Tag Archives: South Carolina

South Carolina: Local organization speaks out against seismic testing

Friday, seismic testing was given the go-ahead by the National Marine Fisheries Services, which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last year, the U.S. Department of Interior denied the seismic permits. They said the damage caused to marine animals and the fishing industry was not worth it.It is now a go, and Lowcountry organizations are upset because seismic testing is the first step to potentially allowing offshore drilling. “We are extremely against seismic air gun blasts,” Peg Howell, spokesperson for Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic, said. >click to read<20:50

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

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

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

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

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

Why Maine Is The Only State In The US With A ‘Significant’ Elver Fishery

If you’ve ever read a story in the news about elver fishing season, you’ve probably seen some variation of this line: “Maine’s the only state in the U.S. with a significant fishery for elvers.” Maybe you thought that’s because elvers don’t exist in large numbers outside of Maine — that would be a reasonable assumption. But the real reason is somewhat more complicated. Let’s start at the beginning, in the Sargasso Sea. Although it sounds romantic, the Sargasso Sea is actually just an area of the North Atlantic that’s full of Sargassum,,, >click to read<14:56

It’s getting harder to reel in a living on the SC coast

Pete Kornack launched his oyster boat into “white knuckle” thick fog on a recent morning and came back with a good harvest, some 16 bushels. The hoist squeaked almost musically pulling the bags of oysters from the boat to the dock. But it wasn’t like the days when Kornack, 50, was young. Crews then would bring back 90 bushels, sometimes shoveling them into the boat. Today, commercial shellfish harvesters like Kornack often have to supplement the living they love by finding other jobs. >click to read<15:54

It’s getting harder to reel in a living on South Carolina coast

Pete Kornack launched his oyster boat into “white knuckle” thick fog on a recent morning and came back with a good harvest, some 16 bushels. The hoist squeaked almost musically pulling the bags of oysters from the boat to the dock. But it wasn’t like the days when Kornack, 50, was young. Crews then would bring back 90 bushels, sometimes shoveling them into the boat. Today, commercial shellfish harvesters like Kornack often have to supplement the living they love by finding other jobs. >click to read<10:27

Federal waters off Georgia, South Carolina closed to fishing for brown, pink, white shrimp

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced on Jan. 24 that NOAA Fisheries have closed federal waters off Georgia to all fishing for brown, pink, and white shrimp. During the closure, no person may trawl for brown, pink, or white shrimp in federal waters off Georgia effective at 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 24Georgia, South Carolina NOAA Fisheries will issue a new Fishery Bulletin announcing the re-opening to shrimp harvest in federal waters off Georgia once the date is determined.. >click here to read< and in South Carolina >click here to read<17:55

Empty nets and light wallets as fall shrimp season disappoints in South Carolina

The fall white shrimp season has been a painful one for South Carolina’s diminished fleet of trawlers, with many people wondering what’s become of all the tasty crustaceans. “They’re just not here,” said Grace Edwards, head of Shem Creek Fisheries, whose husband runs a trawler. “They are having a terrible season,” said Jimmy Bagwell, chairman of the Save Shem Creek Corp. “A lot of the boats have gone to Florida and Georgia to try to catch something.” In McClellanville, Mayor Rutledge B. Leland III runs Carolina Seafood, and he’s seen the same thing. “It’s really been a pretty sad fall, so far,” he said. Some shrimpers have headed up to North Carolina, where Leland said they are having a better season. click here to read the story 15:29

Help Shem Creek Fleet Pay The Billsclick here for the fundraiser

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina Reeling After Irma’s Historic Assault; Navy Dispatches Ships, Aircraft Carrier to the Keys

An aircraft carrier has been dispatched to the Florida Keys to help with relief efforts as Irma after its historic assault on Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, killing at least nine people. Five deaths have been attributed to the storm in Florida, including two deaths in Hardee County, one death Orange County, one in St. Johns County and one in Winter Park. Deaths were also reported in Georgia’s Worth and Forsyth counties and the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. click here to read the story 09:59

Canadian power crews head to Irma-hit Florida to help restore service – Dozens of Canadian power crews are heading to Florida to help restore power to millions of people affected by Hurricane Irma. click here to read the story

South Carolina restricts flounder fishing in an effort to help the species recover

Anyone fishing for flounder from a dock or pier can keep only 10 fish per day, down from a limit of 15 flounder per day, according to restrictions approved this past spring by the Legislature. Fishing boats can keep no more than 20 flounder per day, regardless of how many anglers are in the vessel.The previous boat limit was 30 flounder.  The rules apply to recreational anglers as well commercial fishermen who use hooks and lines, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Violating the bag limit carries fines of $25 to $500 and possible jail time. In a news release Wednesday, DNR biologists said the tighter fishing limits mean 30 percent fewer fish will be landed in the next two years, giving flounder a chance to come back. click here to read the story 11:47

Beaufort shrimper brings damaged trawler home: ‘It’s life or death. It’s what we do’

If not for opening day, a shrimp fleet might have been spared the dings, bruises and brokenness the boats were nursing at a private dock on St. Helena Island on Thursday. But opening day for a shrimper is a hallowed date. South Carolina waters are open to trawling and those who make a living in white rubber boots are on the water. Even when the weather this week churned up some of the nastiest conditions experienced fishermen had ever seen. It was during a storm early Wednesday morning, in the dark more than a mile off of Pritchards Island, that the shrimp boat Gracie Belle was waiting for daylight and the 8 a.m. start of shrimp season. The boat and its crew wouldn’t make it to work, though all would be saved by the end of the day. Good Video, Great story!  Click here to read the story 18:12

AMSEA to hold two Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshops in South Carolina in March

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association workshops meet the U. S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on documented commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the federal boundary line. On Thursday, March 9, a workshop will be conducted in Murrells Inlet from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462 Murrells Inlet Road. A second workshop will be conducted on Saturday, March 11 in McClellanville at the McClellanville Town Office, 405 Pinckney Street. Instructor Michael Lawson will cover man-overboard recovery and firefighting, emergency position-indicating radio beacon stations, flares and maydays, emergency drills, helicopter rescue, life rafts and abandon ship procedures, personal floatation devices, immersion suits and cold-water survival skills. The workshop will include an “in-the-water” practice session for participants to practice survival skills. Interested mariners may register for the workshops online at www.amsea.org or call AMSEA at 907-747-3287. Link 07:15

White shrimp weighing in at 10-12 count per pound? In late January?

That is exactly how the 2016-17 commercial shrimping season in South Carolina state waters wound up earlier this week, at the end of January. The season typically closes by mid-January but excellent catches of jumbo shrimp by trawlers kept it open later. “I’ve had people tell me they’ve never seen big shrimp like this out there this time of year,” Mel Bell, Director of the Office of Fisheries Management for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said on Thursday. “It’s been an unusual close to the season. It’s normally closed by mid-January, and if it’s a colder winter, maybe earlier. “We’ve never seen that phenomenon of those large shrimp offshore. I’ve talked to fishermen who have been in the industry for decades and they’ve never seen anything like that.” Read the story here 18:07

South Carolina Working Waterfront: Rural attitude, commercial fishing still embraced in McClellanville

McClellanville stands apart from other working waterfronts in South Carolina in a couple of important ways. Its geographic isolation has helped maintain a rural attitude, and commercial fishing remains the economic driver for the community. These days, the town that got its start as a summer resort for plantation owners has the least touristy feel of South Carolina coastal communities. The small commercial section of the Jeremy Creek waterfront is dominated by two commercial docks—at Carolina Seafood and Livingston’s Bulls Bay Seafood. A public boat landing with limited parking spaces gets crowded on weekends and during the public shrimp-baiting season in the fall, but most of those boats head into the Intracoastal Waterway and leave the working waterfront behind. Read the rest of the story here 12:06

South Carolina’s commercial shrimp trawling season opens Monday

sc shrimp dmrIn the wake of South Carolina’s historic rainfall event in October 2015, fishermen and biologists were unsure how the unprecedented influx of freshwater would impact the state’s shrimp fishery. Now, local shrimp are back on the menu and contrary to early concerns, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists are expecting a productive year, with models predicting the largest roe white shrimp crop since 1979. The commercial shrimp trawling season will open in all state waters where trawling is legal at 8 a.m. Monday. Shrimp season normally opens in mid to late May, after the peak spawning period of white shrimp has occurred. Eight smaller provisional areas opened in early April. Several key factors have contributed to 2016’s record shrimp stocks, according to DNR biologists. Read the rest here 23:30

Coast Guard rescue stations in SC, Oregon open till 2018

U.S. Coast Guard helicopter search-and-rescue stations on the South Carolina and Oregon coasts will remain open at least until 2018. Sen. Tim Scott said in a statement Thursday that part of an authorization bill that cleared Congress this week includes keeping the Coast Guard Stations open. The bill was sent to the president to be signed. Losing the Air Facility Charleston and its search-and-rescue helicopter would have serious effects on one of our nation’s critical port cities and adversely impact the safety of mariners, residents and tourists in the Lowcountry,” Scott said. Scott and his fellow South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham worked with Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon to keep the facilities open. Read the rest here 08:33

South Carolina: Crabs, other fish showing impact of flood

The onslaught of big crabs into the creeks feeding in the Charleston estuary is among the first indications biologists are getting of the effects of October’s historic flooding on marine life — a wash of water so large that the creeks only now are starting to fall to levels anywhere near what observers would call ebb tides and the offshore remains less salty than usual. Among other shellfish, oyster beds are again off-limits partly because of the flood, while the shrimp catch — so far — doesn’t seem to have been helped or hurt. Read the rest here 08:52

South Carolina and Georgia shrimpers brace for black gill

While Lowcountry shrimpers have seen little of their catch infected with black gill disease this year, scientists say it’s only a matter of time. The infection, which causes dark spots to appear on the midsection of shrimp, is not dangerous to humans. It remains somewhat of a mystery to scientists and shrimpers, but some of them blame it for reduced shrimp population in recent years. Charles Gay of Gay Fish Company on St. Helena Island said his shrimpers began seeing black gill this week. Read the rest here 13:24

South Carolina eyes protecting the tiger shark

The huge tiger shark caught by a commercial fishing boat last weekend was at least 50 years old. It was brood stock for an important apex predator. It doesn’t even taste that good. And it might not be legal to harvest next summer. A bill now in the state Legislature would restrict fishing for tigers to catch-and-release to protect the large predator and help keep an ecosystem healthy by culling the weak and diseased of other species. Read the rest here 09:52

South Carolina Commercial shrimp trawling season opening May 27

white shrimp atlanticShrimp season normally opens in mid to late May, after the peak spawning period of white shrimp has occurred. Following a relatively mild winter, this year’s opening date is fairly typical. Eight smaller provisional areas were opened last week to shrimp trawling. S.C. Shrimpers Association president Richard Billington said that shrimpers are looking forward to a good harvest of large, white shrimp in 2015. Read the rest here 16:41

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

BOEM – You’re Invited: South Carolina Offshore Energy Public Meetings

boem-logoThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) would like to invite you to attend the South Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting, as well as two open house public meetings on renewable energy. Information is provided below. Sept. 22, 2014 (4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) Conway, SC, Charleston, SC,  Sept. 23, 2014 (12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Charleston, SC Sept. 23, 2014 (5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) Click here for information 13:03

Special hunt authorized in South Carolina for double crested cormorants

The awkward-looking seabirds are one of nature’s most capable fish catchers -– yet they never seem to garner the respect heaped upon other avian piscators. In China, they have been trained to dive and harvest fish for commercial markets for more than 1,000 years. Here in the U.S., however, Read [email protected]  11:40

No-fishing zones can’t be justified, hurt coastal economy

Recreational and commercial fishermen and coastal business should be very concerned about an effort by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to create more no-fishing zones off North and South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida in a misguided reaction to radical environmental groups that are pushing for extraordinary and unjustifiable protections for two deep-water grouper species. [email protected]  13:47

SC considers seafood origins truth-in-advertising bill

the state.com – If those tasty crustaceans smothered by grits in South Carolina restaurants are from Florida, the restaurant owner would be breaking the law by calling them “local” shrimp, under a change working its way through the Legislature. continued