beach shoreline home for the past week is free. With the help of an excavator and high tide, Big Earl was dislodged from the beach Thursday morning and slowly made its way out into the ocean. “It was a miracle, like a baby giraffe being born, I was like come on Earl, go go go, don’t let the lines break,” said Sheila King, a vacationer who has been watching the beach boat for a week. (the people really rallied behind the fisherman, and I would say Big Earl is now an Ambassador.) Video, >click to read<19:06

2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries NMFS is pleased to present the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries managed under the science-based framework established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The 2017 report highlights the work toward the goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities. Due to the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and other partners, three previously overfished stocks were rebuilt and the number of stocks listed as overfished is at a new all-time low. >click to read<16:04

Washington must come to grips with offshore wind conflicts

Offshore wind energy developers have momentum building for them in East Coast waters. But other maritime industries want to ease up on the throttle. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently held another round of public meetings in New Jersey and New York, gathering information for what could be a future round of lease offerings in the New York Bight. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has promised to help fast track future permitting. .,,, Commercial fishermen have a case in federal court over the Statoil lease, and litigation seems certain to reignite.  “We have the Magnuson Act (federal fisheries law) because we want to have American fishing grounds for American fishermen,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for fishing company Seafreeze Ltd., North Kingstown, R.I. “BOEM is plowing ahead regardless. They have not slowed down.” >click to read<22:42

Community pitches in to help get shrimp boat back out to sea

Five days and still no change. Shrimp boat Big Earl has been stuck on Holden Beach since last week is still there. Captain Virgil Coleman was hoping tonight was the night to get the boat back to sea. he tide this morning didn’t help dislodge the boat from the sand as the captain had hoped. Coleman says they have been digging a trench all around the boat Tuesday but was unsuccessful of getting the boat back out during high tide this evening.>click to read<12:44

How stone crab season survived a hurricane

The lobster season ended for many before it really had much of a chance to begin. But for those who fish both stone crabs and lobster, high market prices for stone crabs and steady production this season, which ends this week, was what they needed to stay afloat after Irma. The hurricane had displaced or destroyed anywhere from half to a third of the 350,000 lobster traps fished in the Keys during the season that runs from Aug. 6 to March 31. “It wasn’t a great season, and it wasn’t a terrible season,” George Niles, Lower Keys commercial trap fisherman said,,, >click to read<16:46

Senate Should Confirm Barry Myers to Lead NOAA

NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – needs its leader! President Trump nominated Barry Lee Myers, the CEO of AccuWeather, to the post in mid-October. The Senate Commerce Committee has twice advanced Myers’ nomination to the full Senate. All that’s needed to fill this important job is a majority vote on the Senate floor, which both Democrats and Republicans expect to happen. Unfortunately, partisan politics keeps getting in the way, delaying the vote. >click to read<10:06

Portuguese fishermen helped launch Georgia shrimp industry

Wild Georgia Shrimp had it pretty good around here until the likes of John Martin and Joe Santos arrived on our shores following World War I. These two men were among the early wave of Portuguese refugees who crossed the Atlantic Ocean early in the 20th Century, only to chart a course right back into the sea to reap its bounty. Suddenly, our local shrimp began showing up in large numbers on menus and dinner tables from here to New York City. By the 1930s, the public’s newfound taste for these crustaceans had filled the docks along Brunswick’s East River with shrimp boats, all of them captained and crewed by stout-hearted Old World mariners. Those vessels would include the seven trawlers Joe Santos and partner John Mendes owned jointly in the Union Shrimp Company. >click to read<12:49

Mysterious South Carolina fish with humanlike teeth stumps the internet

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday asked its social media followers to identify a fish with “humanlike incisors.” he department posted a riddle to its Facebook page, which reads: “You’ll need a saltwater fishing license to catch me! I like to hang out near rocks, jetties, reefs, and even bridges … The coolest thing about me? I have human-like incisors and molars to help crush my food. I like shrimp and oysters just like you do!” >click to read<11:19

Zinke Tells Panel Definitive Word on Offshore Drilling Plan Months Away

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday reiterated that no new oil and gas exploration will be allowed off the Florida coast, but said the Trump administration’s plans for other offshore areas won’t be announced until the fall. Zinke appeared before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday to discuss a wide range of budgetary issues. But his talk with lawmakers hit a rough patch when Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., grilled him over the Interior Department’s plans to open up waters around the U.S. for oil exploration. >click to read<20:13

Coast Guard medevacs 57-year-old fisherman 97 miles east of St. Catherines Sound

The Coast Guard medevaced a 57-year-old man Friday from a fishing vessel 97 miles east of St. Catherines Sound. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Sector Charleston Command Center received notification from a crewmember aboard the 72-foot fishing vessel Lady Helena stating a crewmember was suffering from chest pains. A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Savannah arrived on scene at 9:12 a.m., hoisted the crewmember and transported him back to the air station at 9:46 a.m. where EMS was waiting. -USCG-23:12

A thousand days later, why is NOAA still dithering on allowing seismic surveys?

It has been more than a thousand days since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries accepted as “final and complete” the Incidental Harassment Authorization, or IHA, applications needed to take seismic surveys off the Atlantic Coast. Considering that the Marine Mammal Protection Act, or MMPA, requires agencies to issue decisions within 120 days after deeming IHA applications complete, this delay is a shocking policy failure. (This is an oil industry article, with a link to NMFS AA Chris Oliver’s testimony.) >click to read<15:50

Dan Webster’s Sustainable Shark and Fisheries Trade Act Championed in Senate by Marco Rubio, Lisa Murkowski

At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced they would champion in the Senate U.S. Rep. Dan Webster’s, R-Fla., proposal for the U.S. Commerce Department to increase regulation on the international shark trade. Last month, Webster, who is the vice chairman on the U.S. House Water Power and Oceans Subcommittee, unveiled the “Sustainable Shark and Fisheries Trade Act” which modifies the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act. The proposal has support from both sides of the aisle,,, >click to read<09:50

Cold waters, few shrimp means delay in South Carolina season opening

Two years ago, Greg Herald and two partners decided to try to beat the odds. They bought a shrimp boat and began working from Shem Creek. They wanted to become part of the traditional Lowcountry fleet that is struggling just to hang on. Today, the partnership has liquidated. The veteran commercial fisherman among them, Vince Shavender, has gone home to North Carolina. Herald plans to continue selling shrimp from a roadside stand — local catch if he can get it. But last year he traveled as far as North Carolina and Georgia to find enough to sell. The third partner, who bought out the boat, didn’t return phone messages asking if he is still in the shrimping business. >click to read<10:32

ASMFC Spring Meeting in Arlington, VA- April 30 – May 3, 2018

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Spring Meeting will be April 30 – May 3, 2018 at The Westin Crystal City (Telephone: 703.486.1111), located at 1800 South Eads Street, Arlington, VA. Meeting materials are available on the Commission website at http://www.asmfc.org/home/2018-spring-meeting. Supplemental materials will be posted to the website on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The meeting will be broadcast live on the internet, >click to listen<15:08

Commercial Fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone – What was being caught and where back to 1950

What is the status of commercial fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the waters from 3 to 200 miles off our coastline? Generally speaking – something that the “bureaucrats in charge” have developed a great deal of facility in doing – it’s pretty good. Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started getting serious about tracking commercial landings (or at making those landings readily accessible) in 1950, the total weight of our domestic landings has increased from 4.9 billion to 9.8 billion pounds. The value of those landings, when corrected for inflation, has increased from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion, almost as good. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA >click to read<17:03

East Coast offshore drilling just got dumber

Seismic testing for potential offshore oil or gas — long opposed by Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling and City Council — just got dumber. Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce, has been bird-dogging opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing. “Government documents and firsthand accounts of munitions and radioactive waste being dumped off the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts to Florida came to our attention only recently,” Knapp said. On Friday, Knapp sent out a news release with this warning: >click to read<16:26

Bluffton has the last hand-shucking oyster house in SC; owner wants to ‘keep it alive’

A new video shows viewers a Lowcountry maritime tradition that hasn’t changed in more than a century. The video, with sweeping views from high above the May River, puts a spotlight on traditional oyster farming with the Bluffton Oyster Company, reported to be the last hand-shucking oyster house in South Carolina.”Basically what we’re doing now is the exact same methods that were done back in the early 1900s when there were 25 or 30 almost identical places doing the same thing,” the business’ owner Larry Toomer, also Bluffton’s mayor pro tempore, says. Watch the video >click to read<17:23

 

It’s getting harder to reel in a living on the SC coast

Pete Kornack launched his oyster boat into “white knuckle” thick fog on a recent morning and came back with a good harvest, some 16 bushels. The hoist squeaked almost musically pulling the bags of oysters from the boat to the dock. But it wasn’t like the days when Kornack, 50, was young. Crews then would bring back 90 bushels, sometimes shoveling them into the boat. Today, commercial shellfish harvesters like Kornack often have to supplement the living they love by finding other jobs. >click to read<15:54

The Business of Lobster

With one of the fastest growing economies, and an exploding middle class that extends onto the mainland, the Chinese have developed a taste for the better things in life – and Florida lobster is surely one of them. For the lobster, this was the culmination of a 9,000 mile journey – a journey that in recent years has transformed the commercial fishing industry in Florida. Before the Chinese started buying their lobsters, the fishermen of the Florida Keys were getting just $3 a pound for their catch. Boat captains from Key West to Miami were struggling to survive. >click to read< 12:24

Generations to gather for 50th Darien Blessing of the Fleet

Fred Todd was 10 in 1973 when he went to North Carolina with his father, Bobby Todd, to pick up a new shrimp boat, the Sundown. Sunday afternoon, he’ll be aboard the Sundown as grand marshal for Darien’s 50th annual Blessing of the Fleet when the 60-foot boat sails up the Darien River to the U.S. Highway 17 bridge for a sprinkling of holy water and a benediction for full nets and safe passages. He got aboard the Sundown as a worker in 1981 after finishing school. The Sundown will be one of at least 18 commercial fishing boats in the blessing,,, >click to read<01:30

Remember when we lost that hydrogen bomb?

With all the talk of late regarding nuclear bombs from North Korea and Russia and such, I was reminded this week of something I’d heard when I was a kid that you might not know a thing about.
But maybe you should.,, On February 5 of that year a 7,000-pound hydrogen bomb was lost off the Georgia coast. ,,, In this month’s Garden & Gun magazine, a new twist to the lost bomb story arises. It seems a shrimper named Bubba Smith shared a story to his closest friends before he passed away in 2006 that bears retelling. >click to read< 10:07

Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 – bill nets solutions for overfishing

A new bipartisan bill introduced in U.S. Congress this month encourages a science-based approach to significantly reduce the overfishing and unsustainable trade of sharks, rays and skates around the world and prevent shark finning. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Daniel Webster, R-FL, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, along with co-sponsors Rep. Bill Posey, R-FL, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC., >click to read<09:39

Prominent Shrimper found guilty of federal charges

A Tybee Island shrimper and member of a prominent local family was convicted by a federal jury on multiple counts of false statements, mail fraud and money laundering. Michael Brian Anderson, who’s family owns of Scuba Steve’s Seafood on Highway 80, submitted multiple false claims saying he was losing thousands of dollars in his shrimping business. Investigators say Anderson wanted federal money to deal with his losses and cheated the government out of over $800,000. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Anderson claimed to Customs & Border Protection his shrimping business expenses for 2005 to 2007 were more than $24 million. >click to read<11:56

US Shrimp business making slow progress

Despite low dockside prices and other setbacks, local shrimping families say they have hope for this year and those to come, pointing to signs of recovery that are small, but nonetheless seen as positives. The industry got a big shot in the arm earlier this month when President Donald Trump signed into law an appropriations bill that includes money to monitor shrimp coming from other countries into the US, to verify that the companies involved are acting in accordance with US trade laws. >click to read<16:19

Navy, Coast Guard rescue 3 fishermen 63 miles east of Brunswick

The Navy, along with assistance from the Coast Guard rescued three fishermen Tuesday 63 miles southeast of Brunswick, Georgia. Watchstanders at Coast Guard 7th District received a 406 megahertz emergency position indicating radio beacon alert from the 42-foot fishing vessel Barbara Lynn at approximately 3:30 a.m. Watchstanders released an enhanced group calling (EGC) message and launched a Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma crew to the vessel’s last known position. >click to read<12:27

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05

Uninformed vs. Science: The story of swordfish in the Northwest Atlantic is complex and subject to many versions of revisionist histories.

Every once in a while you read something that is so wrong, it sticks with you. A recent statement by the American Sportfish Association, (ASA), published in the Fishing Wire, met and exceeded the mark of just plain wrong. And to compound the affront, several marginalized groups threw in their support for good measure. I know better than to bark at the moon but here goes,,,Uninformed vs. Science. By Edward Gaw >click to read< 14:53

US fisheries’ leader Oliver asserts ‘business-minded’ stance

The US’ top regulatory authority on fishing used his first appearance ever at a Seafood Expo North America (SENA) conference on Sunday to describe how he was reshaping the mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create more of a pro-business environment. Commercial fishermen largely applauded the Donald Trump administration’s selection of Chris Oliver to serve as NOAA’s assistant administrator of fisheries in June 2017. >click to read< 09:41

The US Senate needs to support the AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT, S1322

To all, My name is Joel Hovanesian and I am a commercial fisherman who resides in RI but have held a CT. licence for some 30 years. I have a small inshore vessel now after selling my offshore boat in 2010. I have been dealing with Mike Gambardella since he started in the Borough. I want to bring an issue forward and give insight to some thoughts. I have been an outspoken critic of the way we have been managing our fisheries here in New England and other places on the Eastern Seaboard. We all recognize the fact that regulations need to be in place for obvious reasons, however as often happens when the Federal Government gets involved with things, they have a tendency to take on a life of their own. >click to read<13:36