Category Archives: South Atlantic

Maine DMR wants to close the pogy fishery to newcomers for 2 years while it crafts a new FMP/Enforcement plan.

“Closing fisheries is kind of a radical step and a dangerous step because it eliminates diversity,” said Commissioner Pat Keliher. “We’re not saying close it in perpetuity. Close it to see if there is a different approach here that would allow us to get both enforcement and reporting back under control.” Keliher said the 2019 menhaden season was challenging because of “a perfect storm of circumstances.” A sharp reduction in the herring quota spurred huge growth in the menhaden fleet, with 50 new boats rushing to satisfy the $485 million lobster industry’s need for substitute bait. >click to read< 07:23

Tuesday is the deadline to comment on upcoming shrimp management plan changes

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries public scoping closes on Tuesday, Jan. 21, for comments on potential management strategies for an upcoming amendment to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. The amendment will examine management strategies to further reduce bycatch of nontarget species in the shrimp trawl fishery and potential changes to existing shrimp management strategies, according to DMF. Written comments can be submitted, >click to read< 20:24

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 17, 2020

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< 21:36

F/V Sea Angels: Grounded fishing vessel near Browns Inlet, refloated and towed off the beach

The Coast Guard received a report of the fishing vessel Sea Angels being towed off the beach by the fishing vessel Lady Deborah during high tide Wednesday evening. The vessel was towed to Jarrett Bay Boatworks in Beaufort, North Carolina, where it has been dry docked for inspection and repairs. >click to read< 15:57

F/V Papa’s Girl: Body of one crewman recovered, another still missing as limited search continues

The remains have been recovered of one of the crewmembers missing from a shrimp trawler that capsized in the Pamlico Sound last week. The body of Keyron “Breezy” Davis was recovered Friday morning. The Hyde County Sheriff’s Office told WCTI-TV his body was found using sidescan sonar. Along with the Sheriff’s Office, commercial fishing vessels and volunteer boaters have continued searching off Engelhard for Sammy Douglas as weather conditions have allowed. Four men were onboard the F/V Papa’s Girl when it went down as a strong cold front crossed the sound the evening of January 7. >click to read< 13:18 All related posts, >click here<

Full Committee Markup, Legislative Hearing on Sustainable Fisheries

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, our Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing on six bills that make our oceans and fisheries more sustainable in the face of manmade threats. The Committee’s full schedule and witness lists are available below. As with all hearings and markups, these events are open to media and the public.  >click to read< 07:37

We would like to extend our Deepest Condolences to the family of Timmy Sobotka of Wanchese. 

Timothy Ira Sobotka, 48, of Wanchese, NC died Thursday, January 9, 2020. Born in Riverhead, NY on October 1, 1971, he was the son of Frank John Sobotka and the late Phylis Irene Etheridge. Longline captain of his fishing vessel The Bluefin, Timmy was at peace when he was at sea. Big, beloved, devoted badass pirate fisherman, he was an avid and devoted commercial fisherman with a larger than life character and a big soft heart of gold. Family to all who knew him, he will be sorely missed by the Wanchese/Outer Banks community and all along the East Coast from Greenport, Long Island, New York to the Florida Keys. Calling hours, >click to read< 10:25

A graveside service will be held at Soule Cemetery, Saturday, for F.G. Gibbs

Floyd Guy “F.G.” Gibbs, Jr., 66, of Engelhard, died, Tuesday, January 7, 2020. F.G. was born in Beaufort County, October 21, 1953 to the late Floyd Guy, Sr. and Nina Way Cuthrell Gibbs. He was married to the former Beverly Hodges who survives. F.G. worked as a commercial fisherman and was the owner and captain of the vessel Papa’s Girl. A graveside service will be held at Soule Cemetery, Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the online fundraiser for the families here, https://tinyurl.com/PapasGirl   >click to read< 08:44

F/V Papa’s Girl: A Fundraiser for Family Assistance and help for Ben Poe’s medical expences

F/V Papa’s Girl sank Tuesday night costing 3 members their lives and a 4th extensive medical bills. In the wake of this tragedy, we are trying to help the families raise money to cover funeral costs and medical bills. Commercial fishermen often times do not carry insurance despite the obvious risks due to excessive insurance costs. Please help us gather as much as we can to assist the families of Captain FG Gibbs, Sammy Douglas and Breezy as well as help Ben Poe with medical expenses. All contributions will be split between the families. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance! >please click here to donate< 11:12

NOAA says days-old North Atlantic right whale already injured by propeller

North Atlantic right whale researchers were thrilled to find out a fourth calf had been spotted this year. But the excitement disappeared after learning the newborn, estimated to be only days old, has been injured, according to NOAA. The American agency said in a statement Thursday the injuries “were consistent with the propeller of a vessel.” >click to read< 09:12

Product of USA??? President and Chief Executive sentenced, fined for mislabeling crab meat

Officials say Phillip Carawan sold foreign crabmeat that his company, Capt. Neill’s Seafood Inc., labeled as Blue Club from the United States.,, According to their plea agreements, the company and its owner admitted to repacking more than $4 million of crab meat from South America and Asia as jumbo domestically harvested blue crab. Most of the meat was sold to wholesale membership clubs, but officials say some was sold directly to retailers. >click to read< 07:32

Coast Guard suspends search for two missing fishermen in Pamlico Sound

The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday afternoon for two fishermen who were reported missing after the commercial fishing vessel Papa’s Girl capsized in the vicinity of the Pamlico Sound. Watchstanders at the Fifth Coast Guard District command center were notified Tuesday night by a distress signal that was sent from the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon. >click to read< 14:58

Fishery FUNDD Act: Reps. Palazzo and Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Federal Fisheries Disaster Relief Program

Representatives Steven Palazzo (MS-4) and Jared Huffman (CA-2) have introduced the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act (Fishery FUNDD Act), which will improve the federal fishery disaster process and ensure more timely disaster relief for impacted communities.  The Fishery FUNDD Act would set a timeline for the federal government to respond to a fishery disaster request, and set a timeline for disbursal of appropriated funds following a disaster. >click to read< 14:05

Unified Command oversees fuel and oil removal from grounded F/V Sea Angels with possible presence of unexploded military ordnance nearby

The Unified Command is overseeing lightering operations to remove the fuel from aboard the grounded fishing vessel Sea Angels, which are being completed by a contractor hired by the vessel owner, Wednesday afternoon. Operations are expected to continue over the next several days to remove all fuel and other oil from the fishing vessel, which ran aground near Browns Inlet, North Carolina, on Dec. 9, 2019. >click to read< 07:19

Unexploded Ordnance Complicates Salvage for Grounded Fishing Vessel – At about 0815 hours on December 9, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a distress call from a crewmember aboard the fishing vessel Sea Angels. >click to read<  Search Results for: F/V Sea Angels >click to read<

1 dead, 2 missing after shrimp boat sinks off North Carolina, search continues

The Coast Guard rescued two crew members from a shrimp trawler when it went down in the Pamlico Sound on Tuesday, officials said.  One of them was pronounced dead at the hospital, and two others are still missing.,, Two crew members were located by the aircrew and taken to Sentara Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City. One was hypothermic and the other, who required CPR, was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the release. >click to read<  15:35

Coast Guard pulls two fishermen from water, searching for two others in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

The Coast Guard pulled two mariners from the water after their vessel sank on Tuesday night, and is currently searching for the other two crewmembers in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, Wednesday morning. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Fifth District command center received a distress signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to fishing vessel Papa’s Girl.  >click to read< 14:01

Future of offshore fish farming in federal waters at issue in court

The potential environmental and economic consequences posed by proposals for fish farming in federal waters dictate that Congress — not a federal agency — must decide how to regulate the industry, an attorney told a federal appeals court Monday. At issue before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a September 2018 ruling by a federal judge who threw out National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rules for fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, saying Congress never gave the agency authority to make them. >click to read< 14:58

Meet Chris Schillaci who Joins Greater Atlantic Region’s Aquaculture Program! – In December, Chris Schillaci joined the Greater Atlantic Region’s aquaculture program, bringing ten years of experience to his new role. We asked Chris a few questions as he was settling in. >Click to read<

Bycatch – From problem to opportunity. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

For as long as I have been involved in the commercial fishing industry, and that’s going back for what is approaching forty years, there has been a widespread feeling that “things would be better if this industry were administratively housed in the Department of Agriculture (DOA).” Whether at the state level, in state waters within three miles of the coastline, or the federal level beyond three miles, there’s always been a sort of wistful “wouldn’t it be great if we were over there” view of the DOA, and the reasons for this aren’t awfully difficult to fathom. The Department of Agriculture, no matter whether state or federal, is mostly focused on promotion, and fisheries agencies, no matter the level, are regulatory in nature, in organization and in attitude. This is glaringly obvious with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal fisheries agency, which in recent years has become almost totally focused to the virtual exclusion of anything else on limiting – rather than enhancing – the commercial production of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 15:06

How Elver Eels Became America’s Hottest Black-Market Item

In the dark of the night, a group of fishermen huddles around a net. They’re gathered at a riverbank in Ellsworth, Maine, collecting one of the most lucrative seafood in the world: elvers, or baby glass eels. A 5-gallon bucket brimming with these translucent creatures is worth $32,500—higher than prices for gold. “It’s like Christmas!” exclaims Rick Sibley, one of the fishermen. “I can’t wait to see what’s in that net.” This would all come crashing down in 2014. Beginning in 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office of Law Enforcement—along with a long list of local, state, and federal agencies launched Operation Broken Glass, 15 minute video, >click to read< 12:12

Mullet on the run, fishermen running into rough weather, waters

“We had a little lick today,” Jason Walker, 45, of New Smyrna Beach, said Dec. 18. Walker has worked as a mullet fisherman for 22 years. He called a “lick” a small catch, while a “load” would be a big catch. When there’s a load, the parking lock at the Cortez, Bait & Seafood Retail Market, 12110 Cortez Road W., is full of trucks towing trailers loaded with the commercial fishing boats, which carry the catch on board after a good day on the water. “No loads this year,” said Walker, who still anticipated big catches to come. >click to read< 16:26

Sam Parisi: Its 2020 and time to move this industry forward!

Here we are again, at the end of the year, and decade for that matter, as 2019 is ending, and its time to move forward. As some of my fellow Fisherynation readers know, I am motivated to try improving the U.S. fishing industry for our country’s working U.S. fishermen. I have reached out to my Senators Markey, and Warren, and also to Congressman Moulton to help draft a US Fish Bill. This is an opportunity for everyone in this ridiculously diverse industry from sea urchin, and scallop divers, to clam dredgers, and every faction of the industry, traditional, and exotic, to have personal input into a bill built for you, built by you, and built by your fellow industry members. >click to read< 16:50

Fishermen blast N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries over southern flounder data

“I’m laughing at some of your data,” said Russ Howard during public comment, expressing the widely held view among the commercial fishermen that the DMF numbers are not accurate. “I don’t know how many nights you’ve spent out on the sound catching flounder,” he asked rhetorically.,, The commission, a nine-member board appointed by the governor, ultimately has the final say in adopting any amendments to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan (FMP). >click to read< 08:49

Have you had enough?

Since its inception in 1976, the agency charged with managing our fisheries, the NMFS, has overseen their decline, a decline which in most cases was a product of their own machinations.Usually most ideas the government has for managing our lives are well intended but terribly executed, this was a prime example. NMFS, for all that it was intended to be and do for our fisheries, has failed and in some cases, this wasn’t by mistake, but by design. By John Rice, >click to read< , and the comment venue is open there! 13:37

NOAA Issues Final Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for all Skimmer Trawl Vessels 40 Feet and Greater in Length

NOAA originally published a proposed rule in December 2016 that would have required all skimmer trawl, pusher-head trawl, and wing net vessels to use TEDs in their nets. In response to public comment and further deliberation, however, the final rule was revised. >click to read details<, Meanwhile, the enviro groups Plan to Save Sea Turtles From Shrimp Boats Scaled Way Back – “We’re scratching our heads on why this change happened,” said Gib Brogan, fishery campaign manager for Oceana, which sued to get the devices into inshore shrimp nets in NOAA’s Southeast Region. >click to read< 10:20

Coast Guard rescues 3 fishermen from vessel taking on water near Calibogue Sound

The Coast Guard rescued three people from a vessel taking on water in the vicinity of Calibogue Sound, Thursday. A Coast Guard Station Tybee Island 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew arrived on scene with the vessel taking on water and removed one crewman from the vessel. While attempting to remove the other two crewmen, the vessel began to sink, and the two crewmen went into the water where they were recovered by the RBM crew. >click to read< 11:11

Video: Emergency crews battle shrimp trawler fire near Core Creek bridge

Emergency crews from several departments battled a boat fire near the Core Creek bridge Tuesday evening. Carteret County Fire Marshall Eddie Lewis says the fire was reported at about 4:45 p.m. and crews arrived to find a shrimp trawler burning near the dock. The trawler– which Lewis says he can comfortably confirm was a fishing vessel — was a 1987 built, 56-foot boat named the Melissa Ann II– and was occupied by two people at the time of the fire. Video, photo’s  >click to read<  20:05

Coast Guard medevacs man 90 miles southeast of Charleston

A Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew medevaced a man from the 72-foot fishing vessel, Seneca, Tuesday, approximately 90 miles southeast of Charleston. The Dolphin helicopter crew safely hoisted a 33-year old man using a rescue basket and transported him to the Charleston Executive Airport where emergency medical services took him to Medical University of South Carolina for further medical care. >click to read< 14:52

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for December 13, 2019

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 to read< 14:43

Shem Creek Fisheries sells 2020 calendars to support local shrimp fleet

The Shem Creek Fisheries of Mount Pleasant, a local non-profit organization dedicated to Shem Creek’s shrimping fleet, is selling 2020 calendars to help fund their mission. The nonprofit will donate all of profits from the calendar sales to support their purpose of preserving the creek’s heritage, providing education to the public, helping with financial support when needed and helping the fleet continue to bring a sustainable product to the public. >click to read<  For more information about this organization and the 2020 calendars visit scfisheries.com09:42

F/V Sea Angels: Unified Command activated for fishing vessel that ran aground near Browns Inlet, North Carolina

A Unified Command was established on Wednesday afternoon to oversee the safe removal of fishing vessel Sea Angels, which ran aground in the vicinity of Browns Inlet, North Carolina. On Dec. 9, 2019, fishing vessel Sea Angels ran aground near a restricted navigation area in Browns Inlet, where the potential of unexploded military ordnance exists due to active live fire training in the area dating back to World War II. >click to read< 10:49