Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

Wind Farm Protesters March in Ocean City

Opposition to the wind farm has been mounting following more than 30 whale deaths along the East Coast that critics have blamed on sonar mapping of the seabed that is needed for construction of the project. However, government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection say the recent deaths of whales, dolphins and other marine creatures in New Jersey and other coastal states have nothing to do with the wind farm work. They say evidence shows that most of the whales were struck and killed by shipping traffic. Opponents reject those claims, though. During Saturday’s protest, speakers pointed the finger at the wind farm for the whale deaths and warned of other possible dire impacts that the project could have on the Jersey Shore’s environment, the tourism industry and commercial fishing operations. Photos, Video, >click to read< 07:55

Virginia crab management committee recommends fall, spring catch limit increase

A state committee on crab management is recommending increases to crab catch limits this fall and next spring but keeping in place the summer reductions instituted last year after surveys found the population had plummeted. The newest proposals follow the results of the 2023 Bay-wide Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, which found that the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay increased from 227 million in 2022 to 323 million in 2023. Improvements were seen across the board among adult males and females, as well as among juveniles. However, the juvenile numbers still remained among the six lowest recorded in the 34 years of the Winter Dredge Survey. >click to read< 16:27

Feds play shell game with wind / whale impacts

NOAA is taking public comments on a massive proposal to harass large numbers of whales and other marine mammals by building a huge offshore wind complex. There is supposed to be an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed harassment, but it is not there with the proposal. We are told it is elsewhere but after searching we find that it simply does not exist. Like a shell game where the pea has been palmed, there is nothing to be found. First the bureaucratic background. The wind project is Dominion’s 2,600 MW offshore Virginia facility, which if built would be the world’s biggest. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing to issue a five year harassment authorization for the construction of this monster. >click to read< 07:36

Maine: Lobstermen support better science to help right whales

The historical record of Maine lobstermen is clear.One right whale entangled in 2004 was disentangled and swam free. No right whale death has ever been attributed to Maine lobster gear. Gov. Janet Mills and our congressional delegation, without partisanship, acknowledge Maine lobstermen are not a threat to the right whale population. Despite never having seen one in the 50 years I’ve fished; I’ve made multiple changes to make my gear more whale friendly. These changes have been time-consuming, expensive, and potentially dangerous to me and my crew but resulted in less rope in the water. >click to read< 11:52

Offshore wind moves forward amid calls for marine life studies

The offshore wind sector is taking shape every day in New Jersey while calls continue for a pause in activity to learn more about whether any of the work is connected to whale and dolphin deaths along the state’s beaches. “Today’s actions by NJDEP represent significant milestones and critical steps that are needed to advance the state’s first offshore wind project and bring clean, reliable energy and the associated economic benefits to the region,” said Maddy Urbish, Ørsted’s head of government affairs and market strategy, New Jersey. Ocean Wind 1 still needs additional state and local approvals, as well as clearance from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, before construction can begin. So far, the work has centered on ocean floor mapping using sonar technology. Those calling for the pause point to this work as a potential link, saying that the sonar can disorient marine life. >click to read< 11:31

Chesapeake Bay blue crab population improves after all-time low in 2022

This year, the number of spawning age female crabs and adult male crabs both increased substantially, but the number of juvenile crabs only increased by about 15%, according to the winter dredge survey, which is completed from December to March by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “We are encouraged by the increases in adult crab abundance, but we need to be vigilant given the ongoing low recruitment numbers,” said Lynn Fegley, acting director for Maryland Department of Natural Resources’s Fishing and Boating Services, in a statement. “We haven’t seen a strong year class since 2019 despite maintaining the spawning stock at a level capable of producing one.” Video, >click to read<  12:56

Wind project scope ‘staggering’

It wasn’t “until the whales and the dolphins started washing up that people’s attention was able to focus” on the offshore wind farms, according to Cindy Zipf, and when people looked beyond the whales, they realized what is happening is “staggering.” “I don’t think ever in the history of mankind have we proposed to industrialize an ecosystem this fast and at this magnitude,” she said. Zipf is executive director of Clean Ocean Action, a coalition of groups dedicated to protecting the ocean. Zipf acknowledges the pace at which the plans are moving forward is making efforts to slow or stop them difficult. “It’s challenging considering how fast-tracked everything is and how limited the permitting process is. It’s kind of under the jurisdiction of two people to make it happen, President Biden and Gov. Murphy,” she said. “Hopefully as more is understood there will be some more caution but as it is right now the (state and federal) agencies are very enthusiastic.” >click to read< 16:29

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 80’X22′ Steel Scalloper/Dragger, Cat 3412

To review specifications, information, and 31 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:30

Lowcountry is the last ‘wild west’ for blue crabs. Crabbers call for change.

In February, David Richardson drove to Columbia from his home in Charleston to speak to a room of state senators about his life as a South Carolina crabber, which, at the moment, “is kind of miserable.” But it wasn’t always miserable. Which is why he drove two hours to the Statehouse, a place he had never been nor expected to visit. The crabber thought about wearing a Hawaiian shirt, then thought twice: “I wore a suit, thank God.” As crab numbers fell over the past decade across the Eastern Seaboard, South Carolina did nothing, but North Carolina increased its management actions. It designated some areas as “no-fishing” spawning sanctuaries. And Georgia decided to limit the number of commercial crabbing licenses to under 100. Photos, >click to read< 08:39

Congressman Van Drew Joins Chairman Westerman on Natural Resources in Leading Letter to GAO Requesting Offshore Wind Study

“BOEM and offshore wind companies have engaged in a sloppy and rushed environmental review process—ignoring national security concerns, ignoring concerns from our fishermen, and ignoring impacts on our ocean life—all in the name of ‘climate change,'” said Congressman Van Drew. “We must continue to demand transparency throughout this process. Without diligent oversight, we risk not only our natural resources and local economies, but the livelihoods of the constituents we serve as well. I thank Chairman Westerman for his support in uncovering the real impacts these offshore wind turbines will have on our coast, including the economic impact on pertinent industries and the effects on sensitive environments.” >click to read< 10:31

Natural Resources Defense Council Announces STATE OF EMERGENCY for Atlantic Whales By Jim Lovgren

The National Resources Defense Council [NRDC] in a press release has declared a state of emergency for Atlantic Whales. Here are some excerpts from a piece written by Francine Kershaw, NRDC’s leading east coast Marine mammal expert. “Something is happening off our Atlantic coast.  Unprecedented numbers of great Whales are washing up dead on our shores.” Over the last few decades, the NRDC has successfully challenged the US Military in regard to sonar effects on marine organisms, while also challenging seismic activity related to oil exploration. Both of these issues have national security implications that require a more robust examination of the possible causes of the legal actions taken, and why they were taken. What’s NRDC’s excuse for ignoring the growing amount of dead Whale carcasses that keep washing up on east coast beaches, while the same research vessels that would have been doing the seismic and sonar research for the oil companies are doing it for the wind factories? >click to read< 17:58

Letter to Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted

Dear Mr. Nipper, We write as concerned citizens and residents of the State of New Jersey, U.S.A. Our groups total tens of thousands of volunteer citizen advocates including more than 500,000 signatories to various petitions supporting our efforts. The NJ Shore is a national treasure enjoyed by millions who live and work, visit and vacation here and have done so for generations. On behalf of all the good people who love and enjoy the NJ Shore and its communities, please treat this letter as public notice that: We oppose your company’s efforts to turn our ocean, coastal ecosystems, and shore communities into industrial electricity generation and transmission power plants; We will protect our shore communities, the environment and the lives and livelihoods of all species including the millions of us that reside, work, visit and vacation here against your thoughtless industrialization; We will not falter, and we will not stop opposing your developments. >click to read< 11:48

Where have all the dead whales gone? By Nils Stolpe, FishNet-USA

Beginning in December of last year and extending through most of the first quarter of 2023, New Jersey and New York beaches were inundated with abnormally high numbers of dead or dying whales and smaller marine mammals. These majestic creatures-though not so majestic when being pushed about willy-nilly by tides, wind, waves and various types of earth moving machines-have never expired in such large numbers in such publicly accessible locations in local residents’ memories. Perhaps coincidently, intensive hydroacoustic surveys to determine the suitability of potential sites for the construction of thousands of gigantic windmills and their supporting infrastructure (supposedly to help us all survive what is being sold as an imminent energy/climate crisis) were being committed offshore of the beaches where all of these marine mammal deaths and strandings have been concentrated. To us inveterate observers of that hunk of Atlantic Ocean real estate known as the New York Bight, and the critters that temporarily or permanently live there, and of the actions of the public agencies charged with-and entitled to tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year to do so-administering the Endangered Species and the Marine Mammal Protection Acts, that surely hints at, at best, ineptitude at that’s ineptitude at a fairly advanced level. >click to read the article< 16:14

Ocean City, Wind Farm Developer Clash in Legal Fight

The Danish energy company Orsted, which plans to build the Ocean Wind project, filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court on May 4 demanding that Ocean City should grant the permits needed for the underground transmission line. In response to the lawsuit, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian issued a statement strongly criticizing Orsted. “The lawsuit continues a pattern that Ocean Wind presumes the offshore wind project is a done deal and they will resort to any means to maintain their desired schedule,” Gillian said. >click to read< 14:50

Wind farms creating ‘death zone’ at sea says ex-Greenpeace boss

Drilling foundations for offshore wind turbines and sound pulses used to prepare for the 900-foot towers may be creating a “death zone” for whales, a former Greenpeace chief claims. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace and its ex-president in Canada, believes the acoustic systems used by vessels surveying the ocean floor harm the marine mammals’ sense of hearing, risking their crucial ability to navigate, and leading to more dead whales washing up onshore. At least 36 “large” whales have washed up along the East Coast since Dec. 1, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. photos, >click to read< 07:51

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 08, 2023

Final DMF Observer Call-In Program Meetings and ASMFC Recap, This is a great opportunity to provide input on the new anchored gill net observer call-in program beginning this fall. If you fish anchored gill nets you WILL BE REQUIRED under the conditions of our state sea turtle and sturgeon ITPs to call in BEFORE you fish once this program begins.  Much more included in this weeks update. >click to read< 14:49

Wind energy developer funneled cash to Dem senator pushing offshore wind

A multibillion-dollar energy developer has wired tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine’s campaign in recent years while aggressively pushing a massive offshore wind project. The Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s political action committee (PAC) has funneled $23,000 to Kaine for Virginia since 2011, with the latest, a $1,500 contribution, coming in February. In that same time span, Dominion Energy has given another $44,500 to Common Ground PAC, the leadership PAC affiliated with and chaired by Kaine. Since 2021, Dominion Energy executives led by CEO Robert Blue and Senior Vice President William Murray have donated $19,600 to Kaine’s campaign. At the same time, lobbyists who Dominion has contracted made payments totaling $3,000 to the campaign. >click to read< 08:03

Omega Protein Fishing Partner Christens Two New Vessels, Reedville and Little River

Ocean Harvesters, Omega Protein’s fishing partner, kicked off the 2023 fishing season by christening two new vessels for the Atlantic menhaden fishery. The F/V Reedville and the F/V Little River are the two latest additions to the fleet of Ocean Harvesters, which fishes for menhaden in Virginia and operates a long-term supply contract with Omega Protein. The vessels were christened on Saturday April 22 in a ceremony at Omega Protein’s facility in Reedville, Virginia.  Video, photos, >click to read< 12:44

N.J. GOP seeks wind projects halt to see if whales benefit

Four state senators hosted a online hearing about offshore wind energy generation and whale deaths, three weeks after the most recent East Coast whale death was reported and despite the assurances of most scientists and conservationists that there is no correlation. The two-hour hearing came a week after Democrats, who control the Legislature and the governorship, held a similar hearing and many of New Jersey’s major environmental groups said the greatest danger to whales is climate change, not offshore wind generation. “I’ve been labeled a climate change denier and a tin-foil hat wearer,” said Jim Hutchinson, managing editor of The Fisherman,,, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., who represents part of the Jersey Shore and who led last week’s Democratic-led forum, said pausing offshore wind projects wouldn’t prevent whale deaths. >click to read< 08:05

Massive study examines offshore wind’s impact on fishing, fisheries

A just released “first of its kind” report that federal regulators and the fishing industry spent three years working on is making the rounds, exploring the impacts of offshore wind on fisheries and commercial fishermen, and identifying the questions that remain unanswered. They just released their results in a nearly 400-page “Synthesis of Science” report — a collaborative effort between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the lead regulator of offshore wind; NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center; and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), a membership-based coalition of the fishing industry. >click to read< 09:31

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38’6″x14’6″ David MacDonald Lobster Boat, 300HP, Cummins C Series Diesel

To review specifications, information, and 17 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<  12:25

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 1st, 2023

DMF Call-in Observer Program Meetings and ASMFC Spring Meeting – We at NCFA want to emphasize the importance of attending one of the five public outreach meetings about the new automated call-in system that will be used to schedule observer trips in our state anchored gill net fisheries. Once this new call-in system for the anchored gill net fisheries is in place, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will NO longer be calling individual fishermen to try to set up observer trips. If you want to set anchored gill nets YOU will have to call-in and declare your intent and if chosen to carry an observer, YOU will be responsible for setting up the observer trip. >click to read< 14:50

Proposed bill, Senate Bill 687, could stymy North Carolina’s offshore wind development

Offshore wind may have strong support in the White House and in the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh, but it remains clear that support for the “green” power alternative to traditional fossil fuel power sources remains far from unanimous in North Carolina.  Fishermen also have raised concerns about the wind farms placing rich fishing grounds out of bounds, and from some environmentalists worried about them negatively impacting marine life, especially the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Those lingering concerns have resurfaced in a proposed bill in Raleigh. Senate Bill 687, sponsored by Republican Sens. Tim Moffitt from Henderson County and Bobby Hanig from Currituck County, calls for a 10-year moratorium,,, >click to read< 09:49

Cause of Action Institute: Supreme Court to Hear Fishermen’s Chevron Challenge

The justices will review Loper Bright v. Raimondo. The fishermen, represented by former Solicitor General Paul Clement and lawyers from Cause of Action Institute, petitioned the Court in November to overrule a funding scheme that would force them to hand over 20 percent of their pay to third-party at-sea monitors they must bring on their boats—a mandate that Congress never approved by statute. Amicus briefs in support of the fishermen’s case were filed by 38 organizations and individuals, including one signed by 18 state attorneys general. “The Supreme Court has an opportunity to correct one of the most consequential judicial errors in a generation. Video, lots of noteworthy links with lots of info. >click to read< 19:00

Celebrate Whale Week with NOAA Fisheries: A message from Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator

At NOAA Fisheries, our team of dedicated scientists and managers is responsible for the health and sustainability of more than 30 whale species in U.S and territorial waters. Every year, we spend a week taking a deeper dive to share our whale expertise. This year is particularly notable because it is the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Some of the most recognizable whales—North Atlantic right whales, Southern Resident killer whales, and Cook Inlet belugas—are at the top of our Species in the Spotlight initiative. >click to read< 18:33

NOAA proposes hammering 208% of vanishing Right Whales

Okay it is a trick headline because they can only hammer 100% of the severely endangered North Atlantic Right Whale population. The point is that NOAA is proposing, for offshore wind development, to authorize a horrific 706 cases of physical harassment of Right Whales, whose dwindling population is down to just 340 magnificent critters. The average whale will get hammered roughly twice. The Right Whales migrate along the coast twice a year. Migration requires repeatedly running a gauntlet of dangerous offshore wind projects. Most likely some whales will be hit many times. The harassment numbers for each proposed project are listed below. Read the take numbers and weep for the whales. >click to read< by David Wojick, Ph.D., 09:30

The New Green Activists Would Rather Save The Windmills Than Save The Whales

Save the whales. Once upon a time, that used to be the favorite mantra of environmental activists. Today, not so much. These days, it’s more chic to be into giant offshore wind turbines. And if dozens upon dozens of whales must be killed to make way for turbines along with their new mantra, “save the planet,” well, that’s just the price we must pay. Or so goes the current thinking among the green set. Scores of whale and dolphin carcasses have washed up along the East Coast in recent months, and particularly on New Jersey and New York-area beaches where no fewer than nine whales have washed ashore just since December. The evidence is not yet incontrovertible, but the deaths coincide with sonic testing in conjunction with massive wind turbine projects. >click to read< 08:28

Md. Gov. Signs Offshore Wind Legislation Into Law

Last Friday, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act into law. Joined by representatives of offshore wind energy companies at the Tradepoint Atlantic facility in Sparrows Point, Moore highlighted several bills that will allow Maryland to reach its clean energy goals.” Today I’ve signed legislation to quadruple Maryland’s offshore wind energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emission in our state, and to provide rebates to businesses that purchase electric vehicles,” he said. “Together we will build on the great work of our partners at Tradepoint Atlantic, Ørsted, and U.S. Wind to build the clean energy future we want to see in Maryland.” >click to read<  14:43

NOAA Fisheries Releases 2022 Status of Stocks

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is pleased to present the 2022 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries. This report highlights the achievements of NMFS, the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils), and our other partners. In 2022, the number of stocks on the overfishing list decreased slightly, the number of overfished stocks also slightly decreased, and two stocks were rebuilt. We continue to implement management measures that will end overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, and sustain our fisheries for future generations. Sound science, an increasing focus on climate-informed management, effective enforcement, meaningful partnerships, and public engagement drive our success in managing the most sustainable fisheries in the world. >click to read< 11:58

Black Carolinians in fishing industry heart of new exhibit

NC Catch, a nonprofit aimed at educating consumers about the importance of buying local seafood, is spearheading a collaboration of Black seafood business owners and historians to roll out the North Carolina Black Seafood Trail. The traveling exhibit will share the under-told, multifaceted, sea-to-table story of Black North Carolinians’ contributions to the state’s fisheries. The conceptualization of the historic trail goes back a couple of years when conversations within NC Catch, an organization that includes Black chef ambassadors and seafood market owners, began reflecting on Black-owned seafood businesses. Personal experiences and stories from those who’ve lived it highlighted just how much fishing — from catching fish to cooking it and eating it — is intricately woven into the cultural fabric of Black communities. >click to read<  10:24