Category Archives: South Atlantic

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

Fishing for White, Brown, and Pink Shrimp is Now Open Off South Carolina in Federal Waters

Federal waters adjacent to South Carolina state waters are open to fishing for white, brown, and pink shrimp as of 4:15 p.m., local time, June 13, 2018. South Carolina state waters remain closed until the state determines an appropriate reopening date. South Carolina closed its state waters to all shrimping on January 10, 2018, due to a prolonged period of water temperatures at or below 9°C in the region. South Carolina requested NOAA Fisheries close federal waters off South Carolina to shrimping. The federal closure was effective January 17, 2018. >click to read<18:17

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom

The Trump administration is “bullish” about offshore wind, working with governors in the Northeast to transform what was once a fringe and costly investment into America’s newest energy-producing industry. “When the president said energy dominance, it was made without reference to a type of energy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “It was making sure as a country we are American energy first and that includes offshore wind. There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish.” On a recent tour of coastal states, Zinke found “magnitudes” more interest in offshore wind than oil and natural gas drilling. >click to read<11:20

South Carolina shrimping season may open partially Wednesday

Commercial shrimping in waters off the South Carolina coast could resume on a limited scale as early as this week, but don’t expect an abundance of the coveted white “roe” shrimp. Mel Bell, marine fisheries director for the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources, says the fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) likely will open federal waters to commercial shrimp trawling this week, possibly as early as Wednesday. Bell says DNR asked NOAA last week to reopen federal waters, which start about three miles offshore,,, >click to read<10:44

N.C. Fisheries bills may not get heard before legislature adjourns

State legislators are getting a crash course in commercial fisheries due to the variety of fishing issues addressed in a pair of bills filed in the short session. But time is running out for those proposals to be heard in the N.C. General Assembly, as lawmakers plan to wrap up their work as soon as the end of this week. House Bill 1049, sponsored by Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, seeks to replace two at-large seats on the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission.,,, House Bill 1063, sponsored by Rep. Larry Yarborough, R-Granville, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin and Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, seeks to restructure the commercial fishing license program and in doing so would take a huge step toward limited entry. >click to read<15:30

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 8, 2018

>Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >Click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA <click here>09:14

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Fort Lauderdale, June 10-15, 2018

The public is invited to attend the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to be held at the Bahia Mar Doubletree by Hilton, 801 Seabreeze Boulevard. Fort Lauderdale, FL. Complete Agenda >click here< for details Webinar Registration: >Listen Live, Click here< To visit the SAFMC >click here< 17:08

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

Bob Jones Retires After 54 Years as E.D. of Southeastern Fisheries Association

After 54 years serving as the leader of the Southeastern Fisheries Association, Executive Director Bob Jones is retiring from SFA by the end of 2018. The SFA Board of Directors has begun the process to search for qualified candidates to be the next leader of the SFA organization. The SFA Board of Directors and Jones will continue to lead the organization during this transition. The open and honest interaction Jones has had with all the seafood industry stakeholders gave credence to the impact Southeastern Fisheries Association has on saving the commercial fishing culture because of the importance of producing seafood for the United States of America. >click to read<10:59

Blame the cold winter: There’s still no date for the opening of South Carolina shrimp season

South Carolina’s commercial shrimp season — already nearly a month behind its average opening date — might not open any time soon. The bright spot is that a delayed spring season usually turns into a good fall catch. S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologists began another round of sample trawls Tuesday checking whether the spring shrimp had spawned and whether the summer crop had grown to good size. Off Charleston, they found a mixed net.,,, Shem Creek shrimper Tommy Edwards, who took the biologists offshore, still found a reason for some optimism. >click to read<12:46

Coast Guard rescues 3 after fishing vessel sinks off Myrtle Beach

Coast Guard crews rescued three fishermen Friday after their fishing vessel sank 45 miles east of Myrtle Beach. The fishermen reported their 33-foot fishing vessel, Aunt T, was sinking and had to abandon ship into their life raft.Coast Guard Sector Charleston Command Center watchstanders were notified by an emergency position indicating radio beacon activation and later connected via satellite phone with one of the fishermen stating the situation at 12 a.m. A Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched and hoisted the fisherman from their life raft at approximately 1:19 a.m. They were taken to Myrtle Beach International Airport where EMS was waiting. >click to read<08:45

Chatham County requests disaster declaration for shrimpers

In a letter sent Tuesday to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Chatham County Commission Chairman Albert J. Scott makes the request citing the fact that federal waters were closed to shrimping over the winter and spring because of unusually cold water. The closure, which affected the shrimping area from 3 to 200 miles offshore, was meant to protect the remaining population of spawning shrimp after an expected die off from the cold. State waters closest to shore have also been closed since mid-January, though that’s a typical closure. Scott recognized the necessity of the closure but said it still imposed a hardship. ″ >click to read<16:21

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