Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Rare fish with ‘feet’ caught off the west coast of Ireland

A bizarre fish with feet has been found off the coast of Ireland. The sea toad, which is usually found in the depths of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, was landed by the Kerry trawler Cú Na Mara on the Porcupine Bank. The pink fish has evolved “feet” so it can tiptoe across the ocean bed. It came to the attention of millions of astounded TV viewers when it featured on David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet. ,,, “It’s the same skipper, Patrick Flannery, who landed one in 1988 from the Porcupine Bank and this one has come in from the Porcupine Bank.” >click to read<21:37

In the Gulf, Record breaking May reverses poor shrimp landings in first third of 2018 in the Gulf

16.2 million pounds of shrimp was landed in the Gulf of Mexico last month, the highest volume reported for the month since 2009. 3.6 million pounds of shrimp was landed in Texas, with another 1.5 million pounds of shrimp landed in Alabama. Both represent the highest amounts of shrimp landed in these states for the month of May since the Southern Shrimp Alliance began tracking this data in 2002. 10.4 million pounds of shrimp was landed in Louisiana last month, up from 7.9 million pounds in May of 2017 and 6.1 million pounds in May of 2016. In fact, landings in Louisiana last month were the highest for any May since 2013. >click to read<14:59

Subtropical Storm Alberto Public Advisory

At 730 PM CDT (0030 UTC), the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 28.4 North, longitude 85.7 West. The storm is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A northwest to north-northwest motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected overnight. A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected Monday through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Alberto will move over the northern Gulf of Mexico tonight and cross the northern Gulf Coast in the warning area on Monday. Alberto is expected to move inland into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and into the Ohio Valley on Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Little additional strengthening is expected before Alberto reaches the northern Gulf Coast. >click to read<21:13

Local fisherman, FGCU student finds message in a bottle at sea, collects $10,000 diamond

One month after jeweler Mark Loren dropped three messages in a bottle from a helicopter into the Gulf of Mexico, a local fisherman has claimed the first prize. Wesley Skinner, 22, a commercial fisherman and senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, spotted the light green glass bottle floating at sea, about 30 miles offshore northwest of Sanibel Island. The water was extremely calm that day, Skinner recalled, and after seeing an object bobbing in the water, asked the captain turn around so he could take a closer look. He didn’t immediately uncork the bottle, though,,, >click to read<18:22

Opponents of ultra-deep BP wells off N.S. coast speaking at SMU

Eight years ago on an April evening, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers, injuring 17 more and leaking nearly five million barrels of oil into the ocean off the U.S. coast. The wellhead blowout — a combination of human error and mechanical and design insufficiencies — caused the largest oil spill in history, cost billions of dollars to mitigate, and some experts say resulted in irreparable damage to the surrounding ecosystem. With BP now approved to drill up to seven deepwater exploration wells off the coast of Nova Scotia, some are wondering if the province is at risk of its own Deepwater disaster.>click to read<11:54

Coast Guard responders “harmed by chemicals used to clean up BP’s spill”

Sometimes, there is absolutely nothing worse than being proven right. It is the one thing you dreaded. Ever since the horrendous Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, I and many others warned against using the toxic chemical called Corexit arguing that it would do more damage than good. The potential evidence of harm, or lack of evidence of its safety, was clear for everyone from BP to the US Government to see to if they had bothered to look. Nearly one million gallons of the dispersant was dropped by air and a further 770,000 gallons injected into the well head to try and disperse in excess of 200 million gallons of oil that was spilt by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read<13:21

Missing fishermen found clinging to capsized vessel in the Gulf

The Coast Guard has concluded its search for an overdue vessel with two people aboard, Tuesday. The boaters were located clinging to the hull of their capsized vessel by a good Samaritan vessel, Lady Tierny, approximately 18 miles south-southeast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The Lady Tierny transported the survivors to emergency medical services in Port Fourchon. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that a 23-foot white Mako commercial fishing vessel with two people aboard, last known to be approximately 10 miles west of the Southwest Pass jetties in the Gulf of Mexico, did not return when expected. >link< 10:02

2017 Gulf Shrimp Landings: Louisiana At Historic Lows, Alabama At Historic Highs

NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Data Management division released information regarding December shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico. In December, the commercial fishing industry landed 6.6 million pounds of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico, up from 5.8 million pounds in December of 2016. Despite the significant increase from 2016, landings last month were 23.4 percent below the prior seventeen-year historic average for December of 8.7 million pounds. >click here to read< 10:32

Invasive Shrimp Grows to More Than a Pound in TX Waters

Did you know there are shrimp in Texas that can grow to weigh more than a pound? The black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) or tiger shrimp is an aggressive mollusk that can grow to a foot in length and weigh a pound according to Texas Invasive Species Institute. “In addition to it’s unusually large size, it can be identified by black stripes across the dorsal side of the tail. It can also be black in body color with orange stripes on it’s back, resembling a tiger.” >click here to read< 13:06

Grant program could increase Gulf aquaculture

A new method is being tried to increase seafood production through the use of aquaculture. The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission is awarding grants totaling $450,000 for new and unique aquaculture projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The projects will range in size from $50,000 to $100,000 and will be given out starting in April to qualified projects. Oysters are already being grown, but these new projects would be in deep water and concentrate on fish. click here to read the story 18:41

How many red snapper are actually in the Gulf? These scientists are going to find out

A team of 21 scientists from universities and state and federal agencies will attempt to answer one of the Gulf’s perplexing questions: How many red snapper are there? “American communities across the Gulf of Mexico depend on their access to, as well as the longterm sustainability of, red snapper,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a press release announcing the formation of the team. “I look forward to the insights this project will provide as we study and manage this valuable resource.” The panel convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium was awarded $9.5 million in federal funds for the project through a competitive research grant process and will receive another $2.5 million from the universities. click here to read the story 22:53

2 injured in oil platform fire in Gulf of Mexico

Two people were injured Wednesday morning (Nov. 8) in a fire on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell said. The remaining 46 workers were safely evacuated. A Shell spokesman said the fire happened at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday on its Enchilada platform at Garden Banks 128. Shell said it had identified the source of the fire and was “actively responding to the situation.” “An early morning U.S. Coast Guard overflight is complete and there were no signs of oil on the water at that time,” Shell said. click here to read the story 11:03

Drill, baby, drill in the eastern Gulf? Don’t even think about it

Only a lucky break kept oil from the historic BP spill in 2010 away from the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida’s beaches. Though the spill happened off the coast of Louisiana, so much oil gushed from the blowout that it reached the Loop Current, which is part of the Gulf Stream. Normally, the current would have brought the oil far enough to reach South Florida after blackening beaches in the Panhandle.  Yet oil lobbyists and Congress are firing again. Congressional Republicans want to open more of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling. President Trump, who favors more exploration for fossil fuels, is empowering them. click here to read the story 13:09

Gulf of Mexico Now Largest Dead Zone in the World, and Factory Farming Is to Blame

Nitrogen fertilizers and sewage sludge runoff from factory farms are responsible for creating an enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. As fertilizer runs off farms in agricultural states like Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and others, it enters the Mississippi River, leading to an overabundance of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, in the water.,, This, in turn, leads to the development of algal blooms, which alter the food chain and deplete oxygen, resulting in dead zones. Needless to say, the fishing industry is taking a big hit, each year getting worse than the last. The featured news report includes underwater footage that shows you just how bad the water quality has gotten. Video, click here to read the story 14:13

Coast Guard, federal agencies responding to offshore oil spill in the Gulf

The Coast Guard is responding to the report of a crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the National Response Center at 1:30 p.m., Friday of a discharge from a damaged pipeline associated with a subsea well approximately 40 miles southeast of Venice, LA.  The pipeline, which is operated by LLOG Exploration, has been secured. LLOG exploration reported that the volume of oil released is estimated to be between 333,900 and 392,700 gallons.  Initial overflights identified three light sheens in the vicinity. click here to read press release 15:14

Coast Guard responds to oil spill off Louisiana coast – LLOG Exploration Company LLC, a privately-owned deepwater exploration company, reported the spill, which occurred 40 miles southeast of Venice, La., click here to read the story

Florida Fishermen Pin Their Hopes On Stone Crab Season after Hurricane Irma

On Florida’s Marathon Key, lobster boats pull up to the docks in the afternoon, same as they would on any September day. But this year, instead of hauling in thousands of valuable spiny lobsters, most are unloading the few traps they can find, and maybe a quarter of the usual catch. Boat captain Carlos Moreira is tired after a long day at sea searching for lost traps.  “Well you gotta start somewhere, so you just look for one,” says Moreira.  “Yesterday, from where I had my traps to where I found them, they were 7 miles away. And to travel around, and try to find a 7 and a half inch buoy in the Gulf of Mexico, is a challenge.” click here to read the story 08:16

A double whammy at trap yard – First, a fire, then a hurricane. What can possibly come next? “A lot of guys lost a lot of gear again. They rebuilt all the traps lost in the fire, so all those traps were lost for a second time,” click here to read the story

NIOSH regional reports highlight top dangers in commercial fishing industry

Vessel disasters and falls overboard are the primary hazards experienced by workers in commercial fishing – an industry with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average – according to a recent NIOSH analysis of four U.S. regions. NIOSH reviewed overall commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East and West Coasts from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that 184 fatalities occurred in the four regions: Alaska recorded 45, the West Coast had 30, the East Coast reported 60 and the Gulf of Mexico experienced 49. Vessel disasters (capsizes, fires, groundings, sinking) accounted for the most deaths with 80, followed by falls overboard with 53. Other categories included onboard, onshore and diving. click here to read the story 23:24

Gulf dead zone bigger than ever, affecting shrimping

The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone – an area starved of oxygen that cannot support life – has reached the largest size documented since mapping began 35 years ago, researchers maintain in a new report. The dimensions – this year the size of New Jersey – are of particular concern because they appear related to concerns expressed by shrimpers about their catch, particularly in Terrebonne Parish waters. “They may be catching some close to shore,” said Dr. Nancy Rabalais, the oceanographer who pioneered Gulf dead zone research and who compiled the most recent report on its effects. “But they are not going to get anything between Terrebonne Bay and 25 or 35 miles offshore.” That’s bad news, with the 2017 white shrimp season fast approaching. click here to read the story 14:49

Why Omega Protein has stirred up a big stink about a small fish

The disagreement between activists and Omega Protein depends on the answer to a simple question: Are there enough menhaden in the Gulf of Mexico? Omega says there are plenty, and it wants to keep it that way. Members of the Sierra Club Gulf Coast Group, the Coastal Conservation Association and other groups have their doubts.  It’s an argument recreational fishermen and conservationists have been having with Omega for years. Omega has a menhanden reduction plant in Moss Point and regularly fishes the Mississippi Sound. The opposition to its activities began anew with vigor earlier this year when Omega began seeking a “certified sustainable seafood” designation from the Marine Stewardship Council. MSC is a London-based nonprofit (although it collects royalties from licensing its “ecolabel”) that was set up in 1997 by the World Wildlife Fund and Unilever, a global conglomerate that was at the time one of the world’s largest producers of frozen seafood. click here to read the story 10:28

Legislative Bills would open red snapper harvest out to at least 25 miles

Louisiana senators and representatives have introduced companion legislation in Congress that would give states management authority of red snapper out to 25 miles or 25 fathoms, whichever is greater, off their coastlines. Currently, states control red snapper out to nine nautical miles. Both Louisiana senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, introduced the bill in the Senate, while Reps. Garret Graves, Cedric Richmond and Clay Higgins joined seven other representatives to propose the House bill. The legislation is designed to ensure Gulf of Mexico anglers have broader access to rebounding red snapper stocks during 2018 and beyond. This year, the Commerce Department gave recreational anglers 39 additional days in federal waters after NOAA Fisheries set a three-day recreational season. That move is being contested in court, and without legislation to address the issue, recreational anglers could be locked out of the fishery in 2018. click here to read the story 16:01

Navy War Games Planned for East Coast and Gulf Waters – Public comment is open until Aug. 29

The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast. In New England, the areas where the weapons and sonar may be deployed encompass the entire coastline, as well as Navy pier-side locations, port transit channels, civilian ports, bays, harbors, airports and inland waterways. “The Navy must train the way we fight,” according to a promotional video for what is called “Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III.” An environmental impact study of the war games was released June 30. Public comment is open until Aug. 29. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19 from 4-8 p.m. at Hotel Providence. Comments can be submitted online and in writing, or through a voice recorder at the hearing. The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises haven’t yet been released. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing. click here to read the story 18:41

Department of Commerce Announces Changes to the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Private Angler Recreational Season

For the first time in a decade, Federal authorities and the five Gulf States have agreed to align Federal and State private angler red snapper fishing seasons for the remainder of the summer, and the Department of Commerce has re-opened the 2017 private angler recreational season for 39 weekend days and holidays.  Majority Whip Scalise and other Members of Congress were instrumental in reaching this agreement. The agreement reached between the Secretary of Commerce and the five Gulf States is a significant step forward in building a new Federal-State partnership in managing the Gulf of Mexico red snapper stock.The Departments rule does not change the quota or season length for the federally permitted for-hire component of the recreational fishery or the commercial individual fishing quota program and the 2017 commercial quota.  Click here to read the press release 18:13

Economic Contribution of White Shrimp Commercial Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico States

The annual commercial landing values of wild American white shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico Region in 2015 reached $153.7 million, which is about 75.3% of the average annual landing values during the last five years. The total economic contribution of commercial shrimping in 2015 amounted to $291.7 million (Figure 1). Commercial shrimping created 4,114 jobs and generated labor income amounting to $104.1 million in the Gulf regional economy.  The white shrimp commercial fishing industry generates annual tax revenues for the Gulf States and the U.S. federal government. A total of $17.8 million were estimated to have been paid by households and businesses in 2015 to the federal government as social insurance tax, tax on production and imports, corporate profit tax, and personal income tax.  The Gulf States were expected to have collected taxes from households and businesses in 2015 amounting to $8.7 million as social insurance tax, tax on production and imports, corporate profits tax, and personal tax. Click here to read the story 12:16

What goes in the water in Wisconsin comes out in the Gulf of Mexico

A group of farmers in southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area has become acutely aware that what gets into the watershed here can wind up hundreds of miles away.  These farmers use conservation practices to keep nutrients on their land and out of lakes and streams.  Margaret Krome, policy program director at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, says nutrients that get into the water here follow a direct path down the Mississippi River. “Those nutrients go shooshing right out into the Gulf of Mexico and create a zone with such high nutrients that they end up with a big algal bloom, and that sucks all the oxygen out of the water and kills other organisms,” she explains. “So it’s a dead zone because fishermen can’t fish there.” The Wisconsin farmers have developed a relationship with Gulf fishermen, who are appreciative of the farmers’ efforts to help improve fishing conditions in the Gulf. click here to read the story 10:52

Mystery shrouds the death of a Tarpon Springs fishing captain

It began as a fishing trip like any other. Gregory Lasnier stocked the commercial fishing boat he captained with ice, bait and groceries. He waited for a deckhand who never showed. A friend hugged him goodbye. On Feb. 16, he set off alone, leaving his dock behind Holiday Seafood off Island Drive and steering the Daniel I into to the Gulf of Mexico as he had so many times before. It was a fishing trip like any other, until it wasn’t. The Coast Guard found Lasnier dead in the boat’s pilot house Feb. 26, on the other side of the Florida peninsula, hundreds of miles from any of his normal fishing spots. What happened on board the Daniel I during those 10 days remains a mystery. There is no body. There is no autopsy. There is no boat. Coast Guard responders said they couldn’t recover any of it. The boat was taking on water, and conditions were unsafe. They believe the Daniel I sunk off the coast of Sebastian Inlet south of Melbourne, although even that part of the story is unclear. But one thing is certain: The sea became his graveyard, the boat his casket. click here to read the story 11:29

Coastal shark population on rise in southeast U.S, Gulf of Mexico

A recent analysis of population trends among coastal sharks of the southeast U.S. shows that all but one of the seven species studied are increasing in abundance. The gains follow an enactment of fishing regulations in the early 1990s after decades of declining shark numbers. Scientists estimate that over-fishing of sharks along the southeast U.S. coast—which began in earnest following the release of Jaws in 1975 and continued through the 1980s—had reduced populations by 60-99 percent compared to unfished levels.,, The researchers say their study—based on modeling of combined data from six different scientific surveys conducted along the US East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico between 1975 and 2014—provides a more accurate and optimistic outlook than previous studies based on commercial fishery landings or surveys in a single location. Read the article here 11:00

Fire extinguished on Renaissance Offshore LLC oil production platform in the Gulf, no sign of pollution

A fire broke out on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico early Thursday (Jan. 5), forcing four workers to evacuate by lifeboat before the blaze was extinguished. There were no injuries and inspectors found no sign of pollution, authorities said. The blaze was reported about 2:30 a.m. on a platform about 80 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and was extinguished nearly four hours later, the Coast Guard said in a statement. The four workers were rescued by the crew of the 130-foot Mary Wyatt Milano, a supply vessel, the Coast Guard said. They were flown to a hospital in Houma to be evaluated, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement. Read the story here 11:05

BREAKING! Fire Burns on Oil Platform in Gulf of Mexico

The Coast Guard says it’s responding to a fire on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. A Coast Guard news release says the fire was reported around 2:30 a.m. Thursday on an oil platform about 80 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana. The Coast Guard says four people aboard the platform evacuated and were rescued by a supply vessel. No injuries have been reported. Four vessels are fighting the fire and the cause is under investigation. Updated click here  07:04

Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying The Gulf

Hurricane Ivan would not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking. The Taylor Energy site will continue to leak for the next century,,, While the Taylor Energy spill is the worst case scenario, it’s not the US’s only low-profile leaker. Read the story here 12:57

Tiger Shark Caught 10 Years To the Day After Being Tagged

Fishermen sometimes think they can tell when a fish they’ve hooked has been caught before. Maybe it fights harder, or tries every trick in the book to shake the hook loose, but it’s hard to know for sure. Except when surf fisherman Zach Wolk reeled in an 11-foot, 5-inch female tiger shark at Cape San Blas in northwestern Florida back in October; he knew for sure because of the embedded tag. What he didn’t know, until later, was that he’d caught the tiger shark 10 years to the day that it was first tagged in the Gulf of Mexico – Oct. 25, 2006. The information came courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Wolk jotted down the shark’s tag number, and, after taking a few photos for posterity and releasing the creature back into the Gulf, sent the info off to NOAA. Photos, read the rest here 09:47