Category Archives: South Atlantic

SAFMC votes to allow rock shrimp harvest adjacent to Oculina coral reefs

Commercial rock shrimpers are one step closer to being allowed to fish on the Oculina coral reef bank that’s been protected from their bottom-raking trawler nets since 2014. The SAFMC Friday morning voted 12-1 to reopen 22 square miles of ocean bottom off Florida’s central Atlantic coast, ending a process that began seven years ago. The decision needs more approvals to be final. Dismayed environmentalists said the measure will allow the destruction of Oculina coral, also known as ivory tree coral, a deep water, slow growing live coral that provides essential habitat to many fish and marine organisms, including the targeted shrimp. >click to read< 12:09

Why Offshore Wind Farms Face Lawsuits – The American Coalition for Ocean Protection

Nantucket residents have filed a landmark lawsuit over federal approval of Vineyard Wind, the first industrial scale offshore wind project in the U.S. Federal law protects existing ocean uses: commercial fishing, vessel traffic, the viewshed, and endangered species from new energy projects. Since federal approvals of all offshore wind projects will likely use the same flawed process, a court win for this lawsuit may stop all the projects. Specifically, Ackrats is the group filing the complaint and is concerned about Vineyard Wind’s negative impact on the North Atlantic right whale, “one of the most critically endangered species on the entire planet.” Those Nantucket residents are not alone. Beach communities from North Carolina to Maine and the Great Lakes joined together to form the American Coalition for Ocean Protection. >click to read< 16:13

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 91′ Steel Shrimper, 625 HP Cat, Federal Permits

To review specifications, information, and 12 photo’s >click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here< 11:16

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 64′ Steel Scallop/Dragger, 350HP Cummins

To review specifications, information, and 12 photo’s >click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here<  11:14

Coast Guard rescues 2 from vessel on fire, taking on water 9 miles off Bulls Bay

A Coast Guard Station Charleston rescue crew saved two people after their fishing vessel caught fire and began taking on water approximately 9 miles east of Bulls Bay, Friday. The captain of the vessel, F/V Strictly Business, hailed Sector Charleston watchstanders via marine radio Channel 16 at 4:03 a.m., stating his 45-foot fishing vessel was on fire and taking on water. The captain activated his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and switched to his satellite phone after losing communication on his VHF radio >click to read< 11:49

It’s Very Bad. Incredible Hurricane Ida’s remnants swamp Northeast; at least 8 deaths linked to flooding

The remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped historic rain over New York City, with at least nine deaths linked to flooding in the region, as it swamped subway cars and submerged vehicles and homes. Catastrophic weather came to the largest city in the U.S. after a grim two weeks across the nation that has seen 20 dead in flooding in a small Tennessee town, wildfires threatening Lake Tahoe, Tropical Storm Henri in the Northeast and Ida’s landfall in Louisiana, which left 1 million people without power, maybe for weeks. Earlier Wednesday, the storm blew through the mid-Atlantic states with at least two tornadoes, heavy winds and drenching rains,,,  >click to read< 08:09

From the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills – A Letter to the Lobster Industry

In Letter to Lobster Industry, Governor Mills Calls Right Whale Rule “Extremely Disappointing” & Pledges to Work with Maine’s Congressional Delegation to Fight It. – September 1, 2021. In the wake of yesterday’s National Marine Fisheries Service’s Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Rule, Governor Janet Mills last night sent a letter to Maine’s lobster industry expressing solidarity with them and calling the rule “extremely disappointing”. In the letter to Maine’s lobster harvesters, dealers, and processors, Governor Mills pledges to work with Maine’s Congressional Delegation to determine the best way to address the industry’s and administration’s concerns: >click to read< 14:24

Pot/Trap Fisheries Regulations to Help Save North Atlantic Right Whales Announced

NOAA Fisheries and our partners are dedicated to conserving and rebuilding the North Atlantic right whale population, which is endangered, declining, and experiencing an ongoing Unusual Mortality Event. Entanglement in commercial fishing gear is a primary cause of mortalities and serious injuries of North Atlantic right whales. Working with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, a group of advisors consisting of fishermen, scientists, conservationists, and state and federal officials, we have completed Phase 1 of the modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to continue to reduce whale entanglements. Today, we are announcing the final rule to modify the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. >click to read< 15:22

Invasive Blue Crab wreak havoc on French Mediterranean mollusks, eels, oysters and mussels

Fisherman Yves Rougie pulled up a net from the waters of the Canet-Saint-Nazaire lake in southern France. He was hoping for a catch of eels. Instead it was full of blue crabs. The blue crab, callinectes sapidus, has been destroying populations of eels, oysters and mussels that are traditionally caught in the area’s lagoons and coastal lakes. Native to North American Atlantic waters and brought to the Mediterranean in the ballast waters of commercial ships, the crabs have spread quickly from around 2017, according to the French Office for Biodiversity, which is helping fishermen to control their numbers,,, >click to read< 10:45

Offshore wind opposition is growing From N.E. to N.C. – Nantucket Wind Suit May Have Virginia Echoes

A group of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts residents have filed suit challenging the pre-construction environmental review on a massive offshore wind complex planned off its shores. The issues raised may have a direct impact on the similar wind energy project planned off Virginia Beach, which is only now beginning its environmental impact process.,, The umbrella group is using the name “Coalition for Ocean Protection and Safety.” The Nantucket group, playing off the code designation for its local airport, call themselves ACK RATS, with the RATS standing for Residents Against Turbines. The wind developments there are not 27 miles offshore the way it is planned in Virginia. >click to read<

Video: Shop in Shallotte creates nets for fishermen from the Pamlico Sound to Keys West

It’s one of the last shops of its kind, a little place in Shallotte that makes and repairs big nets fishermen use to catch shrimp. They sew them by hand for shrimpers up and down the coast. >click to watch< 12:15

Tropical Storm Henri Public Advisory

At 800 AM EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Henri was located by reconnaissance aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars near latitude 40.7 North, longitude 71.3 West. Henri is moving toward the north-northwest near 16 mph. A north-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected this morning. On the forecast track, Henri is expected to make landfall in southern New England or on Long Island later this  morning or early this afternoon. After landfall, a turn back toward the north and an even slower forward speed are expected as Henri moves over southern New England.>click to read< 08:30

Hurricane Warnings In Effect for Parts of Long Island and southern New England

11:00 AM EDT Sat Aug 21, Location: 34.4°N 72.5°W, Moving: NNE at 14 mph – Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for portions of Long Island, New York, and southern New England with Henri. Henri is expected to accelerate northward on Saturday and make landfall in Long Island or southern New England on Sunday. In addition to hurricane conditions and dangerous surge, heavy rainfall may lead to considerable flooding in parts of New England Sunday into Monday. >click to read< – National Weather Center, >click here< 11:10

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for August 20, 2021

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<

Prince Edward Islanders urged to prepare for tropical storm Henri

The National Hurricane Center’s latest on the track for Henri was issued Friday at noon AT. It says to expect sustained winds of 100 km/h, and predicts warm waters and atmospheric conditions will see the storm strengthen to hurricane status Friday night or early Saturday. “The latest guidance shows potential landfall anywhere from Cape Cod to near NYC on Sunday,” says CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland. “Henri is then expected to track east toward the Maritimes after weakening and transitioning to post-tropical early next week. It is still far too early to offer much certainty on this storm’s exact path through Atlantic Canada or its impact on our local weather. Please stay tuned for updates!” >click to read<16:10

U.S. Coast Guard urges preparedness for Tropical Storm Henri

Boston — The Coast Guard urges all mariners to prepare for Tropical Storm Henri before its predicted Sunday landfall. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts Henri to have wind speeds equal to or exceeding 39 mph. Storm Surge and Hurricane watches are in effect for portions of the United Stated –>click to read<-The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages: Port conditions change based on weather forecasts, and current port conditions can be viewed on the following Coast Guard homeport webpage: >click to read>14:15<

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 62′ Steel Longliner, 500HP Cummins, with Federal Permits

To review specifications, information, and 7 photo’s >click here< , To see all the boats in this series >click here< 10:27

Offshore wind farms will have ‘major’ impacts on commercial fishing. Meanwhile, in New Bedford,,,

Development of the South Fork Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island would will have an overall “major” adverse impact on commercial fishing, according to a newly released federal study.,, Mark Philips, a commercial fishermen operating out of Greenport, cast doubt on the notion that climate change and fishing presented greater threats than the turbines themselves to his fishing activities.,,  With wind farms planned from Maine to North Carolina, he sees his fishing options collapsing, even if, as the study points out, planners identified and excluded the most productive fishing grounds from the wind-energy areas. >click to read<New Bedford fishermen, officials question New York offshore wind areas as auction nears >click to read< –  09:24

Daughter of Reedville Fisherman’s Museum Founder Named President

Passion, love of a cause and, and energy – Becky Haynie of Reedville, Va. checks all three boxes for the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum where she was recently elected president of the board of directors. Becky’s passion and love of the job comes from her late father Wendell Haynie who passed away Dec. 20, 2020. Wendall, his brother Braxton and Alice Butler spearheaded the formation of the Greater Reedville Association in 1988, which led to the creation of the museum.,, “My father grew concerned that so many artifacts were disappearing off the boats and that there would not be any left for posterity,” she said. “He wanted to create a home to secure and display them. I want to make sure that home is secure too. >click to read< 09:05

U.S. Coast Guard responds to Haiti for humanitarian aid following 7.2 earthquake

Haitian’s government requested Coast Guard assistance following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The Coast Guard committed numbers of air and surface assets to help in transporting medical personnel and supplies, and transporting critically injured citizens to facilities needing a higher level of care in Port au Prince, Haiti. Photos, >click to read< 19:39

“We’re in pretty bad shape,” Commercial fishermen, fishing industry decline over the past 20 years

North Carolina commercial fishermen have complained for decades that government regulations and a variety of other factors threaten their livelihood and have them headed the way of endangered species. Glenn Skinner of Newport, executive director of the North Carolina Fisheries Association an advocacy group of commercial fishermen, said statistics back that up. “These declines are the result of many different factors. with regulations, the fear of future regulations or outright bans on commercial fishing gears being a significant factor,” Skinner said. He said public perception and political agendas drive the regulations. >click to read< 11:26

South Carolina: Multiple people, businesses charged for illegal commercial fish harvest and sales

James Wooten of Bluffton, Dawson Loper of Bluffton, and David Festerman of Griffen, GA are each facing multiple charges for illegally harvesting and selling flounder, tripletail, sheepshead, and red drum. 42 fish were seized during the arrest. Restaurants buying the fish were also implicated. Chef Eric Seaglund at Hudson’s Seafood House in Hilton Head “was charged with one count of unlawful purchase of a saltwater fishery product, and one count each of possessing undersized tripletail and undersized flounder.” >click to read< 08:32

While cargo shipments boom, ship strikes imperil whales in California and worldwide

Earlier this year, horrific photos of two fin whales pinned to the hull of an Australian naval ship gained worldwide attention. The vessel had been conducting exercises in the waters near San Diego. The two bodies, one 65 feet long, the other just 25 feet, were draped over the hull. “Anywhere you have major shipping routes and whales in the same place, you are going to see collisions,” said Russell Leaper, an expert with the International Whaling Commission. “Unfortunately, that’s the situation in many places.” While gray whales and humpbacks make up 70% of the reported strikes in the government’s database, it’s the endangered and threatened populations such as North Atlantic right whales and the gargantuan Pacific blues that concern scientists the most. For those whales, each death comes with a risk of population or species extinction. >click to read< 12:06

Potter’s Seafood carries on the “historic heritage” of Southport

The small yellow building tucked in the corner of Southport’s Yacht Basin represents what’s left of the once prominent and bustling seafood industry in the town. The building is home to Potter’s Seafood, an institution in Southport that’s been selling local seafood since 1899. Royce Potter is carrying on the family tradition as the fifth generation of Potters to catch and sell seafood along the waterfront of Southport. The town, located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, once revolved around the fishing industry but now relies on tourism and Potter’s is the last of its kind. Video, photos, >click to read< 10:22

Scallop boat Captain William Francis Phaneuf, “Cape Cod Bill,” 72 has passed away

William Francis Phaneuf, “Cape Cod Bill,” 72, died Saturday, July 31st  at Tobey Hospital in Wareham while holding the hand of his number one caregiver and youngest daughter Nichole. He was the son of Mildred (Myers) Phaneuf and the late John H. Phaneuf. He was a Navy Veteran and served during the Vietnam War. In his later years, he made a home for himself in Wareham, MA. Affectionately known as “Cape Cod Bill” to the most hard-core and rugged guys in the fishing industry, Billy was a proud, seasoned fisherman who honed his craft in his early years, from quahogging and bay scalloping in Bourne, MA, and later leading the toughest of crews as a scallop boat captain out of New Bedford, MA. Through the years, Billy ventured out for every type of fishing up and down the East Coast. He was an artist, he created beautiful paintings and illustrated short stories for his children. He loved to make music and never left home without his harmonica. >click to read< 22:16

The Bluefin Tuna Trophy angler season closed in March. Normally it would last into June.

The popular show “Wicked Tuna” put the species on a lot of people’s Bucket Lists. I fished seasonally through the 90’s until 2012. A small fish back then dressed over 300 lbs.! I’m writing now because of the effects of the BP Deep Water oil spill and poisoning. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the major spawning grounds for Bluefin Tuna. We sacrificed through Quota cuts to help the species. Commercial size limits allowed for the fish to reach sexual maturity to help propagate the species. The spill has affected the spawn since 2010 after a swipe of a pen set off the poison “COREXIT” rain!!! Dr. Jane Lubechenco signed that paper. The Gulf continually suffers from this planet changing maneuver! The effects of “COREXIT” have been known since the Exxon Valdez spill off 1989. She easily erased all of our sacrifices for the Bluefin Tuna Fishery. Regards, SBH. Click to comment! 16:25

Cargo vessels endanger North Atlantic right whales off Port of Savannah

Cargo vessels operating off the increasingly busy Port of Savannah are the primary violators of speed limits intended to protect the critically endangered right whales,,, The report comes as North American Right Whales again experience a declining population. NOAA lastest report on conservation efforts, issued December 2020, cites two leading causes of injuries and death as: A vessel strike, meaning the whales’ bodies may be sliced or chopped by ships’ propellers; and getting tangled in fishing gear,,, Canada has joined the U.S. in issuing rules intended to protect right whales from ship collisions. >click to read< 08:41

New book tour: Where Have All The Shrimp Boats Gone? Captain Woody Collins visits Colleton Museum

“I ran five different shrimp boats during my career,” said Collins, speaking to those in attendance on Saturday. “My book tells the story of how the shrimping industry started, and offers my conclusions about how we got to present day.” The book published in 2020 and offers 300-photos over 300-pages as a visual reference to the past. “In 1980 the shrimping industry peaked in the Lowcountry and we had 1500-boats licensed to shrimp,” said Collins. “The decline in boats after that was drastic with 750-boats in 1985, 350-boats in 1990 and then down to 150-boats by 1995. That process took about a year and a half, and I’m probably the least likely guy to write a book,” he said. “I went to Sicily to do research on this book since an immigrant named Salvatore Solicito came here and brought the idea of netting from the back of a boat,” >click to read< 20:15

Spiny lobster season kicks off amid an unexplained population drop

The Caribbean spiny lobster commercial fishery in Florida average more than 5 million pounds per year,,, Valued at more than $40 million, the spiny lobster fishery is the second most lucrative commercial fishery in the state, behind shrimp.,, Since the 1990s, the population of the Caribbean spiny lobster has decreased 20%, which matters, not only to fisheries and spiny lobsters, but also to the entire food chain of Florida’s waters. “They’re a main food item for every other organism in the Florida Keys. Everything wants to eat little lobsters from snapper, grouper, even some herons. Matthews said while the American lobster is a “mean, nasty animal” not afraid to “fight to the death,” the Caribbean spiny lobsters are just the opposite. “They love to be in groups. They defend each other, and they are very social animals. >click to read< 12:04

Occupational Change! From Wall St. to the T.V. Tuna Fleet!

Tuna fisherman Captain Bobby Earl was fishing off the coast of North Carolina last summer when his boat exploded, a saga that the Baysider chronicles in this season of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, a fishing reality show. While Earl counts escaping the blazing boat as among “the most surreal experience[s] of my life,” the Wall Street manager turned commercial fisherman has had a rather unusual life trajectory. Earl was born and raised in Bayside, Queens, before rising through the ranks on Wall Street. When the housing market crashed in 2008, Earl got fired from his job as a regional manager for Bank of America investments. 2008 changed my life too. >click to read< 11:44