Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

IS THE G.A.O. SLOWWALKING ITS INVESTIGATION OF OFFSHORE WIND IMPACTS? By Jim Lovgren

On June 15, 2023, Congressman Chris Smith issued a press release touting the acceptance by the General Accountability Office [GAO], of a request by the House Natural Resources Committee to investigate a wide range of issues related to the development of offshore wind. The Committee letter, signed by Chairman Bruce Westerman, was submitted on May 15 th , 2023, almost a year ago. I bring this up because the average time-length of most GAO investigations is three months. Which begs the question; Is the Biden administration “slow-walking” the GAO investigation? Slow-walking is the act of purposefully delaying action by stalling, stonewalling, making excuses of how hard it is to do, and other whiney efforts at delaying an investigation until it fails because it is too late. It is the bureaucrat’s favorite weapon of choice when forced to disclose vital information, that their politician benefactors don’t want exposed. more, >>click to read<< 06:10

OFFSHORE WIND AND WHALES – A collection of articles from fisherynation.com By Jim Lovgren

After over forty-five years as a commercial fisherman out of Point Pleasant NJ, I sold my boat the Shadowfax, and retired, moving to California. My experience as a fisherman began in the early 1970’s, and I observed and learned an encyclopedia of knowledge concerning fishing, the environment, and fishery management, including politics. As I observed the continuing massacre and the lies denying them by government and media puppets, I under took an effort to expose the truth concerning offshore wind. The following articles are listed in order of their appearance in Fisherynation.com, and are best understood by reading them in order. Just click on the title of an article you’d like to read. more, >>click to read<< 15:09

NOAA/NMFS Ignores Dangerous Sound Levels from Pile Driving – By Jim Lovgren

A new recently released report from Rand Acoustics, LLC scientifically documented that the stated sound levels created by the pile driving of wind turbine stanchions into the seafloor is much louder than the NOAA approved levels. In a study dated November 2, 2023, the researchers used acoustic listening devises to record the underwater sounds being created from piledriving by the crane ship “Orion” in the Vineyard wind BOEM lease area OCS-A 0501 southwest of Nantucket Island. Prior to this research, Rand Acoustics documented the underwater sound levels being produced by some of the research vessels using sonar and seismic devises to examine and document the seafloor prior to turbine construction. This research proved that the sound levels produced by these research vessels exceeded the stated sound levels approved by NOAA/NMFS to protect marine mammals and resulted in the documentary film “Thrown to the wind”.  more, >>click to read<< 11:28

“Stand Clear the Line: Swordfishing on the SouthCoast. – New Swordfishing Exhibit at New Bedford Heritage Center

No one thinks much about commercial swordfishing and the Port of New Bedford, but 50 years ago or so, that line of work was fairly prominent on the waterfront. The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, located at 38 Bethel Street, is reviving those memories with a new exhibit, “Stand Clear the Line: Swordfishing on the SouthCoast.” Ritter said many of the fishermen who helped with the exhibit also went after swordfish back in the day. “We’re going to have a number of photos, artifacts, and media displays for people to explore the change of gear and technology used by local fishermen as they transitioned from harpooning to long-lining,” he said. more, >>click to read<< 11:51

NCFA Weekly Update for March 11, 2024

Advisory Comities Meet This Week to Discuss Shrimp Trawl Area Closure The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is proposing closing shrimp trawling in dozens of areas from Kitty Hawk to Sneads Ferry to protect submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Thousands of acres that include a multitude of areas traditionally worked by small shrimp boats. more, >>click to read<<  10:19

Time to save the Right Whale from the Green-Left

Back in the sixties and seventies, “Save the Whales” was the exclusive domain of the political left. As Bob Dylan might say, “The times they are a changin.” Three major “conservative” organizations – the National Legal Policy Center, Heartland Institute, and my organization, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow – recently filed a major lawsuit in a Washington, D.C. federal court to save the Right Whale from facing potential oblivion. Why aren’t the larger Green groups, unlike the grassroots ones, rallying around the efforts of these organizations to save Right Whales? Good question. Whales are being threatened by the Biden Administration’s fast-track plans to hurriedly place 30,000 MW of wind power generation off the Eastern coast, and doing so without the proper sort of environmental impact assessment they might otherwise perform for, say, offshore oil. more, >>click to read<< 11:11

Alumnus John Genther ’23 saved man from waters in Long Island Sound

The Coast Guard awarded John Genther ’23 the Meritorious Public Service Award for saving a man’s life, just nine months after he graduated from Furman. It was late one November afternoon, and Genther, working as a commercial whelk fisherman, was hauling in traps or “pots” of the edible sea snails from the cold waters off Long Island Sound. Something blue, about a half mile away, caught his eye. Genther sped over to check out what appeared to be the underside of a small skiff. When he came alongside the overturned vessel, he saw an older man, not wearing a life jacket, barely holding on. The man could scarcely talk in the 55-degree water. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:40

First, the lights flickered. Then the internet disappeared – 400,000 without power as deadly Nor’easter slams New England

When the power and internet went out, they would flicker back on and off, and when it did, the power stayed on, letting the furnace run, and with a semi normal life, with the exception of our internet provider, who finally came back on last night. A deadly Nor’easter storm left hundreds of thousands of people without power into Friday morning while floods and heavy snow disrupted travel. More than 280,000 people remained without power in Maine and another 111,400 in New Hampshire as of early Friday morning, according to poweroutage.us. more, >>click to read<< 06:21

East End fishermen uneasy over wind farm South Fork Wind

Late last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul called South Fork Wind, which is projected to eliminate hundreds of millions of tons of carbon emissions annually, a “major milestone” in the state’s “nation-leading effort to generate reliable, renewable clean energy. “But at least one East End community remains staunchly opposed to wind farms: commercial fishermen — who say that the massive, 50-story turbines could irreparably damage the local marine ecosystem and displace them from areas they’ve fished for decades or even generations. more, >>click to read<< 08:12

Charges Dropped Against Wind Farm Protesters in Ocean City

Charges against six wind farm opponents arrested in a rally last September in Ocean City were dropped this week and their records were expunged. About 60 protesters attended the rally with the goal of stopping workers from drilling holes in the street in an early step in Orsted’s proposed Ocean Wind 1 project. When police asked protesters to relocate about 10 feet from the site, many did. Six others didn’t. After they laid down in the street, they were arrested and charged with two disorderly persons offenses, failure to disperse and obstruction of highways or public pathways. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 15:52

Fishermen displaced by offshore wind farm apply for compensation

Vineyard Wind, the offshore wind developer, is constructing a 62-turbine wind farm in the federal waters south of New Bedford, the nation’s most lucrative fishing port. Uncertainty around whether it’s safe to fish inside offshore wind farms have soured many fishermen to the industry, even as wind developers offer new sources of income to fishermen willing to take on surveying, navigation and safety work. At the meeting at the port authority, a recently retired fisherman consulting for Vineyard Wind acknowledged this tension upfront. “I know how a lot of people feel about offshore wind,” said Fred Mattera. “Believe me, if I could click my heels and it’ll all go away, I’d be clicking my heels like you can’t imagine.” “But it’s not,” Mattera said. more, >>click to read<< 08:29

The One Weird Trick Trump Could Use to Get Away with January 6th

Far from shore after a week at sea, a Florida fisherman named John Yates was busted by wildlife officials for catching grouper that were too small. But before returning to the dock a day later, Yates chucked the contraband fish overboard rather than hand them over to authorities. So, the federal government charged Yates with destroying evidence under a law passed in response to the energy giant Enron and its shady financial practices. Called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the law was intended to crack down on financial fraud and evidence destruction. Yates argued that the law governed document shredding and fish aren’t documents. Eight years later, the Supreme Court sided with the fisherman in a precedent-setting 2015 decision that limited prosecutions. Today, that dump of grouper could wind up getting Donald Trump off the hook for January 6th. more, >>click to read<< 10:47

New Bedford – True North Seafood to shut down city plant

One of the city’s largest seafood processors is shutting down its waterfront facility, laying off as many as 94 local workers as the company consolidates its production in Virginia. True North Seafood, a subsidiary of Canadian seafood giant Cooke, announced the sudden decision to its staff at a floor meeting Thursday morning. The company is a leading distributor of imported fish, processing more than 16 million pounds of salmon each year, according to its website. Cooke has both harvesting and processing operations spanning 15 countries and over 13,000 workers. Its revenues are north of $4 billion, according to a recent interview with CEO Glenn Cooke. more, >>click to read<< 20:16

Fishermen keep fighting against offshore turbines

It’s a fishing story that’s not being told. That is how some members of the North Carolina For-Hire Captain’s Association (NCFHCA) feel about what they see as a threat offshore wind turbines would pose to the local fishing industry, economy, wildlife and environment. “No matter how we feel or whatever, the feds are shoving this down our throat and it doesn’t matter what we say,” said Capt. Cane Faircloth, a NCFHCA board member who handles media, public relations and marketing for the association of about 300 people. The subject is dear to the heart of Dr. Nick Degennaro of Southport, who has worked in the offshore industry for 30 years and has a doctorate in commercial engineering from the University of Rhode Island. He is opposed to offshore wind energy. This issue is so important to him, “because it’s going to destroy the ocean,” he said. Degennaro said areas that have offshore wind turbines become “dead zones” for fishing. more, >>click to read<< 10:48

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut receive proposals for offshore wind projects

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut received proposals Wednesday for offshore wind projects as the three East Coast states hope to boost their reliance on the renewable energy source. The three states joined in a historic agreement that allows for potential coordinated selection of offshore wind projects. Massachusetts received bids from Avangrid Renewables, South Coast Wind Energy and Vineyard Offshore in response to the region’s largest solicitation to date for offshore wind, seeking up to 3,600 megawatts. more, >>click to read<< 08:07

‘I’m not going to hang around:’ Some Maine lobstermen decide to quit over new regulations

Some lobstermen have decided the paperwork, and more harsh future regulations, aren’t worth it. Bill Coppersmith’s lobster boat is named the “Billy and Andy.” He stopped lobstering the day new reporting requirements started. “Forty-three years of doing it, I took the last of my gear out of the water on New Year’s Day. And I said, ‘That’s probably it,'” Coppersmith said. “It’s come to be too restrictive to go. It creates more work. And I can’t create any more revenue because of the restrictions they’re putting on here.” Lobstermen are also now required to keep a tracking device on board so the Atlantic States Commission can track their movements in the Gulf of Maine. Coppersmith says that’s an invasion of privacy. Video, more, >>click to read<< 06:26

Fisheries committees to discuss possible trawling closures to protect submerged aquatic vegetation

Three advisory committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet in April to discuss a proposal to protect submerged aquatic vegetation through shrimp trawl area closures. The meetings will be held in person and live-streamed on YouTube. Public comments will be accepted in person during the meetings. The commission’s northern advisory committee will meet April 9 at 6 p.m. in the Dare County Board of Commissioners’ meeting room in Manteo. The Southern Advisory Committee will meet April 10 at 6 p.m. in the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries central district office at 5285 Highway 70 West in Morehead City. The shellfish/crustacean advisory committee will meet April 11 at 6 p.m. in the central district office. more, >>click to read<< 15:19

Six missing workers presumed dead after Baltimore bridge collapse, US Coast Guard says

A desperate search was launched to try and trace six construction workers who plunged 185ft into the cold waters below the bridge. Given the time they have been missing and the water temperatures, the workers are presumed to have died. The Coast Guard will now suspend its search and rescue mission and instead focus on a recovery mission. “We do not want to injure any of these first responders in this recovery effort,” an official said. It comes after harrowing close-up video footage has emerged of the moment Baltimore’s Key Bridge collapsed after being struck by a container ship. The ship, the Singaporean flagged Dali, was only 20 minutes into its journey when it slammed into a support column on the bridge. photos, video, more, >>click to read<< 07:09

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 95′ Steel Dragger

To review specifications, information, and 30 photos’,>click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here< 11:53

Commercial Fishermen Remain Worried About Proposed Plans from US Wind

Proposed plans for the West Ocean City Harbor came into focus on Monday night. Offshore wind company US Wind wants to upgrade the pier in the harbor, and a public hearing on Monday gave neighbors a chance to voice their opinions. One commercial fisherman we spoke with ahead of the public hearing said he’s worried the company’s plans, which are part of a future operations and maintenance facility, could run his industry out of town. “Now US Wind is trying to purchase the other two fish houses we have, so we’ll no longer have anywhere to pack out our fish, nowhere else to get ice,” said Jimmy Hahn. more, >>click to read<< 08:26

Baltimore Bridge Hit By Ship – Major Collapse

A major commuter bridge in Baltimore collapsed after being rammed by a container ship, causing vehicles to plunge into the water and threatening chaos at one of the most important ports on the US East Coast. The Maryland Transportation Authority issued an alert on X telling drivers not to use Interstate 695. Kevin Cartwright of the Baltimore City Fire Department described it as “a mass casualty, multi-agency incident” in an audio interview with CNN, adding as many as 20 people could be in the water. The disaster at the Francis Scott Key Bridge happened early Tuesday. It’s likely to cause huge disruption — both for shipping at one of the busiest ports on the US East Coast and on the roads — now that a key link has been severed on the major highway encircling Baltimore. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:31

Mystic Aquarium (the Whale People) expands offshore wind exhibit with youth in mind

In light of New London’s growing offshore wind industry, the Mystic Aquarium expanded its Renewable Ocean Energy Exhibit to educate the region on protective ocean wildlife methods this week. The expansion is in collaboration with Ørsted and Eversource, two developers of Connecticut’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. The offshore wind projects are expected to power up to 70,000 homes on Long Island when completed. The two companies gave the aquarium two grants totaling $1.25 million to study the effects of wind turbines on marine mammals and sea turtles. more, >>click to read<< 12:21

Commercial fishermen react to MFC mullet decision

While many commercial fishermen prefer day-of-the-week closures, which the Marine Fisheries Commission voted to approve as its preferred fishery management for striped mullet, to daily trip limits, they don’t see the need for mullet regulations. “It’s a no-win situation for us one way, shape, or form,” said Mike Langowski, a commercial mullet fisherman in Frisco. “So, I’ve got to live with whatever it is they come up with.” Many commercial fishermen in North Carolina are not against the regulation of their industry, because they need a healthy, viable stock to continue to make money. more, >>click to read<< 09:36

Menhaden fishermen, jet ski protestor clash leads to a bill with “teeth”

The Virginia General Assembly has passed HB 928, a bill designed to protect commercial fishermen and their boats from harassment at sea. The bill passed, 38-1, by the Senate, and, 99-0, by the House and signed by the speaker of the House on March 5 and president of the Senate on March 7. Gov. Glenn Youngkin is expected to sign it into law and the “Governor’s deadline action period” is by April 8. HB 928 was prompted by a dangerous engagement between a jet skier and an Ocean Harvesters menhaden fishing crew, reportedly occurred on Sept. 23, 2023, and was documented in a video by a menhaden spotter pilot. more, >>click to read<< 07:26

Scallop wallop – Japanese imports are taking a bite out of New Bedford’s lucrative seafood industry at a time when the region’s shellfish are in shorter supply.

Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, landed a deal to supply U.S. military bases in Japan with scallops and other Japanese seafood products. Japan is an ally, he said, and it is important to support one of their major industries in a challenging moment. “In America we have a saying about being a good neighbor,” Emanuel said, according to the military news service Stars and Stripes. “This is being a good neighbor.” The recent spike in Japanese scallop imports is a complex political tangle. But in the U.S. seafood trade, distributors aren’t buying Japanese scallops to be neighborly, as Emanuel put it.  “It’s business,” said Drew Minkiewicz, a D.C. attorney who represents commercial fishing and shipping interests. “Japan’s government is making a targeted effort to push as many scallops as they can into the U.S. That competes directly with our scallops here.” more, >>click to read<< 12:36

Federal Government Picks New England Offshore Wind Power Site, Drawing Cheers and Questions Alike

The federal government on Friday designated a large area off the New England coast for offshore wind production development, setting the stage for a possible lease sale within the Gulf of Maine.  The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a statement that the New England zone, which renewable energy advocates have identified as crucial for the growth of wind power, “avoids important areas for lobster fishing, North Atlantic right whale habitat, and other important fishing areas and habitats.” The move came a day after the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm opened off Montauk Point, New York. Environmental groups cheered the announcement, but some members of the commercial fishing industry, which has opposed wind development in areas where they trap lobsters, said they still have concerns about locating offshore wind in the area. more, >>click to read<< 12:23

Biden administration sued over Virginia offshore wind farm approval

A conservative think tank on Monday sued the Biden administration in an effort to reverse approval of what would be the largest offshore wind farm of its kind. The Heartland Institute filed the suit with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a nonprofit that advocates for an economically libertarian approach to environmental action and has denied the existence of human-caused climate change. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to reverse the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) approval of Dominion Energy’s 176-turbine wind project offshore Virginia. more, >>click to read<< 08:30

Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy

Flicking heads off shrimp is one of the first jobs you learn when you’re born a Davis.  Joseph “Jody” Davis remembers filling up a bucket of beheaded shrimp for his grandmother for a quarter when he was just 4 years old. “It wasn’t bad money in the ’70s,” he said, standing on the dock of Davis Seafood, the family business in Sneads Ferry.  His 25-year-old daughter, Hannah, swiftly beheads a just-caught batch for a customer order. Muscle memory fills the bin. “We’ve been at this exact spot since 1949,” he said. “But we’ve been commercial fishermen for centuries.” The Davis Seafood office door is decorated with two stickers bearing the same mantra: “FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS EAT IMPORTED SHRIMP.” Customers notice it and laugh. “But it’s more than just comedy,” Davis said. “It’s a way of life for us. And if people just cast us aside, we’re done.” photos, more, >>click to read<< 16:12

What You Need to Know About Cod

As a large, naturally abundant fish, cod has been eaten by various human populations for centuries. While both of America’s Atlantic cod fisheries are overfished, American stocks of Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) are not. What’s more, various other cod fisheries are located around the globe, some over-exploited, others not. The fish’s prevalence, along with its suitability for eating, means that despite dwindling numbers, cod remains a stalwart of many cuisines. However, there are many things about cod that aren’t widely known. It might surprise some people to learn that cod hunt for prey. They eat a variety of animals, ranging from worms to lobsters and even small fish. Such a diet means cod are capable of growing up to an impressive length of six feet and a weight of over 100 pounds. more, >>click to read<< 11:52

 

NCFA Weekly Update for March 18, 2024

The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) met the first full week of March in Jekyll Island, Georgia. The main items discussed at this meeting were king and Spanish mackerel tournament sales, Black Sea bass, red snapper, for-hire reporting, and the commercial permitting structure in the snapper grouper fishery. King and Spanish mackerel tournament sales were discussed by the council but no votes were taken on this issue. It is my understanding that the council wants to wait and see what the public has to say about tournament sales and many other mackerel related issues at the upcoming mackerel port meetings before making any decisions. As always if you have any questions or comment please reach out. more, >>click to read<< 10:46