Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

Catch Shares? NOAA Seeks Comments on a Control Date for the American Lobster Fishery

NOAA is seeking comments on a control date (a date that may be used to establish eligibility) of April 29, 2019 for the American lobster fishery, as we consider ways to reduce threats of entanglement by fixed-gear fisheries to North Atlantic right whales.,,, Following the TRT meeting the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Lobster Management Board established a control date of April 29, 2019, and recommended that NOAA Fisheries do the same for federal waters. We are notifying the public that we may develop a future rulemaking to complement any actions taken by the Commission, and that future participation in the fishery may be based on participation as of April 29, 2019. >click to read< 10:39

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms

Oceanographer Jon Hare listed the effects of offshore wind development on the marine environment. There’s disturbance to the sea floor during installation of turbine platforms.,,,“Putting a pile into the sediment in essence is habitat alteration,” said Hare, a science and research director with Northeast Fisheries Science Center.,,The questions about offshore wind, of course, aren’t limited to the $2.8-billion Vineyard Wind project,,,,but there are more than a dozen proposals in the works all along the Atlantic Coast and plans for the Great Lakes and the West Coast. >click to read< 21:06

Wind turbines and radar mix poorly

Vineyard Wind’s 84-turbine wind farm, slated for an Atlantic lease area about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, effectively had the rug pulled out from underneath it August 9, when the Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) would hold off signing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and re-examine potential impacts posed by the project. Radar was not specifically cited as something the feds would take a second look at. However, weather and aeronautical radar are all well-documented as being adversely affected by wind turbines, and a handful of studies show marine radar is also hampered by wind turbines. >click to read< 18:17

Long Island Fishermen sound off on plan for commercial fishing permit system

Fishermen from across Long Island sounded off about the states draft plan to overhaul the commercial fisheries licensing system, with some outraged at the prospect of losing long held permits. Two dozen fishermen showed up at the Bishop Molloy Recreational center in Point Lookout Tuesday to weigh in on the plan drafted by Maine fisheries consultant George LaPoint,,, >Click to read<17:41

Marine Mammal Protection Act: Incidental Harassment Authorization Regulatory “Takes” – Take a Close Look

An IHA is a legal and enforceable document presenting the terms and conditions with which a company must adhere in order to protect wildlife. In this case, the draft IHA was for Vineyard Wind, the wind energy company ready to start construction on an 800 MW offshore wind farm in the Atlantic, covering about 675 square kilometers, starting 14 miles from the coastline of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, An IHA is required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) because, obviously, a huge project like this has impacts and it’s likely that “take” of marine mammals will occur during construction. >click to read< 08:26

NOAA Seeks Nominations for Scientific Review Groups under the Marine Mammal Protection Act

NOAA Fisheries will publish a Federal Register Notice on Monday, August 19, 2019, soliciting nominations to three independent marine mammal scientific review groups (SRG). We would like your assistance to identify qualified candidates. The three independent regional SRGs, covering Alaska, the Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), and the Pacific (including Hawaii), were established under section 117(d) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. >click to read< 16:27

Striped bass are underfed, not overfished

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, or ASMFC, has determined (again!) that the number of spawning Atlantic striped bass is below the required threshold to maintain proper “recruitment” (newborns), and therefore, sustainable population abundance.,, Certainly, there is a lot of blame to go around, but the ASMFC seems to have only one conclusion: overfishing.,,, What about food?,,, This may be a shocking finding, but foreign-owned Cooke Inc., the owner of Omega Protein, “purse seins” hundreds of millions of pounds of menhaden a year,,, by  Bev Landstreet >click to read< 09:36

Fishing License Changes?

A review and potential changes to the New York State marine fisheries licensing system will be the subject of a meeting at East Hampton Town Hall on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Last month, the State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a draft report on a review of fisheries licensing, following meetings held last year,,, The draft report stresses the decline of fish stocks beginning in the 1980s and the federal and state regulations that followed, including quotas, allocations, seasonal restrictions, and trip limits. It says that “there are too many fishermen and too much >click to read< 18:12

Vineyard Wind, welcome to our world…

Headline – Trump admin throws wrench into offshore wind plans – The Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, a move that threatens to derail the nation’s first major project and raises a host of questions for future developments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries. Must watch video! >click to read< 17:15

Boris Johnson’s Looming Wind Disaster. Its coming here, and is being sold by huckster politicians

Boris Johnson’s government is shuffling towards a gigantic cliff edge which has nothing to do with Brexit. The looming disaster can be summed up in one word: renewables. The clue came in the form of the widespread power cuts that Britain experienced at the end of last week. Britain’s National Grid — and by extension the nation’s electricity supply — has been horribly compromised by the dash for renewable energy. >click to read< Meanwhile on Cape Cod, John Kerry, Gina McCarthy, and Dylan Fernandes hold forum as Kerry announces World War Zero. Tackling the issue of climate change – Lots of photo’s, and no John Kerry, Jane Lubchenco was no friend of the fishermen. It was another lie. Read the comments @MTV!  >click to read< 15:18

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52′ Steel Dragger, Cat 3406, with State and Federal Permits

Specifications, information and 13 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<11:24

Ships are getting speeding tickets in the Chesapeake Bay to protect right whales

Eight years ago the COSCO Nagoya, a giant ship capable of carrying more than 4,000 cargo containers, was motoring around the Chesapeake Bay when it ran into a speed trap. Three months later, the Nagoya got dinged again for speeding, this time near the Port of Charleston. Over the next several months, the Nagoya was caught 13 more times up and down the east coast, from South Carolina to New York. Each speeding violation came with a price tag of $5,750 for a total of $86,250 in fines.  >click to read< 13:43

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Philadelphia, Pa, August 13 – 15, 2019

The public is invited to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s meeting to be held a  The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection*, 21 N. Juniper St., Philadelphia, PA. Briefing Materials & Agenda Overview Agenda >click here< Attend Meeting with Adobe Connect >click here< 17:02

Coast Guard Cutter Forward assists disabled vessel 149 miles off Cape Henry, Virginia

The Coast Guard assisted two people aboard a 67-foot commercial fishing vessel 149 miles east of Cape Henry, Thursday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received the initial call Wednesday afternoon from the vessel, F.V Hope and Sydney,  who stated its engine was excessively burning oil and would not be able to make it back to shore. >click to read<

NY spending $2M to study offshore wind impact on waterways, fishing

New York State said Thursday it will spend more than $2 million for five studies to examine ways to reduce offshore wind farms’ impact on marine environments and commercial fishing.,,, Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, offered tepid applause for the state’s decision to award the study grants. “It’s great that we’ve gotten some funding but there’s a ticking time bomb once these turbines hit the water,” Brady said. “The monitoring and research should have started long ago, so we are playing catch-up to try to get data we need to make sure we do no harm.”Said Brady, “Being an environmentalist means you do no harm, but everyone is throwing that out the window”, >click to read< 08:57

European utility sees big opportunity in U.S. offshore wind – One of Europe’s largest utilities intends to become a player in the U.S. offshore wind industry, as it sees the Northeast as the biggest opportunity in the worldwide market. >click to read<

Cost-Effective ‘Renewable’ Energy Is Like Unobtanium: A Fictional Construct

We must continue diversifying our energy supply, that means increasing our output of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro- and ocean-based energy,,, Blah, blah, blah. Anyone who works in real energies will probably know a different story.,,, energy expert, Mark P. Mills, describing the vast quantity of non-renewable, not-even-recyclable waste that nifty green energy baubles such as wind-farm turbines generate,,, “Renewable energy” is a misnomer. Wind and solar machines and batteries are built from nonrenewable materials. And they wear out. Old equipment must be decommissioned, generating millions of tons of waste.,,, Building one wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic.  >click to read< 14:57

New York fishes for information in offshore wind research

NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said: “As New York becomes the national epicentre for the US offshore wind industry, we continue to undertake evidence-based environmental and commercial fishing related research to help us advance offshore wind development in a way that is sensitive to the environment, ocean and the economy.,,, The state intends to use evidence-based environmental and commercial fishing related research to help advance offshore wind development. In other words, bend over! >click to read<12:34

New York picks five projects to advance responsible development of offshore wind – The selected projects include, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) and others, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), Biodiversity Research Institute, Ecology and Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Approximately $2 million was made available as part of this competitive solicitation for projects in one of five categories:  >click to read<

New England/Mid Atlantic: Public Scoping Meetings for Modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

We will be conducting eight scoping meetings this month in anticipation of preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. We are requesting comments on management options particularly including information about operational challenges, time, and costs required to modify gear by changing configurations such as traps per trawl to reduce endline numbers, installing new line or sleeves and by expanding gear marking requirements. Thursday, August 8, 2019 – Narragansett, RI, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, August 12, 2019 – Machias, ME, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. >click to read< 19:37

FISH & MEN: A film on the High Cost of Cheap Fish

We hope the fishing families and pioneers featured in this film will inspire a movement,,, For centuries, cod fed the world and helped build a nation. Nowhere was that more so than in Gloucester, Massachusetts – America’s oldest fishing port. But, today all that has changed… From California to Maine, small fishing communities struggle to survive. The iconic American fisherman is in a perfect storm of foreign competition, erratic regulations and rising costs. Trailer, photo’s, of some of the best people on the planet. Please support this effort.  >click to read< 14:51

73% Of Sea Turtles Killed In 2019 Died From Vessel Strikes: AMCS

A startling number of sea turtle deaths in local waters have been attributed to vessel strikes, a new report says. The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society said, so far in 2019, the organization has responded to 168 marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea turtles that have stranded on New York shores.  Sea turtles specifically, which share area waters in the warmer months, have been significantly impacted by humans, with 73% having been struck and killed by marine vessels from the East End of Long Island into New York City,,, >click to read< 13:00

2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

Number of US fish stocks at sustainable levels remains near record high – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress, which details the status of 479 federally-managed stocks or stock complexes in the U.S. to identify which stocks are subject to overfishing, are overfished, or are rebuilt to sustainable levels. >click here to read a rundown of the report< To read the report, 2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries >click here<  15:26

New England: Public Scoping Meetings for Modifications to Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

We will be conducting eight scoping meetings this month in anticipation of preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. We are requesting comments on management options particularly including information about operational challenges, time, and costs required to modify gear by changing configurations such as traps per trawl to reduce endline numbers, installing new line or sleeves and by expanding gear marking requirements. >click for time and location details< 12:46

R.I. delegation raises concerns with speed of offshore wind review

Why the rush? Avangrid CEO Jim Torgerson spelled it out to investors on a call last week: To take advantage of an expiring federal tax credit, Vineyard Wind needs to be operational in 2021. If the nation’s first major offshore wind farm doesn’t get off the ground, there will be plenty of finger-pointing to go around. Some may be pointed at Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. The state’s two senators and two representatives sent a letter on July 12 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, expressing concerns about how the federal agency has handled the review of offshore wind development. In particular, they want BOEM to be more sensitive to potential conflicts with fishermen and marine life. (They also want the agency to open a regional office in Rhode Island.) >click to read< 10:43

ASMFC: New England/Mid Atlantic – Lobster Trap Transfer Program for Fishing Year 2020

We are considering future changes to the federal lobster regulations as recommended by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. These changes include the use of a control date to limit the number of traps or lobster permits a federal permit holder can have in Areas 2 and 3. Any new measures could impact your trap allocations as early as fishing year 2021. We are also discussing potential measures that would minimize threats to North Atlantic right whales. You should stay informed of potential changes, and know that you transfer traps at your own risk and subject to these new potential regulations. >click to read< 10:14

Entangled Whale Prompts Criticism Of Gill Nets

The small whale that was freed from a commercial fishing net after becoming entangled off Sagaponack last week has prompted community concern about the safety of the type of fishing nets it had encountered. “Whales and dolphins get caught in these nets all the time,” said George Mittendorf, a Wainscott resident and amateur sporting fisherman. (expert witness?) >click to read< 09:28

Offshore Wind: Cuomo’s incredible wind-power pander

Flanked by former veep and climate-crusader Al Gore, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week signed a wide-ranging “climate-action” bill. He also ­announced that New Yorkers would subsidize construction of more than 200 wind turbines off New York City and Long Island — one of the biggest efforts of its kind in the United States — all in the name of reducing the state’s carbon emissions to “net zero” in about 30 years. Amid what he described as the “chaos of political pandering and hyperbole” surrounding the issue of climate change, Cuomo portrayed his plan as grounded in “facts, data and evidence.” >click to read<09:14

Coast Guard medevacs man from fishing vessel north of Montauk Point, N.Y.

A Coast Guard boatcrew medically evacuated a 50-year old man from a fishing boat near Montauk Point, New York, Sunday afternoon. At approximately 4:10 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification stating a crewmember aboard fishing boat Blackhawk was experiencing chest pains and in and out of consciousness. >click to read< 20:39

America’s got scallops: Catch is up, consumers shelling out

America’s harvest of scallops is increasing to near-record levels at a time when the shellfish are in high demand and the value of the fishery has surged in recent years. Sea scallops, harvested mostly by boats from the cold Atlantic Ocean, are the target of one of the most valuable fisheries in America. New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the harvest topped 58.2 million pounds last year, the highest total since 2011 and the fifth-highest in history according to federal statistics going back to 1945. >click to read< 15:30

Inside Montauk’s commercial fishing industry

Montauk is not only the biggest commercial fishing hub in New York, it’s one of the largest in the Northeast.,,, Unlike Gurneys’ or the iconic Shagwong Tavern, Montauk’s commercial fishing boats don’t attract investors eager to keep their businesses afloat, and their property (boats, gear and permits) is not easily transferable from one person to another.,,, John Nolan, his wife, Laurie, and their son John Nolan III are owner-operators of the F/V Seacapture,,, >click to read< 07:35

To the Gloucester Fish Commission, I propose that you request Markey and Warren vote in favor of this new bill

MSA Reauthorization: To the Gloucester Fish Commission, I am asking you to vote in favor of H.R. 3697, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, co-sponsored by Congressman Don Young, and Congressman Jeff Van Drew.,,, I propose to you that you request that Senator Ed Markey, and Senator Liz Warren vote in favor of this new bill, and that they recognize the importance that the agency they fund, use other credible science from other sources, such as SMAST, and fisherman funded science. The agency holds all the cards, and by law does not have to consider any other science at all, let alone the what really could be the best available that is excluded by NOAA, by default. This is unacceptable moving forward. By Sam Parisi  >click to read< 14:35