Category Archives: South Atlantic

U.S. offshore wind plans are utterly collapsing 

Offshore wind developer Ørsted has delayed its New Jersey Ocean Wind 1 project to 2026. Previously, the company had announced construction of the project would begin in October 2023. The delay was attributed to supply chain issues, higher interest rates, and a failure so far to garner enough tax credits from the federal government. For now, they are not walking away from all their U.S. projects but will reconsider long-term plans by the end of this year. Ørsted’s stock price has fallen 30% in 5 days. This is just the latest bad news for offshore win. >>click to read<<10:57

Deadliest Catch star visits Pictou to promote technology combatting ghost fishing gear

Any fisherman understands that keeping the waters clean will help ensure a viable future for the industry. “If you want a future, you have to invest in that future,” said Capt. Sig Hansen from Discovery Channel’s The Deadliest Catch. “So why not try to keep our oceans clean? That’s our responsibility.” Hansen has partnered with Resqunit (pronounced “rescue unit”), lending his star power to an endeavor they hope will assist in helping to protect the environment in which fishermen and women ply their trade. The Resqunit is a lost gear retrieval unit that can be attached to a line of traps, in case a fisher loses a buoy because of storms, accidents or by other means. It includes a user-controlled timer release that is set by using on an app on your phone. If needed, the unit will deploy after a set length of time, rise to the surface and allow fishers to retrieve their traps. >>click to read<< 14:04

Beaufort’s shrimping industry on the brink. Local boats sit while imported catch floods market

Thursday at Village Creek on St. Helena Island was another picture postcard-worthy morning with an American flag lilting in a slight southeast breeze near the shrimper Gracie Bell — idly tied to the dock. At Sea Eagle Market, a catch of shrimp swept up in the nets of trawlers in recent days are being processed by small group of dockside workers. They clean the valuable seafood crop harvested from waters as far away as North Carolina to the northeast coast of Florida before being sold locally and up and down the Palmetto State’s coast. After this recent harvest was completed, the boats returned, as they always do — to Village Creek, home base for shrimping on Fripp and Hunting Islands in Beaufort County and beyond. Against this serene backdrop, a storm is brewing that threatens destruction. It is not the threat of foul weather, these shrimpers have seen generations of bad weather days. The storm brewing is economic for the community of shrimpers and related businesses. >click to read< 10:10

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $82 Million For Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced next steps to conserve and recover endangered North Atlantic right whales with $82 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate and conservation investment in history. This announcement comes during Climate Week and is part of the $2.6 billion framework to invest in coastal resilience that NOAA announced earlier this year. North Atlantic right whales are approaching extinction with fewer than 350 individuals remaining, including fewer than 70 reproductively active females. Today’s funding provides an unprecedented opportunity to address the primary threats to the species — entanglements in fishing gear and vessel strikes — with new technologies and approaches. >>click to read<< 12:41

‘A Gulf and National Issue’: Southeast Texas shrimpers struggling to survive due to influx of imported shrimp

With an an influx of imported shrimp taking over the market, it’s becoming tougher for Southeast Texas shrimpers to survive. Since July 16, the Texas waters opened back up for fishing, but Eric Kyle Kimball’s boat “The Seahorse” has yet to leave the dock at the Sabine Pass Port Authority. Kimball is a third generation fisherman who’s been around the industry for 55 years. This career help provides for him and his family, with brown shrimp being the main source of income. Shrimp imported from across the globe are driving prices down from $3.75 per pound in the 80’s to 95 cents per pound, currently. After paying for fuel and deck hands, area fisherman can’t break even. Video, >>click to read<< 09:49

Shrimp Alliance request fisheries disaster declaration

There’s no other way to put it if you ask Aaron Wallace. Despite a decent catch by the eight shrimp boats that supply Anchored Shrimp Co. in Brunswick, the prices fishermen are getting for their hauls aren’t what they should be. “It’s been one of our toughest years,” Wallace said. He and his father, John Wallace, own Anchored Shrimp and operate the Gale Force, one of the boats that serve the company’s retail and wholesale business. The Southern Shrimp Alliance, for which John Wallace serves as a member of the board of directors, is calling the flood of imported shrimp a crisis. The alliance asked the governors of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas in a letter on Aug. 25 to collectively request a fisheries disaster determination by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. shrimp fishery. >>click to read<< 11:06

Petition: Stop Imported Seafood, Save Our Local Fishermen and Seafood Industry!

As a concerned citizen, I am deeply troubled by the detrimental impact of imported foreign seafood on our local fishermen and seafood industry. It is disheartening to witness the decline in our local seafood prices and the subsequent struggles faced by our hardworking fishermen. This petition aims to raise awareness about this issue and urge relevant authorities to take immediate action. Growing imports of foreign seafood have flooded our markets, causing a significant drop in demand for locally caught fish. This has resulted in devastating consequences for our local fishermen who rely on their catch as their primary source of income. In the 1980s, shrimpers were receiving close to $7 per pound at the dock; however, today they are barely earning $.80 per pound. >>click to read and sign the petition<< 10:41

Coast Guard establishes Area Command Post ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia

The Seventh Coast Guard District has established an Area Command Post in advance of Tropical Storm Idalia, Monday, at Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida. For information and interviews relating to the Coast Guard’s preparations and response to Tropical Storm Idalia, please contact the Joint Information Center at 954-546-4979 or by email >>here<< Updated Port Condition changes by the Captain of the Port will be available on the Homeport website and announced on official unit social media pages throughout the Seventh District. Check below for your local Coast Guard Sector page: >>click to read<< 19:00

Port Royal begins rebuilding 30-year-old dock. Move shows renewed commitment to shrimping

O’Quinn Marine Construction, hired by the town for $130,000, is now tearing down the Battery Creek landmark, piling by piling and plank by plank. But the scuttling of dock isn’t the end but rather a new beginning for shrimping and fishing and seafood processing, which have deep roots in northern Beaufort County. “It’s a first of several steps to reestablish fishing and shrimping as a iconic industry in Port Royal,” Van Willis, the town’s manager, said of the dock removal. A new dock and processing facility for fisherman and shrimpers are now being planned to replace the old facilities that had been in place since 1989. Over the past two years, the State Legislature has allocated the town $2 million for the work. Video, >click to read< 08:57

Imported shrimp eaten in U.S. may not be safe – U.S. Rep. Castor wants to do something about it

With inventories of shrimp sitting at docks throughout the Gulf Coast due to an abundance of imported seafood, the shrimp industry and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida want to increase the purchase of domestic shrimp in the United States and provide more federal funding to regulate imported shrimp for consumers. John Williams is the executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, which represents members of the shrimp industry from Texas through North Carolina. He said a lot of his members that are suffering right now. Castor’s bill, the Laws Ensuring Safe Shrimp Act (LESS Act) would address that issue by vastly increasing funding for the FDA to do inspections of foreign produced shrimp. >click to read< 16:07

Fourth Circuit Limits Reach of Federal Regulation Under the “Major Questions” Doctrine as it Relieves Shrimp Trawlers from Clean Water Act Permitting

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) regulates the discharge of certain “pollutants” into waters of the United States (“WOTUS”).  Should shrimp trawlers be subject to the regulatory framework under the CWA when they return “bycatch” (unintentionally captured marine life) back into a water of the United States, or when their trawl nets churn up rocks and sand on the ocean floor?  Not in the Fourth Circuit, as the United States Court of Appeals recently held in North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group v. Capt. Gaston LLC. This is perhaps an unsurprising conclusion.  The CWA is, after all, intended to regulate point-source pollution discharges into WOTUS—and, therefore, to regulate pollution and discharges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) defines point source pollution as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ship or factory smokestack.” >click to read< 10:46

NOAA outlines sweeping plan to boost the nation’s seafood industry

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a sweeping five-year plan to prioritize and promote the country’s commercial fishing industry. NOAA Fisheries announced its National Seafood Strategy on Wednesday. The agency said in a press release that the plan will “outline the direction” of the country’s seafood sector. It’s the first time NOAA has released an overall strategy aimed at addressing industry needs – the agency says it will complement other federal policies that are already in place. >click to read< 11:29

Louisiana shrimpers, lawmakers unite to protect domestic fisheries as season begins

The Louisiana Shrimp Association joined in a letter that said the influx of imported shrimp has proven especially problematic for domestic harvesters. Nineteen other allied organizations and companies, representing more than 4,000 seafood businesses of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic region also signed onto the letter. “Despite rising costs for fuel and labor, the price of Gulf shrimp, for example, has not increased since 1980. For the past 40 years, the average dockside price of Gulf shrimp has ranged from $1.50-$2.00 per 2 pounds,” the letter said. The Louisiana Legislature on June 6 presented House Concurrent Resolution 113 to the Secretary of State. The resolution urges Congress to ban the import of shrimp and crawfish from outside the United States. >click to read< 11:24


In 2010 and 2012 fishermen held two different successful protests in Washington DC with thousands of fishermen travelling from around the country to attend. Both commercial and recreational fishermen voiced their concerns regarding catch shares and Magnuson Act reauthorization, among the multitude of issues that threatened their livelihoods. Today, the fishing industry is facing a far worse enemy then fishery management, as thousands of square miles of their historic fishing grounds have been auctioned off to the highest bidder in order to make way for the wildlife killing machines called wind turbines. These auctions have been held by BOEM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a part of the Department of the Interior. They are charged with the selling or leasing of US natural resources in our offshore waters, and apparently, they have absolutely no regard for any wildlife that may exist within them, or any people who might derive a living from catching said wildlife. >click to read< 11:50

Former commercial fisherman Samuel “Sammie” Elton Leonard of Calabash, NC. has passed away

He was born on May 26, 1939 in Shallotte Point, NC. He was the son of the late Lloyd Leonard and Pauline Grissett Leonard. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters Joyce Skeen and Dorit Teeters, and brothers Elroy Leonard and Etheridge Leonard.  Sammie was quite a successful commercial fisherman, owning a fleet of shrimp boats. He was well respected in the shrimping industry as one of the best. He even designed and took part in the building process of his largest boat, The Big Mama, which dwarfed other boats of its kind. He later owned and operated True Value Hardware in Calabash, NC. Sammie was a jack of all trades and always willing to lend a hand when needed.  >click to read< 10:40

Donalds introduces bill, The FISHES Act, to help fisheries recover faster from disasters like Hurricane Ian

Crabbers, shrimpers and net fishermen all took it on the chin after Hurricane Ian, with some completely out of business, and others struggling to rebuild storefronts, docks and boats. Painfully scarce: government aid dollars, despite a federal disaster declaration. Reviews, red tape and pending inspections make for a long, dragged-out process that takes years to work – if it does at all, says commercial fishing Captain Casey Streeter. The bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Naples Republican Congressman Byron Donalds would “improve the federal regulatory process associated with the allocation of fishery disaster relief (and) expedite the distribution of federal disaster relief following official fishery disasters.” This isn’t just a Florida problem. Nationwide, there are 27 such disaster declarations. “It could be salmon or cod … situations where fisheries are in trouble,” Streeter said, though he’s careful to add the legislation would be a hand-up – “just to get things stabilized – not a hand-out.” >click to read< 07:53

In bluefin tuna, fisheries science is never neat

Pinchin’s eponymous kings are Atlantic bluefin tuna, marine predators that can weigh well over a thousand pounds, “imagine a grand piano shaped like a nuclear weapon,” as Pinchin puts it. Bluefin are extraordinary organisms: warm-blooded, keen-eyed, coated in pigment-producing cells that flash a rainbow of colors when the fish are hauled onto a boat. Pinchin excels at evoking her piscine subjects, whose sickle-shaped tails beat nearly as fast as a hummingbird’s wing. “To stand beside a just-landed giant bluefin, still slick from salt water, feels akin to standing beside a natural marvel like Niagara Falls or an erupting volcano,” writes Pinchin, a Nova Scotia-based science journalist. “There’s beauty, but also danger.” Her book isn’t just an ode to bluefin — it’s about humankind’s obsession with them, a fixation as old as our species. >click to read< 16:29

Coast Guard, good Samaritans assist 4 aboard shrimping vessel taking on water near St. Simons Island

The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted four people Tuesday after their shrimping vessel began taking on water near St. Simons Island, Georgia. Coast Guard Sector Charleston watchstanders received a notification at 10:33 p.m, via VHF-FM channel 16 marine radio, from the Joann B, a 75-foot shrimping vessel, stating their vessel was taking on water 4 miles east of St. Simons Island. The boat crew and air crew arrived on scene and began rendering assistance with three dewatering pumps. Good Samaritans from the fishing vessel Miss Vicky and commercial salvage also assisted with dewatering efforts. Photos, video. >click to read< 16:37

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Young Brothers Tuna/Charter, Caterpillar 3126

To review specifications, information, and 34 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:45

Right whale’s decline worse than previously thought, feds say

The North Atlantic right whale numbers less than 350, and it has been declining in population for several years. The federal government declared the whale’s decline an “unusual mortality event,” which means an unexpected and significant die-off, in 2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released new data that 114 of the whales have been documented as dead, seriously injured or sub-lethally injured or sick since the start of the mortality event. That is an increase of 16 whales since the previous estimate released earlier this year. The agency recently completed a review of the whales using photographs from researchers and surveys to create the new estimate, said Andrea Gomez, a spokesperson for NOAA.  >click to read< 17:51

Saltwater Science Speaker Series presents oral histories of Georgia shrimpers

On June 29, the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant held the first of three events in this summer’s Saltwater Science Speakers Series. Their anthropology project is aimed at recording the stories and experiences of local commercial shrimpers and their boats. Fluech and Tooks discussed how the commercial shrimpers who participated were skeptical of the researchers and their students at first. “It took time to build up the trust for them to be willing to go on record,” Tooks said. They research team essentially ran two studies. where the fishermen lend their names and voices to be archived in the Boat Stories initiative.Tooks explained that, “Once the stories are recorded and analyzed, they are no longer merely individual experiences. They become data. That data is then studied and eventually becomes science. Policy decisions are made based on science.” Photos,  >click to read< 08:29

Data shows Florida seafood landings rank below historic trends, Hurricane losses, high diesel prices likely to blame

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes and increased fuel costs have reduced the catch of Florida’s seafood industry. Florida’s Gulf Coast is the largest fishery for the state and is still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Ian in late 2022. The storm made landfall at Fort Myers and devastated Florida’s shrimping industry, sinking boats and destroying infrastructure crucial to the industry. According to preliminary data compiled by The Southern Shrimp Alliance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fishery Monitoring Branch, Florida’s March 2023 landings off the West Coast were 72.7% below the historical average. In total, 2023 landings for the West Coast are 42.1% below historical trends. >click to read< 10:06

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 60′ Duckworth Steel Longliner/with permits, Cat 3406T Diesel,

To review specifications, information, and 24 photos’, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:45

Biden admin under fire for offshore wind impacts on military operations

Earlier this week, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., industry stakeholders and experts met with officials from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a top federal watchdog agency, to discuss their concerns about offshore wind development. According to Smith, who represents a district along the Atlantic coast home to a naval weapons depot and where offshore wind projects have been proposed, more than an hour of the three-hour meeting was devoted to military impacts. The GAO recently agreed to investigate the wide-ranging effects of offshore wind development after Smith, fellow New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., and several other lawmakers called for a probe. The investigation will look, in part, into wind turbines’ impact on military operations and radar. >click to read< 07:55

Rep. Carter introduces bill to prevent NOAA from implementing speed rule

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, is defending a bill he introduced Friday that would prohibit a federal agency from requiring more vessels to adhere to a low speed when approaching the East Coast during certain months of the year. House Bill 4323 calls for prohibiting the issuance of an interim or final rule that amends, updates, modifies or replaces the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule until mitigation protocols are fully developed and deployed. If passed, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the parent agency of NOAA, would be required to develop and deploy technology to monitor Atlantic waters for right whales. >click to read< 07:53

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 101′ Steel Shrimper, 95k capacity freezer hold, 3508 Cat Diesel

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

Cheap Imports Leave US Shrimpers Struggling to Compete

 “We are paying to work. We are paying to feed our nation,” said Kindra Arnesen, at a rally on the steps of Louisiana’s towering capitol in Mid-May. “I ask for immediate emergency action at all levels. Nothing else will be accepted by this group.” The 45 year-old shrimp harvester, who has been hailed as a voice for the Gulf and has fought for decades to sustain the domestic shrimp industry, was surrounded by nearly a hundred other harvesters who had traveled inland from their homes along coastal Louisiana to Baton Rouge to rally for livable shrimp prices. “Nobody can make money,” said Ronald Johnston, a 64-year-old shrimper who came to the U.S. in 1981 as a Vietnamese refugee. At the rally he held a lime-green poster that read: “Shrimp: $.40 cents. Diesel: $3.95” while sitting on a scooter that helps with his mobility. Photos, >click to read and comment< 08:01

80-year-old shrimper still selling catch to St. Helena’s Gay Fish Co. ‘Kids won’t do this’

With muscly tan forearms that belie his age, Jim Buchanan hoists a 60-pound basket of white shrimp fat with roe onto the dock at Gay Fish Co. on St. Helena Island. “It’s hard work and, if you don’t like it, good God, it would be absolute misery,” Buchanan says. Buchanan, who is 80, won’t retire, he says with a smile, “Until somebody finds me on the back deck.” He enjoys being on the ocean and the hard work. Buchanan is one of five captains who own boats that dock and sell their catches at one of the surviving docks — Gay Fish Co., a St. Helena Island landmark that turns 75 this year, making it one of the oldest shrimping businesses in Beaufort County. Video, Photos, >click to read< 07:57

Shrimp season may be slow, opens June 20

Georgia’s shrimp season should start well when it opens June 20, but scientists and shrimpers expect it will taper off as fall settles in the Golden Isles. That has been the case the past couple of years when shrimpers are allowed to trawl in state waters, which extend to three miles offshore, said Frank Owens, owner of City Market in Brunswick. He expects to see the same thing this year when unloading boats at the market’s docks in Brunswick. There are some of the desirable, plump, white roe shrimp being caught already. But how good those catches are and for how long that quality lasts is hard to tell, Owens said. “Today I unloaded some boats that were about half white shrimp and half brown shrimp,” Owens said this week. “These last few years, spring has been good, but fall has been a bit off.” >click to read< 09:18

Contrary to mainstream belief, wind turbines are neither effective nor, in many cases, good for the environment

Claims of wind power being pro-environment often do not consider the damaging effects these projects can have on wildlife and ecosystems, thus hiding the “true cost” of such initiatives. Wind power projects can threaten birds that fly within their vicinity and trigger a decline in their population; it can harm marine life due to noise pollution and affect the growth of plants in the region where it is located. Driven by subsidies granted by the federal government, the growth of wind projects has triggered concerns about the cumulative impacts they have on the environment. There have been growing protests against wind power projects across the world. In the United States, people have opposed setting up wind turbines in Lake Erie due to concerns about the environmental impact of the project. In New Jersey, protestors have asked to pause the development of an offshore wind farm which they claim has led to dolphins and whales washing ashore. >click to read< 12:38