Tag Archives: North Carolina.

Public comment period opens on draft offshore wind areas

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Wednesday announced that a 30-day public comment period has begun on eight draft offshore wind energy areas, including off the North Carolina coast. BOEM said it will hold virtual public meetings to engage the fishing community and environmental organizations to gather more information on the proposed areas and discuss next steps. The proposed areas cover about 1.7 million acres off North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The distances to their closest points range from about 19 to 77 nautical miles offshore. >click to read< 08:10

Susan West, 73, remembered as longtime voice of NC fishers has passed away

Susan West, a longtime advocate for the Hatteras Island fishing community and a writer who helped foster improved communications and respect between regulators and fishermen, died last week at age 73. “She made sure that Hatteras and those small fishing communities were never left out of the conversation,”, As a young transplant to the Outer Banks from Baltimore, the course of West’s life was set after meeting Rob West, a surfer from Long Island, when they worked together at a Hatteras restaurant in the 1970s. After they married, Rob became a commercial fisherman. In the early 1990s, as tensions started rising around commercial fishing, Susan decided to organize a local women’s auxiliary group to the North Carolina Fisheries Association. >click to read< 07:00

Adrift fishing boat rescued by Coast Guard off Hatteras

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a fishing boat that went adrift off Hatteras on Tuesday. The U.S. Coast Guard says its crews were told a 75-foot fishing trawler, F/V Ilha Do Corvo, drifted away southeast of Hatteras. They say they went to the boat’s last known location, but the trawler had drifted into the Gulf Stream and had been pushed north toward Rodanthe. WITN is told that even with limited communications with the boat, the rescuers from the station in Elizabeth City were able to locate it. The Coast Guard did not say how many people were on board at the time. Photos, >click to read< 15:14

The fight to protect right whale, lobsters roils Maine politics

In a state where few things matter more than lobster, it’s no surprise that Mainers are getting a hefty portion of crustacean politics as part of the campaigning for the 2022 midterm elections. What is surprising, however, is the high level of anger and frustration pointed squarely at Washington regulators, with many arguing that NOAA’s new rules are unfair and will hit the prized lobster industry far too hard. Rule backers say they’ll help protect a dwindling population of whales that’s at grave risk from fishing gear. “The men and women who make up Maine’s iconic lobster fishery are facing a terrible crisis, a crisis not of their making, a crisis that is due to this administration’s onerous regulations,” photos, >click to read< 12:11

Mystery of the disappearing mahi-mahi divides fishermen

At a recent meeting of federal regulators in the Florida Keys, local fishermen raised the alarm that one of the most popular fish they go after – the dolphinfish or mahi-mahi – is fast disappearing from local waters. But industry regulators and the commercial fishing boats, say the plight of the charter boats is more complicated than that. Commercial “long line” fishing is not permitted off the Florida coast and federal regulations allocate the vast majority of the 24.5 million pounds of mahi-mahi allowed annually to the charter boats and their recreational rod-and-reel customers. They blame the larger commercial fishing vessels ,,, Photos, >click to read< 17:19

N.C. decides not to appeal to Supreme Court for review in lawsuit over marine fisheries regulations

Glenn Skinner, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a trade and lobbying group for North Carolina commercial fishermen, said Thursday he was “surprised and a little confused” by the state’s decision this week not to appeal to the state Supreme Court to reverse a September Appeals Court ruling that allows the state to be sued for alleged failure to protect North Carolina’s fisheries. The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in September that the state chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, a recreational fishermen’s group that bills itself as an advocate for “sound management of public trust marine and estuarine resources,” could sue the state, rejecting the state’s claim of sovereign immunity. >click to read< 19:56

North Carolina Fisheries Association: Weekly Update for October 10, 2022

Last Tuesday evening (October 4,2022) I attended a striped mullet scoping meeting where staff from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) were seeking stakeholder input for the future management of the mullet fishery. DMF staff certainly got an ear full of “input”, mostly in the form of questions and comments about the most recent Striped Mullet Stock assessment. The 2022 Striped Mullet assessment, which used data through 2019 indicated that overfishing is occurring, and that North Carolinas Striped Mullet stock is overfished, and apparently has been for two decades or more. This came as a shock for the fishermen in attendance for a couple of reasons. ->Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 12:32

Iconic shrimp boat removed from Myrtle Beach

Work to remove a shrimp trawler from the beach after it had washed ashore due to Hurricane Ian, spanned several hours with hundreds of beach goers watching and cheering along. The Shayna Michelle, a shrimp trawler from Holden Beach, North Carolina was beached near Williams Street and Ocean Boulevard after an engine failure caused the boat to be stranded near Myrtle Beach right before Hurricane Ian arrived. A crowd of onlookers cheered when the trawler finally got off the sand some, but the process was slow to wiggle the vessel off the beach. Video, >click to read< 16:05

TIMELAPSE: Shrimp boat beached during Ian freed from Myrtle Beach shoreline>click to watch<

Blessing of the Fleet pays tribute to commercial fishing families

The sun broke through the clouds Sunday morning just in time for the start of the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony at the N.C. Port in Morehead City. Thirty commercial fishing vessels slowly made their way by the port as wreaths were thrown in the water. Each wreath represented a commercial fisherman or family member who had died. The solemn procession was a segment of the N.C. Seafood Festival that honors area commercial fishing families and those who have died while harvesting food from the sea. In addition to 200 people lining the shore to watch the procession, private boaters filled the waterway to pay tribute. “As these boats are getting ready to come by, I can’t help but think of those fellas in Florida who have lost everything,” he said. “They just don’t need prayer, they need help. – Guest speaker Zack Davis. 23 Photos, >click to read< 22:17

A fundraiser by Aaron Robinson – Save Shayna Michelle Shrimp Boat

Holden Beach Seafood’s, shrimp boat, the Shayna Michelle (formerly the Winds of Fortune), and crew were trying to make their way back home to Holden Beach, NC before Hurricane Ian made it to our coast. However, Thursday evening, they were stranded about two miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach with engine issues. The coast guard was able to save the crew by helicopter but there was no way to get the boat to safety. >click to read<. and please donate if you can. 08:21

Florida, Carolinas count the cost of Hurricane Ian

Florida, North and South Carolina faced a massive clean-up on Saturday from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ian, after one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. mainland caused tens of billions of dollars in damage and killed more than 20 people. Ian, now a post-tropical cyclone, was weakening but still forecast to bring treacherous conditions to parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia into Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. “Major to record river flooding will continue across central Florida through next week. Limited flash, urban and small stream flooding is possible across the central Appalachians and the southern Mid-Atlantic this weekend, with minor river flooding expected over the coastal Carolinas,” it said. >click to read< 08:40

Large fishing boat washes ashore in Myrtle Beach during Hurricane Ian

A large commercial fishing boat washed ashore in Myrtle Beach as Hurricane Ian rages on in the Grand Strand. The boat came ashore in the area of Williams Street. According to the Myrtle Beach Police Department, no one was onboard the boat. The city said that the Coast Guard rescued the people onboard. They are urging people to stay away from the boat and there is no reason to go near it. Video, >click to watch< 19:22

Hurricane Ian Taking Aim at the Carolinas and Georgia – Public Advisory – 800 PM EDT

At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ian was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 29.7 North, longitude 79.4 West. Ian is moving toward the north-northeast near 10 mph (17 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed Friday night. On the forecast track, Ian will approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday. The center will move farther inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Ian could slightly strengthen before landfall tomorrow and is forecast to rapidly weaken over the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday. >click to read< Graphics, >click here< 20:15

North Carolina: New quota cuts Southern flounder fishing off in one week, frustrating fishermen

Maurice Mann, a commercial fisherman, expressed his frustration. Maurice and his son Jasper Mann were geared up for a good season of flounder fishing, getting new nets and catching around 100 pounds of Eastern Carolina’s popular sea dwellers. After less than a week on the water, they found themselves thousands of dollars in the hole when their buyer told them the Division of Marine Fisheries said to reel it in. They were told the number of flounder they allowed to be caught commercially in September had already been met. Video, >click to read< 14:34

Unanimous N.C. Appeals Court Rules State Can Be Sued for Failing to Protect Fishing Rights

The decision could eventually lead to new restrictions on commercial fishing. The Appeals Court agreed to affirm a trial judge’s ruling in the case, Coastal Conservation Association v. State of N.C. The trial court had rejected the state’s attempt to have the case thrown out because of sovereign immunity. “Plaintiffs alleged the State breached this constitutional duty by ‘mismanaging North Carolina’s coastal fisheries resources.’ Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged the State has mismanaged the fisheries by ‘permitting, sanctioning, and even protecting two methods of harvesting coastal finfish and shrimp in State public waters’ — shrimp trawling and ‘unattended’ gillnetting,,, >click to read< 12:49

North Carolina: Two events set to pay tribute to fishing industry, families

Fishers, families and friends are set to gather Sunday morning for the 25th Blessing of the Fleet in Morehead City, a time set aside to honor and remember those who work and have worked in the commercial fishing industry. The Blessing of the Fleet is a nondenominational religious service that begins at 10 a.m. at the Morehead City state port and will include the “Throwing of the Wreath for Fishermen Everywhere” and a procession of fishing vessels. The service takes places during the North Carolina Seafood Festival this weekend in downtown Morehead City. In the event of inclement weather, the blessing will not take place.  >click to read< 10:07

NEFMC to decide next moves on scallop license allocation leasing in Gloucester Tuesday

Scallop allocation leasing, the practice of boat owners selling days and tonnage from a fishing license to other vessel owners to harvest in restricted zones, has been at the center of debate in the Port of New Bedford since the NEFMC held two scoping meetings at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on May 11 and May 25 respectively. NEFMC invited stakeholders to attend nine meetings in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and two webinars. According to the Council, the vast majority, 78%, of the 286 commenters (several repeated, inflating the total number to 305) spoke against the proposed allocation leasing project during the scoping process.  >click to read< 14:45

Regulators to vote on controversial scallop leasing plan Tuesday – After months of heated debate between scallop fleet owners, captains and crew, fisheries regulators are set to decide on a proposal to allow leasing in New England’s lucrative scallop fishery. More than 75% of the nearly 300 people who commented during the public process said they opposed leasing — most of them captains and crew out of New Bedford, >click to read<

Norh Carolina: Commercial fishermen are not yet alarmed by court ruling

Although the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the state can be sued for alleged failure to protect North Carolina’s fisheries, state officials and advocates for commercial fishermen are not yet alarmed. Glenn Skinner, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a trade and lobbying group for North Carolina commercial fishermen, said Tuesday it’s his understanding the appeals court verdict only rules that the CCA and its 86 individual plaintiffs have “standing,” which is the right to bring the suit. “This ruling was not based on factual evidence in the case, it just says it can move forward,” Skinner said. “We’re not shocked by this.  >click to read< 13:36

Appeals court says lawsuit over trawling can move forward

A lawsuit challenging how North Carolina manages coastal fisheries can go to court, the state Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week. The three-judge appellate court unanimously affirmed Tuesday a Wake County trial judge’s 2021 ruling that denied the state’s request to dismiss the suit brought by the Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina, or CCA NC, and 86 individuals in 2020. Commercial fishermen by and large hope state Department of Justice lawyers choose to appeal to the higher court. North Carolina Fisheries Association Executive Director Glenn Skinner told Coastal Review in a telephone interview that the lawsuit could set a dangerous precedent for overregulation of industry in the state. >click to read< 09:29

Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment Created

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment has been established by the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Board of Directors. The Outer Banks Seafood Festival is a nonprofit organization that promotes the positive impacts of our local seafood industry, educates people about seafood indigenous to North Carolina and the Outer Banks, and provides need-based support to the local fishing community and its members through festival proceeds. The endowed, designated fund will be maintained to support the Seafood Festival and its philanthropy. >click to read< 17:38

Richard “Ricky” Earl Dudley, of Beaufort has passed away

Richard “Ricky” Earl Dudley, 74 of Beaufort passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on August 17, 2022. Ricky was born on November 14, 1947, in Morehead City, NC to the late Elmer and Leonda Dudley. Ricky graduated from East Carteret High School, attended Carteret Community College and married his high school sweetheart, Patsy Hadder in 1969. Ricky had a love for sports and fast cars. He spent his career in commercial fishing, first working as pilot with his daddy on Menhaden boats in Mississippi and then later as a fish boat captain himself. He enjoyed spending time at Shackleford Banks with his family and loved fishing with a rod and reel. Ricky loved his family more than anything and spent his free time taking them out in the boat, playing the guitar, shooting off fireworks and playing pool at Royal James. >click to read< 18:14

North Atlantic right whales at Risk – Offshore wind farms bring a lot of unknowns

The race is on to get offshore wind farms built off the U.S. East Coast, and North Carolina is one of the leading states with three projects planned for the Tar Heel Coast, two roughly 20 miles south of Bald Head Island in Brunswick County and one, which will be built first, about 27 miles off Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. And they might not be the last for the state’s coastal waters. While visiting a National Governors Association event in Wilmington last month, Gov. Roy Cooper was asked if he’d support more offshore wind built off the N.C. coast. “Absolutely,” he responded emphatically. >click to read< 09:26

Commercial fisherman dies in heavy equipment accident at ENC fish market

An eastern North Carolina man died over the weekend in a heavy equipment accident at a seafood house. Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said William Smith of Bayboro was killed while using a forklift to move items from boat to boat at R.E. Mayo Seafood in Hobucken. He was employed by the fish market as a commercial fisherman. Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said William Smith died when a piece of equipment fell on him while he was on a forklift. Video, photos, >click to read< 10:30

Jake Griffin of Wanchese, NC: I Feel Good About the Future

“Hard to think that I’m one of the young ones in the industry,” commercial fisherman Jake Griffin laughed. “I’m thirty!” Griffin is one the young ones given that the average age of North Carolina watermen is 52 according to a 2017 study of ocean-going fishermen. Born and raised in his homeport of Wanchese, Griffin fishes all over the map, up and down the coast of North Carolina and even out of Alaska and Maine. “I’m shark fishing now,” he said. “I’ve been fishing out of Morehead City. I trailer the boat here and there, chasing what needs to be chased – sharp noses, spinners, hammers.” Griffin began commercial fishing when he was eleven. >click to read< 09:04

ENC shrimper thinking of new ways to get his product to customers amid inflation

Inflation is making it harder for fisherman to turn a profit. Now, it’s fueling them to make decision on how they sell their catch. One local boat captain has found a way he could keep more money in local fishermen’s wallets. Frankie Eubanks is a shrimp boat captain and he said it used to cost him $1,500 to fill up his boat, now it’s twice that. To battle the rise in prices, he wants to take his product straight to customers. Video, >click to read< 09:14

NC fishermen concerned about uncertain impacts of offshore wind farms

Recreational and commercial fishermen alike have a lot of questions about these projects. The main ones: how much access will fishermen have to wind farms, and how will the wind farms impact the fish? Unfortunately, information is limited because offshore wind is still new in the United States. There are currently two offshore wind farms in various planning stages off North Carolina’s coast. One is off Kitty Hawk along the Outer Banks; the other, called Wilmington East, is off Wilmington. Avangrid Renewables is developing the wind farm off Kitty Hawk. Construction there is expected to start in 2026. >click to read< 11:17

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 6, 2022

The MFC voted on May 26th to continue with the gill net closure in the Neuse and Pamlico rivers and directed DMF to study the impacts of removing the gill nets as their preferred management option. But this time the reason for continuing the gill net closure was different. At the meeting, Commissioner Tom Roller said; “In saying that this is an allocation fight, you are right. So, when NCFA comes here and says there is no scientific evidence for removing gill nets, what they are saying is I want my allocation. Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. So, it’s an allocation by the retention of gill nets. Cause a dead fish is a dead fish, right? A dead fish is a dead fish and you have to ask what is the greater value to the economy? And in most cases, and many cases, not all cases, it’s recreational.” I’m confused. . >click to read<. To read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 16:16

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 30, 2022

Finally! An issue both the CCA and NCFA agree on. Do you believe in miracles? If not, you should. On May 25, at the meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, David Sneed, Executive Director of the CCA NC, made the following statement during the public comment period. “On Southern Flounder, the recent recreational overages were the result of derby fishing brought about by insufficient management action from Amendment 2. Harvest and overage estimates that are provided by MRIP were never intended to be used to manage a fishery through a quota,,, Sound familiar? If you’re one of our regular readers it should. . >click to read<. To read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 11:51

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 23, 2022

The NCFA urges everyone to offer comments on draft Amendment 2 to the Striped Bass FMP, to the NC Marine Fisheries Commission at their May 25-26 meeting, supporting lifting the prohibition on the use of gill nets in the upper Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. In 2019 the MFC, through an “emergency meeting” with no public comment allowed, voted to force former DMF Director Steve Murphey to issue a proclamation prohibiting the use of all gill nets above the Ferry lines in the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. Prior to this emergency meeting the MFC had asked Director Murphey to issue the gill net ban, a request he declined, in the letter below, as it was not supported by science. . >click to read<. To read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<  17:28

Fisheries commission meeting set for Thursday, Friday in Beaufort>click to read<

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 02, 2022

The “Rule of Law” is the political philosophy that all citizens are accountable for the same laws. This philosophy helped fuel the American revolution and was a key principle considered, by our founding fathers, when drafting the U.S Constitution. The Rule of Law ensures, that in a true democracy, the powerful, wealthy, or majority can’t use the law to oppress or control the minority. When it comes to regulating our coastal fisheries both the government and our state seem to struggle with this relatively simple concept. Simply put, it doesn’t matter whether you fish for food, profit, or pleasure, your impacts are similar and therefore you must be treated similarly under the law! Perhaps it’s time for another revolution! >click to read< to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 18:43