Tag Archives: Mississippi

Don’t Cage Our Oceans: Fish farming may threaten rare Gulf whale

The site approved for the Velella Epsilon fish farm in federal waters west of Venice is one of just three potential aquaculture opportunity areas under consideration off Florida’s Gulf coast. There are six others — three in the central Gulf south of Louisiana and Mississippi and three east of Texas — as well as 10 in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. It’s part of a collusive effort between fish farming companies and the federal government to divide up national waters for profit, James Mitchell, legislative director of Don’t Cage Our Oceans, said. >click to read< 13:49

Mississippi: 93rd Annual Blessing of the Fleet welcomes the new shrimp season

Boats lined up alongside Deer Island celebrating the 93rd Annual Blessing of the Fleet. The annual blessing which promotes a successful and safe fishing season is a tradition in Biloxi. Michael Kovacevich remembers attending the ceremony as a young boy. “My family came from Croatia to Biloxi and like hundreds of others to work the seafood, so you know just about everybody in Biloxi can tie their past to seafood,” Kovacevich said. This year, the Shrimp King and Queen were on the blessing boat. King Joseph Powell said riding on the blessing boat brought him old memories of when he was a fisher. “It brings back old memories of the Mid 50′s when I was a shrimper and being on the boat. >click to read< 09:40

Blessing of the Fleet returns to the Pass Christian Harbor Saturday

A celebration steeped in tradition and history returns to the Pass Christian Harbor this Saturday. The annual Blessing of the Fleet returns and organizers hope it brings awareness to the struggles faced by our Coast seafood industry. Chairman Kirk Kimball said, “It’s an honor to bring back something that we can put back on the pedestal that was once dusty and we want to refine it and put it back again.” Shrimpers will once again be blessed for a safe and bountiful season at the Pass Christian Harbor when the 44th annual event happens this weekend. > click to read < 10:25

Kyle Craig of Deadliest Catch Death: The Family and Fans of a Deceased Artist Are Shocked.

As a deckhand on the F/V Brenna A., Kyle Craig put in long hours. Who Was Kyle Craig? An Ocean Springs, Mississippi man named Kyle Craig is 26 years old. December 21, 1994, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was the date of his birth. Craig Enterprises was owned and operated by Kyle. He became enamored with ATVs and boats, and he enjoyed buying and selling both. He was also capable of repairing a motor while keeping his eyes shut. We posted >his obituary here on August 1, 2021<. He loved the sea, his work, and appreciated his crewmates. There wasn’t a lot of detail on what had happened to Kyle. Watching the statistics the other day, we noticed a big spike in traffic with no explanation, but it led back to Kyles obituary. Then we stumbled onto this article which brings the tragic end of his life to light. The cause of Kyle Craig’s tragic death is detailed below. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and his shipmates. >click to read< 17:17

Mississippi: Fishing industry focuses on new fisheries, education

Environmental disasters, global markets, strict fishing regulations and the increasing average age of working fishers is bearing down on the industry, threatening its long-term viability. These factors have Ryan Bradley concerned for the future of the Mississippi fishing industry. So, he is taking action to help fishers stay in the industry and draw young people to the business. “This is a proud industry. We work hard. But it is a high-stress profession, and you have to be a thick-skinned person to do this job,” said Bradley, who is a fifth-generation commercial fisherman and executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the common interests of the state’s fishermen, fishing industry and seafood consumers. >click to read<  19:06

Mississippi shrimp season in state of uncertainty thanks to storms, heavy rains

At Forte Seafood in Pass Christian, they say ever since Hurricane Ida came through, the white shrimp have been pretty big and plentiful. That makes up for an awful brown shrimp season, as those shrimp never got a chance to grow due to low salinity from heavy rains. “Starting out, the brown shrimp never really grew. They were all around 50-60 to 60-70 count for the majority of the summer,” said Jeremy Forte. “Once the storm came through, it actually made them bigger. I don’t know if it’s different shrimp from somewhere else or what,,, Video, >click to read< 14:50

Hurricane Ida: Moving north into the Gulf, expected to strengthen to Cat 4

Ida, currently a Category 1 hurricane, is expected to make landfall late Sunday or early Monday. Sunday is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Watches and warnings are in effect for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Saturday could be rainy in south Louisiana, making storm prep and evacuations more complicated, forecasters said. The rain is not from Hurricane Ida but from another disturbance moving over the state. Lots of details, >click to read<, to be updated. Life-threatening winds, storm surge, flooding and tornadoes from Hurricane Ida are expected Sunday. 11:04

Mississippi shrimp season opens, fishermen hoping for the best

Brian Chester has had good luck in the open waters south of the Intercoastal waterway, where success can be elusive. “It’s been OK,” he said. “It’s not been bad.” It’s kept him in business, but when state waters open, he’s hoping to have even more shrimp for more dockside customers lined up at his boat, Lady Sariah. “It just means more areas of shrimp,” he said. “We might be able to catch more shrimp and people actually know and they can come out and purchase the fresh seafood.” So far, 375 commercial shrimp licenses have been issued. That is down compared to last year’s 473 and 493 in the 2019-2020 season  >click to read< 07:31

Opening of 2021 Mississippi Sound shrimp season could be delayed

Coast shrimpers will have to be a little more patient before they can drop their nets in the Mississippi Sound this summer. Rainy weather during the last two months has caused salinity levels and lower water temperatures in our local waters, meaning it could push the start of the 2021 shrimp season back a few weeks. “With brown shrimp, two of the factors that influence growth are water temperature and salinity,,, “Once these rains stop – if they stop and the salinity starts to rise,,, video, >click to read< 19:17

Mississippi: Shrimp industry leader Richard Gollott has passed away

Richard Gollott, a longtime commissioner with the Commission on Marine Resources and seafood industry leader, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. Gollott opened Cap’n Gollott Seafood in 1969, which grew to be one of the largest oyster processing companies on the Gulf Coast. He served as president of Gollott’s Oil Dock & Ice House, Inc., and vice president of Golden Gulf Coast Pkg Co., Inc, working alongside his son and brother as partners. Gollott was a lifelong resident of the Coast and a founding member of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. He also was a board member of the American Shrimp Processors Association. >click to read< 14:21

Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources talk Bonnet Carré Spillway, CARES Act funding

Many fishermen got some help from that $1.5 million of CARES Act money that was granted to the state of Mississippi, with most of that going to the seafood industry. $734,222 of that money went to local commercial fishermen, $451,284 went to seafood dealers and processors, and $239,179 of it went to the charter boat fleet.,, At Tuesday’s Commission on Marine Resources meeting, Joe Spraggins, Department of Marine Resources executive director, explained the process of how $21 million in Bonnet Carré Spillway relief funding will get to those in the industry. >click to read< 18:25

Mississippi DMR hearing public comments on spillway relief funding

The 2019 openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway are still being felt here on the Gulf Coast a year later. NOAA has allocated about $88 million in relief funding due to the spillway impacts, and a little more than $21 million is coming to Mississippi. “Everything from the fin fish, to the crab, to the oysters, to the shrimp. Any type fish in the Gulf, it covers that,” said Joe Spraggins, “We’re not going to have that without our commercial fishermen. We’ve got to have them,” said Spraggins. “It’s a matter of whether you stay in business or not, and if these companies leave, if they ever leave us, we’ll never get them back, If these oyster fishermen shrimpers, crab fishermen, we’ll never get them back.” Video, >click to read< 08:56

Wicker, Hyde-Smith, Palazzo Announce $30M in Aid for U.S. Shrimp Industry

The announcement comes after the Mississippi lawmakers sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that he use his authority to purchase and distribute Gulf seafood to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Recently-enacted legislation, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, includes additional support for USDA programs that provide food to distressed communities. “Mississippi’s shrimp industry has been hit hard by COVID19, with many vessels having to stay tied to the dock due to collapsing markets. We are glad to hear the USDA is stepping up purchases of Gulf shrimp and applaud the hard work of our Congressional delegation to make it happen,” >click to read< 09:17

Biloxi, Mississippi: The 91st annual Blessing of the Fleet is happening Sunday!

After being pushed back a week due to bad weather, the 91st Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet takes place Sunday. The 91st Blessing of the Fleet is set to start at 2 p.m. in the Biloxi Channel when they drop the Memorial Wreath to honor deceased fishermen. Boats will form in the west end of the Biloxi Channel near the Beau Rivage and the parade will float east. The Committee encourages the boat owners from St. Michael, Vietnamese Martyrs and Blessed Seelos churches and the community to come out and celebrate this long-standing tradition in Biloxi. >video, click to read< 17:30

Mississippi’s Coast shrimpers cling to legacy through the industry’s choppy waters

Danny Ross, an Ocean Springs shrimper, has been on a boat for as long as he could walk. He remembers driving the family vessel as a kid, having to climb onto the dashboard to see over the steering wheel. “Two spokes to the left,” his dad would direct. He remembers, back on land, getting bad grades in art class because he would only draw one thing. “I’d draw a pretty good boat too,” he said. “Me and my brothers were always on the boat. The rigging, the pipes – that was our jungle gym. And our swimming pool? The boat would be shrimping and we’d be diving off the bow, catching ropes on the outrivers.” Ross, 55, recently tied up his boat after a disappointing season that saw fresh water kill 56 percent of Mississippi’s shrimp. The plummeting price of shrimp has made it difficult for Ross to find crew members, and instead he’s gone to work on another captain’s boat. After following five generations of fishermen into the business, he’s worried about the direction the industry is headed in. photos, >click to read<. This is a two part series, >click to read Part 1< , with photo gallery 08:09

Gulf Coast leaders form coalition to protect Mississippi Sound after devastating spillway openings

The marine life in the Mississippi Sound endured a tumultuous spring and summer this year due to freshwater from the Mississippi River flowing in at an unprecedented rate. Freshwater entered the Sound through the Bonnet Carré Spillway, a structure in Louisiana that releases water from the Mississippi River to prevent flooding in New Orleans. Never before had the spillway been opened in consecutive years, nor twice in one year; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the gates, broke both those records this year after a historic wet season across the river’s basin. >click to read< 11:38

Fisheries disaster declared in multiple fisheries, multiple states

Wednesday,, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced his determination that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, while further finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 17:41

Federal fisheries declaration approved for Mississippi

Congressional leaders announced a federal fisheries disaster declaration Wednesday morning to help South Mississippi fishermen affected by the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Mississippi leaders said in a statement that they are now working to expedite the funds set aside by the disaster declaration to provide fishermen with disaster relief more quickly. >click to read< 12:03

Wicker, Hyde-Smith, & Palazzo Commend Federal Fishery Disaster Declaration for Mississippi>click to read<

Gulf Coast seafood industry slammed by freshwater from floods, states requesting federal fishery disaster funding

The governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama asked months ago for U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to declare a fisheries disaster, a designation needed to secure federal grants for those whose livelihoods were affected in the Gulf region’s vital seafood industry. Alabama canceled its oyster season. It will be months before all the figures are in and the analysis completed to tell which Louisiana fisheries qualify, said Patrick Banks, assistant secretary for fisheries in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. >click to read<  12:47

Floodwaters Diverted from New Orleans Killed Off Marine Life

The federal government’s effort to avoid a flood disaster in New Orleans had catastrophic consequences of its own, causing massive fish kills and habitat destruction along the Gulf Coast, according to the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The governors say the Army Corps of Engineers’ diversion of trillions of gallons of water from the swollen Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico killed fish, shrimp, oysters and crab and forced the extended closure of beaches. Dolphins have suffered high death and infection rates, researchers say. >click to read< 15:44

Commercial fishermen along Gulf Coast take another hit after Hurricane Barry

Gulf Coast commercial fishermen have taken another hit this season after Hurricane Barry struck Louisiana and Mississippi shores. Indeed, strong winds and rain from the Category 1 storm forced vessels to remain docked for days. That was the case for Floyd Lesseigne of Grand Isle, La. The commercial fishermen, who has two boats that he takes out to harvest crabs, shrimp and oysters, said he and many others were forced out of the water early last week. Video, >click to read< 19:27

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

The Mississippi Coast is tired of waiting for BP money. It is time for action.

The Coast has waited far too long to learn the fate of the $700 million that has yet to be spent out of a $750 million settlement for economic damages from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.  We know the majority of the economic damage was inflicted on the people of Mississippi’s Coast. And we know that no rational argument has been made for spending the majority of the BP economic damages money anywhere but on the Coast. The Mississippi Gulf Coast’s lifeblood, tourism, was on life support. Its seafood industry was first shutdown and then mistrusted. Millions were invested to restore the country’s faith in Gulf shrimp and other delicacies. >click to read<12:22

Mississippi Shrimp season gets underway with more than 250 boats lowering nets

Over 250 shrimp boats scoured the Mississippi Sound early Wednesday morning as the 2018 shrimp season officially got underway. Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officials conducted an aerial survey and found 254 boats lowering their nets in search of their first catch of the season. “We talked to the fishermen and early reports show moderate-to-low numbers of 40-50 count brown shrimp,”  >click to read<14:30

New Mississippi rule on oysters not based on science, Vietnamese group says in lawsuit

A lawsuit alleges the state’s ban on basket dredges for harvesting oysters was illegally based on “personal opinion and conjecture” and erodes the livelihood of Vietnamese American fishers. Thao Vu and the Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folks are suing the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources over a ban its Commission on Marine Resources recommended. The ban went in effect Sept. 1. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 16 in Harrison County Chancery Court in Biloxi, is appealing the ban. The DMR went against state seafood laws that say fishery management plans and conservation efforts must be based on “the best scientific information available,” according to the civil complaint. click here to read the story 10:27

Mississippi Shrimpers optimistic for upcoming season in state waters

With the shrimp season in Mississippi approaching, more shrimp boats are docking in the Biloxi harbor, awaiting the green light to drop their nets in the sound. The Commission on Marine Resources meets next week to discuss recommendations for the 2017 shrimp season in Mississippi waters. Mirel Nelson on the Lady Vera says he’s hoping that past season are not an indicator of what can be expected this year. “To me it looked like it was going down through the years with all the red tide and stuff, but, who knows,” said Nelson. Nelson has been busy for the past few months improving his boat for this upcoming season. Meanwhile, others in the harbor have taken advantage of open shrimp waters in Louisiana. Video, click here to read the story 12:51

Mississippi 2016 shrimp season began with small shrimp, low prices

mississippi shrimp“Shrimp season opened June 6, and about 200,000 pounds of brown shrimp were landed during the first week,” Burrage said. “The bad news is they were running about 50-60 or 60-70 shrimp per pound, which is even smaller than the shrimp were last year at opening.” In addition to brown shrimp, another 50,000 pounds of larger white shrimp were landed the first week of the season. These shrimp escaped harvest last year and now are sized at 16-20 per pound. “They were either jumbo or gumbo,” Burrage said, referring to extra-large shrimp or a smaller size suited only for use in stew. Burrage said prices have been terrible. Brown shrimp are selling at the factories for 55 to 75 cents a pound. The big, white shrimp are bringing $2.50 to $4.50, depending on whether they are sold to factories or used to fill orders for restaurant customers. Read the rest here 21:07

Mississippi Oyster fishermen happy to be working the waters

10423805_GIt’s been a tough season for Mississippi oyster fishermen. However, they had reason to smile on Wednesday when two reef areas re-opened. Red tide, heavy rains and high river levels all took a toll on oyster season for fishermen; working the waters less than 20 days. But by late Wednesday morning at Pass Harbor, oyster fishermen were taking advantage of the latest re-opening. “Everybody’s happy, we’re going back to work,” said Rum Phan. Phan says he loves the freedom that commercial fishing provides, even when times are tough. “Hopefully the weather doesn’t change, that’s all we can hope for. Oysters looking very good right now. They taste good, I know it. I can smell it in the air, trust me,” Phan said. Fishermen at Kimball’s Seafood brought in their limits of oyster sacks on opening day.  Video, Read the rest here 07:50

Coastal Conservation Association Mississippi spokesman attacks Gulf Menhaden Fishery

F.J. Eicke, spokesman for the Coastal Conservation Association MississippiThe menhaden fishery is a bit of an enigma to the public, but the activity of the purse seine boats is well-known to many recreational anglers, conservationists and charter fishermen. The pogie boats set their nets after an aircraft survey and direct the boats to schools of menhaden so that these vital forage fish can be removed in massive amounts from our waters. The catch data is not widely known but reaches 83,439.2 metric tons (183,949,994 pounds) in landings at the Moss Point plant for the 2014 season, as reported by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Read the article, Click here  10:54

‘Historic’ red tide could keep oyster reefs closed for months

9517124_GOyster season won’t be reopening any time soon in Mississippi. The CMR was told the required red tide testing to make sure oysters are safe for harvest, could take up to three months. “We’ve never had one at this level or this intensity. This is a historic event,” the DMR’s Joe Jewell said at this morning’s special meeting of the CMR. Jewell was talking about the red tide event which closed oyster season nearly two weeks ago. Read the article here 12:41