Category Archives: South Atlantic

Coast Guard establishes temporary maritime emergency contact numbers for North Carolina

Sept. 12, 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Hurricane Florence Response Contact: Hurricane Response Media Operations Centers Hampton Roads/Elizabeth City: (757) 295-8435 North Carolina: (252) 515-0895 – Members of the public should follow all local advisories for evacuation and for seeking safe harbor throughout North Carolina as Hurricane Florence progresses. The primary number for help should be 911, as this number allows first responders to coordinate rescues across agencies. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina has established temporary maritime search and rescue phone numbers. >click to read new contact information< 19:05

NWS National Hurricane Center – Hurricane Florence Advisory Update 500 PM EDT

500 PM EDT Wed Sep 12 2018 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL …FLORENCE MOVING STEADILY TOWARD THE CAROLINA COASTAL AREAS… LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL EXPECTED… LOCATION…30.9N 72.5W ABOUT 385 MI…615 KM SE OF WILMINGTON NORTH CAROLINA ABOUT 420 MI…675 KM ESE OF MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…120 MPH…195 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 16 MPH…26 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…949 MB…28.03 INCHES >click to read<17:48

Observe Hurricane Florence live from Coast Guard Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower

Want an up-close look at Hurricane Florence? Watch the video below to see live footage from an old Coast Guard light tower, 32 miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. If current storm projections are correct, that won’t be far from where Florence makes landfall. One camera, mounted on the tower’s helipad about 100 feet above the water, should capture long views, along with the hurricane-force winds whipping the American flag. Richard Neal, a software sales engineer from south Charlotte, is now the principal owner of the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower. Neal bought the tower at government auction for $85,000 in 2010. Frying Pan Ocean Cam powered by EXPLORE.org Live >click to watch<17:22

NWS National Hurricane Center – Hurricane Florence Advisory Update

At 500 PM, the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by satellite near latitude 27.5 North, longitude 67.1 West. Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h). A motion toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected through early Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday.,,, Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph (220 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is a category 4 hurricane,,, Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). >click to read<17:23

Tybee shrimper sentenced to more than six years in federal prison

A Tybee Island shrimper and fisherman has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for making fraudulent claims for losses from foreign competition, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Georgia. Michael Brian Anderson was convicted by a federal jury on March 22 for three counts of false statements, four counts of mail fraud, and two counts of money laundering. U.S. District Senior Judge William T. Moore Jr. imposed sentence imposed sentence Aug. 30, ordering Anderson to 77 months in prison and $818,234 in restitution. >click to read<11:24

National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Florence Public Advisory

At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 24.9 North, longitude 58.9 West. Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur Wednesday night or Thursday. On the
forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday. >click to read<09:17

Red tide and green slime: Florida faces epic statewide fight with algae

We may smell it first, warned environmentalist Rae Ann Wessel. She was right. Along a wall of mangroves, the stench last week advertised of something to be buried. It was a greeting to Fort Myers’ algae horrors. Green slime and red tide are invading the Fort Myers region’s inshore and offshore waters, slaughtering marine life and threatening a more sinister outcome: Toxins produced by a green-slime variety may link to neurodegenerative illnesses, say some scientists who are investigating. For decades, Florida’s watery environment has been sickened by pollution from septic and sewer systems, storm water and fertilizer from landscaping and agriculture. That “nutrient” pollution, with nitrogen and phosphorus flavors,,, Video, >click to read<14:24

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 31, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<17:14

An evening on an Outer Banks shrimp boat with Dana Beasley

For those familiar with how shrimp are harvested, the boats we are most likely to see, especially just off the beach and in deeper sound waters are the larger trawlers,,, But many North Carolina commercial shrimp boats are more modest, and they’re joined by a handful of recreational shrimpers who are allowed to harvest a small amount for personal use only. Most, but not all small-boat commercial shrimpers also work other species of shellfish and finfish. Dana Beasley is no exception. Beasley is 100 percent local, born and raised in Colington. The waterman knows his trade, and generations of his family have worked the waters around Colington and beyond to supply fresh fish to local markets and restaurants. Video, >click to read<10:35

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 24, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<13:08

Senate MSA reauthorization a step back for fishing communities

In July, the House passed H.R. 200 the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” a much needed update of federal fisheries law that allows for both sustainable fisheries management and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities. Unfortunately, its counterpart bill making its way through the Senate would likely have the opposite effect. The Senate bill, S.1520, or the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018,” introduces changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA)—the main law governing U.S. fisheries—that would impose increasingly burdensome regulations on American fishermen and undermine H.R. 200’s goal of increasing flexibility in fisheries management. >click to read<17:51

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 17, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<08:20

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for Aug 10, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<11:12

Marshallberg man builds new shrimp boat

Down East native Zack Davis hopes his recent boatbuilding project will help keep the tradition alive in the area. A teacher at East Carteret High School, Mr. Davis recently built a shrimping boat with some help from friends, family and students. “It’s named the Addie and Dallas,” Mr. Davis said about the boat, which is 56 feet long and 18 feet wide. “That’s after my daughter and little boy.” Although Mr. Davis describes the boat as mid-sized, he said he used a relatively new method of boat construction called cold molding. “It’s really a new style,” Mr. Davis said. >click to read<18:51

Double murderer’s cocaine case likely headed for trial

A man sentenced to life in prison in December for killing a Florida Keys couple in the fall of 2015 has so far rejected a plea offer for a cocaine trafficking conspiracy charge connected to the same case. If Jeremy Macauley, 35, doesn’t take the plea deal prosecutors offered him in May, the drug case will go to trial next month, and the names of others possibly involved in bringing more than a dozen kilos of cocaine to shore the summer before the murders will likely be discussed during testimony.  Macauley was a charter boat mate on a fishing vessel docked at Whale Harbor Marina in Windley Key at the time of the slayings. Detectives and prosecutors say the cocaine was found offshore by Macauley and his charter boat captain boss, Rick Rodriguez >click to read<

Mount Pleasant builder has background to save Shem Creek shrimp dock

Brett Elrod was 11 when he took his first job at the Shem Creek shrimp docks, shoveling ice onto a conveyor belt to move to the boats. That meant keeping up with the moving belt.,, Elrod’s situation now isn’t too far removed. The man who holds the fate of the creek’s Wando shrimp dock doesn’t want it all in his hands. He wants “everybody to pitch in together,” he said, to remake the place.,, “If everybody puts in their two cents and their ideas, I think they could have the whole thing for shrimping,” he said. >click to read<20:16

Will South Carolina shrimp season delay pay off with big crop this fall?

The first of the fall white shrimp are coming in — and they’re coming in surprisingly big. Shrimpers and customers are edgily anticipating these next few months as they await the bounty harvest that makes or breaks a season. But whether big shrimp this early is a good sign is anybody’s guess after this year’s opening was delayed and the summer catch was spotty. “Who knows? This has been such a wacky season,” said Rutledge Leland of Carolina Seafoods in McClellanville. Big fall shrimp this early could mean there just aren’t that many of them out there, he said. But Shem Creek shrimper Tommy Edwards thinks the early shrimp are promising after the relentless July storms. Rains promote algae and zooplankton, which shrimp feed on. >click to read<19:47

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for Aug 3, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<13:34

Florida lobster fishermen testy on trade

Just as they prepare for a crucial harvest in the wake of Hurricane Irma, lobster fishermen in the Florida Keys fear a trade war with China could undermine storm recovery in the island chain. Florida’s nearly eight-month commercial spiny lobster fishing season opens Monday. Keys fishermen had hoped the harvest would help them recoup losses from last September’s hurricane, which made landfall in the Keys with 130 mph winds.,, “Hopefully the tariffs will get figured out because you can’t run your boat and not make money, especially after a hurricane year when you’ve lost so much,” Piton said in a recent interview outside his Key Largo home, where he docks his boat, “Risky Business II.” >click to read<12:49

U.S. Rep Darren Soto’s Billfish Conservation Act cuts consumer access to sustainable fresh seafood

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is disappointed that America’s seafood consumers may soon be deprived of sustainably harvested domestic marlin products should President Trump sign legislation to prohibit interstate commerce of billfish (not including swordfish) landed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto ’s (D-Fla.), passed the House on June 26 and the Senate on July 30 and is now headed to the president. “It is upsetting, in this era of tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the $12 billion US seafood trade deficit, that highly monitored US Pacific Island fishing and seafood communities may suffer hardship should this legislation become law,” notes Kitty M. Simonds, executive director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. >click to read<10:34

Nort Carolina: New shrimping rules slowly migrate through sea of bureaucracy

Almost two years after it surfaced, a proposal to radically curtail commercial shrimping is crawling through the state’s rule-making process. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation petitioned the Marine Fisheries Commission for the new rules in November 2016, and after modifications, the panel accepted the request on Feb. 16, 2017. Several changes would cripple the shrimp trawling industry, critics say, and would raise the size limit on spot and croaker so high that they would effectively eliminate both fisheries for recreational and commercial fishermen. But the rule-making part isn’t on the horizon yet. >click to read<09:30

Mount Pleasant developer to buy one of Shem Creek’s last shrimping docks

One of the last shrimp boat docks on Shem Creek might be saved. Or it might be developed out from underneath the boats, as some fear. Builder and Mount Pleasant resident Brett Elrod has stepped in to buy the Wando dock at the mouth of Shem Creek. Elrod said he plans to work with the community developing the property while maintaining a dock and facilities for shrimp boats.,, But the East Cooper Land Trust, which had been trying to raise money to buy the property, is not convinced and is not partnering with Elrod in the effort. Director Catherine Main said the trust is skeptically optimistic. >click to read<15:16

Save Shem Creek Corp. won’t fundraise until Land Trust offer accepted – >click to read<

Lawmakers urge more FDA inspections of imported seafood, win approval

An effort to increase the amount of imported seafood the U.S. inspects for health issues has crossed a hurdle in the Senate. Louisiana’s two Republican senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, won approval of a measure that would add $3.1 million the FDA’s budget for such testing. Shrimpers in Terrebonne and Lafourche, joined by their peers in other states, have pushed for the measure,, The group represents shrimp fishermen and processors in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Video >click to read<17:48

Shrimp Tales

It’s the middle of June, and Buddy Davis’ trawler is tied up at the family’s fish house on the banks of the New River in Sneads Ferry. There’s plenty to do around the dock — boats to paint, nets and equipment to repair or replace, general maintenance to make sure everything is operating like it’s supposed to when it’s time to go out. Davis is 77, but he still does much of the work himself. “From daylight to dusk, he’s finding something to do,” says Stevie Davis, one of Buddy’s three shrimping sons. But it’s not where he wants to be. At this time last year — and the year before that, and the year before that — he was out shrimping. But in the early summer of 2018, it’s not worth leaving the dock. by Simon Gonzalez>click to read< >click to read virtual article with images<16:15

Council for Sustainable Fishing – SAFMC Efforts to decrease the number of charter and headboats

Charter and headboat operators are now living one of these horror movies as the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council once again moves forward with limiting the number of for-hire snapper-grouper permits, this time through Snapper-Grouper Amendment 47. And now the SAFMC is not just talking about limiting the number of charter and headboats, they are now talking about decreasing the number. This has nothing to do with fishery sustainability. A limited-entry fishery is the first step toward a catch share fishery, one that will set up a “stock market” for permits. >click to read, comment<14:21

Highly Regulated: U.S. protects alpha predators, but its most famous shark hunter isn’t out of business yet.

Better known as Mark the Shark, Quartiano might be America’s most famous seafaring hunter. He’s operated his charter business since 1976, hooking and killing, by his estimate, at least 50,000 sharks. Clients as varied as Clint Eastwood and the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders call him if they want a set of jaws, a trophy catch to mount, or just an adrenaline-packed excursion. Some 120,000 people follow his exploits on Instagram. Quartiano, 64, says he’d like nothing better than to hand the whole thing over to his son, Maverick, now 12, when he’s ready to retire. But Quartiano’s way of life might be as threatened as the creatures he’s famous for catching. >click to read<17:54

How to turn around our local shrimping industry

Given the harsh local winter and hampered shrimp season this year, a more generous and innovative local community of seafood customers is required for shrimpers to survive. In fact, it’s the cheap, penny-pinching, wholesale-seeking shrimp customers who are mostly to blame for Lowcountry shrimp fleets going away. So many sing, shag, and smile from ear-to-ear each year at the Blessing of The Fleet and at every shrimping fundraiser –– yet these same people berate area shrimpers mercilessly for lower and lower prices all season long. That dog will never hunt… Here is a roster of solutions that will add years to the economic sustainability of the local shrimping industry as a Lowcountry seafood offering: >click to read<13:25

Many are injured on the job, most lack health insurance. Meet the cowboys of the sea.

North Carolina fishermen work long hours, and many fish alone. When harvesting shrimp, they can stay out on the water four to five days at a time. Broken bones and lacerations are common. Fishermen are disproportionately affected by skin cancer. The majority complain of back pain. Other lose limbs, even as many don’t have health insurance. Some die by drowning. One hurricane or unexpected cold front can move their crop. The stakes are high. But they don’t think about these things much and they didn’t see why a health care reporter was interested in talking to them, even as they admitted health care concerns have changed how many approached their fishing careers. For Glenn Skinner, 45, fishing is freedom. It’s in his blood. He’s a fourth generation fisherman from Carteret County and has been on fishing boats since he was 4 years old. >click to read<09:04

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