Tag Archives: North Carolina.

How Did North Carolina’s Commerical Fishing Industry Fare In Hurricane Florence?

While cleanup crews are getting a good idea of how much the damage Hurricane Florence will cost, it’s not yet clear what the storm might have done to North Carolina’s fishing industry. Farmers on land lost more than $1 billion worth of crops in the floodwaters from the hurricane. Jerry Schill of the North Carolina Fisheries Association says, in a way, commercial fishermen lost crops of their own. “The fish stocks that they normally fish for in the fall, those fish stocks are displaced,” he said. Schill was speaking to a committee in the Legislature this week, one of many considering Hurricane Florence relief measures. >click to read<08:29

Shrimper hoping to salvage harvest season plagued by Hurricane Florence

Stanley Hall normally welcomes hurricane season, not because of its potentially negative impacts, but because it’s harvest season for shrimping. “This is the height of the season. This is when it normally gets good,” said Hall. “We got to make it right now because shrimping won’t start back until July.” For shrimpers like Hall, who operates his 40-foot vessel, Seabrook, out of Varnamtown, right now is not so good. “All the rain from Hurricane Florence has sent the shrimp out of the river prematurely, so they had no time to grow,” >click to read<18:26

Florence floodwaters reveal fish washed up on North Carolina interstate

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence are leaving quite a fishy situation in North Carolina. As floodwaters from the hurricane begin to recede more a week after the storm made landfall, first responders on Saturday came across hundreds of dead fish on a stretch of Interstate 40 that had been hit hard by flooding.,, The fish were discovered along a stretch of the interstate near Wallace, located about 40 miles northwest of Wilmington, where the storm made landfall. “Hurricane Florence caused massive flooding in our area and allowed the fish to travel far from their natural habitat, stranding them on the interstate when waters receded,” the fire department said. >click to read<08:22

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

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

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 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

Bill’s changes would allow industrial-scale oyster farming in N.C.

Should oyster farming in North Carolina be a cottage industry or marine industrial operations owned by nonresident corporations? That is the question facing legislators working on changes to the state’s oyster aquaculture statutes enacted in 2017. Senate Bill 738, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow and Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, drew strong opinions when it was discussed on May 30 at a meeting of the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee co-chaired by Cook and Sanderson. >click to read<11:46

 

Shrimp boat runs aground along Holden Beach coast

What started as a normal day on the job turned into a bit of nightmare for one shrimp boat captain. Big Earl, the shrimp boat, washed up on the beach in Holden Beach. Boat Captain, Virgil Coleman said he got in trouble around 4 p.m. Thursday. Coleman said he, along with another person had just started shrimping when the winds caused a net to get stuck in the boat’s propeller. The current winds pushed the boat closer to shore overnight and eventually beached the ship on the east end of the island. Video, >click to read<14:49

Commercial fishers’ plight needs more attention – the plight of our neighbors

I’ve lived in northeastern North Carolina for almost two decades now, and I am ashamed I know very little about the fishing industry. Why am I ashamed? Because as a region, fishing has a very big impact on our economy, tourism and recreation. I remember a few years after I moved here we had a season with a lot of crabs in Elizabeth City’s harbor. I was amazed at all the folks who lined up shoulder to shoulder to bring them in. I have Canadian relatives who were heavily involved in the sardine industry in Saint John, New Brunswick and I have vivid childhood memories of visiting there and smelling the heavy salt in the air and eating bags of dried dulse (seaweed) like popcorn. The sense of community in that fishing village was so evident. By Holly Audette>click to read<15:41

BLACK SEA BASS – THE NEW “WAR BETWEEN THE STATES”

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, signifying the end of the U.S. Civil War. One hundred and fifty-three years to the day, north and south are set to do battle yet again, this time over sea bass. From April 30 through May 3, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will hold its 2018 spring meeting in Arlington, VA, a city that was once the dividing line between Confederates to the South and the Union Army to the north during the bloodiest war in U.S. history. >click to read<12:41

Fishermen from across NC speak out against increased commercial fishing regulations

Proposed changes to North Carolina commercial fishing regulations could threaten jobs across the state, and the supply of seafood to the region. Nearly 100 people spoke out at an N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries meeting Wednesday night with most saying they are fearful for the future of their jobs and their families. Almost all were opposed to increased regulations on commercial fishing. They say the commission’s proposed requirements could take away their right to earn a living. >video, click to read< 15:15

How cold was it in January? Bad enough to kill a lot of fish

The record-breaking freeze that hit eastern North Carolina the first week of January was so cold that it killed a massive number of fish in tidal creeks and estuaries along the coast. Hardest hit was the spotted seatrout, a fish especially popular with recreational anglers who, along with commercial fishermen, are now banned from fishing for them until the middle of June. The moratorium is meant to give surviving fish a chance to replenish by spawning this spring.,,, >click to read< 13:36

North Carolina: Tighter requirements for commercial fishing licenses proposed

A proposal to tighten the requirements to get a commercial fishing license in North Carolina is nearing review by the state Marine Fisheries Commission following recommendations from a committee last week. But any changes to the rules for being able to carry what is known as the Standard Commercial License would require the final approval of the N.C. General Assembly. The panel, which was made up of commission Chairman Sammy Corbett, a commercial fisherman and dealer, recreation member Chuck Laughridge and scientist Mike Wickre, has submitted a list of five requirements. >click here to read< 09:08

North Carolina: Local shrimpers still competing with the flood of imported shrimp

Shrimp is the second largest commercial fishery in North Carolina, bested only by blue crabs in pounds landed and dockside value. But unfortunately, within the last 30 years or so, shrimp harvesting has been hit the hardest out of all the commercial seafood industries. A study funded by Sea Grant shows the number of seafood processors declined by 36 percent between 2000 and 2011, causing the economic value of North Carolina’s catch to decline from about $109 million in 1995 to $79 million in 2013. One of the main problems with the state’s seafood industry today is the workforce. Older fishermen are leaving the industry faster than younger watermen are joining their ranks. When adjusted for inflation, the price of shrimp has dropped by more than half since the late 1970s and imported shrimp is a big reason why. click here to read the story 15:23

Gov. Roy Cooper: No drilling off N.C. coast; ‘not worth it’

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will oppose seismic testing and drilling off the North Carolina coast during a statement at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach Thursday. In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aiming to expand off-shore drilling in parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, including North Carolina. Cooper is at odds with Trump’s order, and the governor argued off-shore drilling poses an economic risk to tourism and commercial fishing with no clear benefits for the state. The federal government has North Carolina on the list of potential off-shore drilling locations, and Friday is the deadline for seismic testing click here to read the story 16:16

Beached shrimp boat removed from North Carolina’s Bird Island

David Bartenfield first learned to sail when he was 12 years old and has continued to do so for over 40 years. Over Memorial Day weekend, he saw something on North Carolina’s Bird Island he probably won’t forget anytime soon – a shrimp boat beached on the shore. Over Memorial Day weekend, he saw something on North Carolinas Bird Island he probably won’t forget anytime soon, a shrimp boat beached on the shore. According to Chris Humphrey, a civilian controller with the U.S. Coast Guard in North Carolina, the boat was beached on May 25 after it lost power and ran ashore. Video,  click here to read the story 15:19 Here is a great collection of image’s and video of the Miss Carolyn Ann thanks to Bill Keziah, click here

North Carolina shrimp catch soared to new record last year – why its a mystery

North Carolina shrimp trawlers caught more of America’s favorite seafood last year than any time on record. The verdict on why is unclear. Shrimpers in 2016 harvested a record 13.2 million pounds worth $28 million, a 45 percent increase over the previous year, according to state biologists. A warm autumn gets much of the credit leading to big hauls through New Year’s Day, some two months longer than usual, according to a release from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Keith Bruno, owner of Endurance Seafood in Oriental, also credits mild temperatures.
“Weather makes all the difference,” he said. But weather does not entirely explain last year’s boom, said Steve George, a salesman at Willie R. Etheridge Seafood Company in Wanchese. Click here to read the story 14:31

North Carolina: Small Victory for Trawling Industry – But the fight isn’t over

Around 20 trawl boats made their way up the Neuse River to anchor in front of the New Bern Convention Center on Tuesday in a show of protest to proposed rules that would severely impact and ultimately kill their industry. Inside, the spacious conference room was filled to capacity with mostly advocates and supporters of commercial fishing. Donning badges saying “Deny the petition” with a trawl boat on the back drop, the show of solidarity was palpable.,, Throughout the meeting, advisory members unraveled what could be determined as a poorly thought-out petition, pointing out large factors that were omitted – namely economics and science. One of the biggest flaws the panel pointed out repeatedly is the fact that no other environmental factors were considered in the NCWF’s accusation that trawlers were destroying the finfish population. From cormorants to construction and economics to foreign imports,  there were many elements the NCWF admittedly left out. It was very clear that the group had one purpose with their proposed petition for rule-making- to shut down trawling in NC waters. Read the story here 11:36

Feds to auction 122,000 acres in North Carolina for wind energy

“Today’s announcement demonstrates how our collaborative efforts with Federal, state and local partners over the past eight years have built a foundation to harness the enormous potential of offshore wind energy,” said Secretary Jewell. “The lease sale underscores the growing market demand for renewable energy and strong industry interest in meeting that demand.” The Kitty Hawk lease sale is the latest effort in the Obama Administration’s renewable energy program at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which recently marked the operational launch of the nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island, and the lease sale for over 79,000 acres offshore New York. To date, BOEM has held six competitive lease sales, which have generated over $58 million in high bids for more than one million acres in federal waters. Read the rest here 09:05

North Carolina’s seafood deliveries continue in wake of Hurricane Matthew

matthew-nc-croppedWhile the flooding continues in North Carolina and portions of major highways remain closed, seafood distributors and wholesalers in the state are continuing to make deliveries following Hurricane Matthew’s landfall. “It is challenging to get to some places, but overall, we are getting our orders out. Our drivers are finding ways to do it,” said a source with the Charlotte, N.C, office for Inland Seafood, a major seafood distributor based in Atlanta. Major portions of Interstate 95 and Interstate 40 are still closed, causing headaches for seafood deliveries to restaurants and retailers. And some businesses along the N.C. coast were without power until 11 October and 12 October. “We were spared with the winds, but with all that water coming in – and rivers at a record high –we dealing with the aftermath,” said Lin Peterson, co-owner of Raleigh, N.C.-based Locals Seafood, a wholesaler, retailer and community supported fishery (CSF). “We just focus on seafood off the N.C. coast, so we are really affected when this happens.” Read the story here 11:49

Will North Carolina give up even more sovereignty to the National Marine Fisheries Service?

81932EnWP2037163.lgNext week (June 1) will be a significant day if you are concerned about Federal control of our lives. There will be a meeting of an “advisory group” in New Bern to consider whether or not the state should sign a “Joint Law Enforcement Agreement” to impose greater Federal control over the regulation of fishing within the state’s waters. Note the last part…within the state’s waters. Click here to read the announcement. Most people, even including fishermen, will not be in New Bern on June 1. The decision of whether to recommend to give this power to the National Marine Fisheries Service will be made by a small group of people who serve on this panel representing various special interest groups who have a stake in fishing regulations. As always, the dominant special interests are recreational fishing interests vs. commercial fishing interests. Read the rest here 10:03

‘Wicked Tuna’ Star Captain Delivers Beatdown … Gets Arrested

0421-tyler-mclaughlin-mug-shot-4One of the captains from “Wicked Tuna” got busted in port for smashing a guy’s face. Captain Tyler McLaughlin was charged this week for misdemeanor assault … according to the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Dept. in North Carolina.  Cops say McLaughlin got into it with another fisherman last month near the docks. The Nat Geo star allegedly put the guy in a choke hold and punched him in the eye multiple times. We’re told the victim suffered a broken nose and 2 black eyes. McLaughlin bounced before cops arrived. Weeks later, McLaughlin turned himself in to cops, got booked but was immediately released on a $10,000 bond. We reached out to McLaughlin and Nat Geo … no reply at all. TMZ link 16:02

Penny Rich: Dangerous drilling

Obama BPLast month, the Orange County Board of Commissioners told Gov. Pat McCrory and President Obama that we oppose offshore oil and gas exploration, drilling activities and seismic blast activities off the coast of . We are not alone. About 80 municipalities along the East Coast have opposed these activities, including 70 percent of the coastal communities in North Carolina. In addition, 92 members of Congress, roughly 500 local and state officials, more than 300 businesses and several fishing interest groups have weighed in with opposition. Read the rest here 19:55

Fish wars swirl – Commercial and recreational fishermen clash over southern flounder stock

FLOUNDER3NE091115CELNot the prettiest nor the most elusive of fish, the flat, oval-shaped southern flounder is nonetheless a tasty staple along the North Carolina coast, whether it’s caught by fishing rod or purchased in a seafood market or restaurant.These days the southern flounder is making waves that reach all the way to the state capital, pitting recreational anglers against commercial operators, setting a regulatory commission’s members against one another and their staff, and prompting legislators to wade into a controversy that is the territory of the executive branch. Accusations of political threats and retaliation abound. Read the rest here 08:04

Pledge to dredge will likely keep Oregon Inlet open in North Carolina

Dare County commissioners agreed Thursday to dedicate $1 million to pay the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the inlet. The move all but assures for the first time that the inlet remains open, said Dare County Commissioner Beverly Boswell. “We’ll have a dredge here when it’s needed,” she said after the vote. Oregon Inlet proponent and boat captain Harry Schiffman and others have pleaded with the county to pay for dredging for more than 20 years. Read the rest here 08:46

Blue crabs lead banner North Carolina fish catch

blue crabBlue crabs were the stars in a banner year for North Carolina commercial fishing. Fishermen sold 61.7 million pounds of finfish and shellfish in 2014, a 23 percent increase over the previous year, according to a news release from the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries. It was the first year landings had increased since 2010. The dockside value was $93.8 million, the most since 2002. “It’s certainly good news, and good news is needed,” said Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association. Read the rest here 22:36

North Carolina: Area lawmakers seek to protect, improve industry

Commercial fishing is a huge industry in coastal North Carolina, and easy access to and from the Atlantic Ocean, Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound are key to keeping that industry healthy. That’s why area legislators have filed bills or support bills dealing with commercial fishing and related items. From dredging to oysters, to commercial fishing, these Reps from North Carolina should be an example for other’s, Nation wide. BH  Read the rest here 21:55

UNCW professor studies declining flounder population in the New River Estuary of North Carolina

Since 2005, professor of marine biology Fred Scharf along with his team of UNCW undergraduates and graduate students, have been studying the migration patterns and genetics of flounder in the New River Estuary of North Carolina. Read the rest here 12:07

Day at the Docks kicks off Thursday night – Hatteras, North Carolina

Day at the Docks was started to celebrate the “Spirit of Hatteras” when the village recovered from Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as an intact community, anchored by the commercial and charter fishermen.  The day long event is a confirmation of the strength of community, heritage and living traditions of the waterman. Food, Fun, Exhibits. Something for everyone! Have a great time! Read about it here.  20:01