Category Archives: South Atlantic

Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival set for April 25

The 34th annual Town of Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival is slated to be held on April 25. After 2020’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, organizers are hoping to hold the yearly ceremony this time around. Applications are now open for the event’s craft show, with the deadline set for Feb. 26. “The Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival aims to promote local fishermen and the town’s seafood legacy, educate the public on the importance of supporting local fishermen and shrimpers by buying wild-caught and local seafood,,, >click to read< 13:04

6 Ocean Priorities for the Biden Administration from the Environmentalist

Since President-elect Biden was voted into office last November, he and his team have been sharing what they want to accomplish in their first 100 days in office.,, In the midst of any political transition, it is easy for environmental issues to be pushed aside in the name of more “urgent” issues.  Fortunately, the new administration has given us promising signals that environmental action is high on their to-do list. Here are six things that must be prioritized in the coming weeks and months,,, >click to read< 09:48

Public Hearings for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are seeking public comment on the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment. Comments may be submitted at any of five virtual public hearings to be held between February 17 and March 2, 2021 or via written comment until March 16, 2021. >click to read, click for links< 12:41

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind.

In the selection of Gina Raimondo as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the offshore wind industry would get a champion in Washington. What influence she could bring to bear for the emerging energy sector remains to be seen, but if confirmed to her new position in the Biden cabinet, Raimondo would oversee federal fisheries regulators who have raised some of the concerns about potential negative impacts of erecting what could be many hundreds of wind turbines in the ocean waters off southern New England. >click to read<09:45

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 15, 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<15:15

Stocks head for weekly loss as economy’s coronavirus pain deepens – Seafood industry hit hard

A federal report says the coronavirus pandemic has taken away about a third of the commercial fishing industry’s revenue. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says revenues from catch brought to the docks by commercial fishermen fell 29% over the course of the first seven months of the year. The report says revenues declined every month from March to July, including a 45% decrease in July. The NOAA report says the seafood industry at large has been hit hard by restaurant closures, social distancing protocols and the need for safety measures. >click to read< 09:15

Three fishermen saved after shrimp boat sinks off North Topsail Beach

On Dec. 30, Lawrence Hansley and two others headed out to sea with Hansley’s shrimp boat, Salty Boy. It’d been six or seven months since he was on the inlet. While out on the water, the team entered a channel not far off NTB. “We went through a set of buoys, and I know we had to line up for the red buoys, but we didn’t see the red buoy,” said Hansley. That’s when they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The boat touched the bottom of the seafloor, coming up onto a sand bar, and ran aground. >video, click to read< 08:10

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 88′ Master Marine Steel Scalloper, Cat 3412, Kort nozzle, 2 Detroit gensets

To review specifications, and information, and 16 photos, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<11:39

Deadline to Apply for Seafood Trade Relief Program Coming Up

“U.S. fishermen affected by retaliatory tariffs need to file an application for this program by Friday, Jan. 15,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “We still have funding available, and these direct payments will help them recover from the effects of retaliatory tariffs on their ability to make a living.” STRP is available for the following types of seafood: Atka mackerel, Crab (Dungeness, King, Snow, Southern Tanner, Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herrings, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna, Turbot. To apply, visit farmers.gov/seafood or call 877-508-8364. >click to read< 12:20

Coronavirus: Coast Guard offers extension on credentials, medical certificates, and course approvals

Coast Guard officials have announced an extension of merchant marine credential endorsements, medical certificates and course approvals to meet challenges caused by the global novel coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the Coast Guard advised that due to these changes there may be a backlog in the processing of credentials and course approvals, especially near the end of the extension dates.,, Under the Coast Guard’s current statutory authority, the expiration dates of merchant mariner credentials may be extended for no more than one year. >click to read< 14:34

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for January 01, 2021

Sadly, former Senator Marc Basnight passed away this week at the age of 73. More about that elsewhere in this update. I have written a personal note about our relationship as it was one that had spanned quite a few years. The NCFA Board, Members and Staff offer our most sincere condolences and  prayers to the Basnight family. Senator Marc Basnight had a close relationship with the North Carolina Fisheries Association. He was a good friend to  commercial fishing families, although there were times when we differed. ,, 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<10:38

Looks like it could be Happy New Year, Shrimpers! Georgia Shrimp Season Extended Into 2021

Georgia’s commercial and recreational shrimpers will have more time this season to harvest food shrimp after the state Department of Natural Resources extended the shrimping season Monday. State law normally closes the shrimp fishery Dec. 31, but the Commissioner of Natural Resources can lengthen the season if data show shrimp are abundant and likely to rebound the following year, explained Eddie Leonard, a biologist with DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, which manages marine fisheries in Georgia. This season in Georgia, there are 213 licensed commercial shrimp trawlers and 15 licensed commercial cast-net shrimpers. >click to read< 07:13

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

As the New Year is on the horizon, please consider implementation of a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of a U.S. Fish Bill. I mentioned it in a letter to the editor, Letter: Can a fish bill, like Farm Bill, aid fishermen? on January 9, 2015, and have continued posting about, hoping the idea will gain industry wide support. I have tried to get our local politicians to help me draft a U.S Fish Bill, which would serve the U.S Fishing Industry, like the U.S. Farm Bill does for the agriculture industry. >click to read< Sam Parisi, Gloucester 09:11

European Union is dropping tariffs on American lobster

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that finalizes an agreement with the European Union to eliminate tariffs on live and frozen lobster from the United States. In 2017, a trade agreement eliminated tariffs on live lobsters from Canada and slowly reduced and eliminated tariffs of frozen and processed Canadian lobster. At the same time, American lobster exports faced tariffs as high as 30% in the European Union. The new agreement will reduce tariffs on live and frozen U.S. lobsters to 0%, retroactive to Aug. 1. Video, >click to read< 11:24

Report on Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act, S. 2346

Purpose of the Bill: The purpose of S. 2346, the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act, is to clarify and expedite the disaster declaration process, establish certain deadlines for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reduce delays, and clarify eligibility for assistance to ensure that charter, recreational, and Tribal fishers have access to disaster funds. Additionally, the bill would provide employment opportunities for fishery employees displaced by a fishery disaster by prioritizing their hiring to undertake restoration, conservation, and other fishery rebuilding activities funded by disaster relief funds. >click to read< 09:22

The rise of the land salmon

Damien Claire stands inside an industrial complex on the outskirts of Miami, watching thousands of salmon fry dart this way and that in a circular tank. At nine weeks old, the youngsters are the size of paperclips and learning to feed. Instinctively, they school, turning into a swirling dark ball in the lime green light. Claire wears a bright safety vest and a white hardhat stamped with the logo of the company he works for, Atlantic Sapphire. It’s a brand that pops up frequently these days in seafood industry publications with names like Salmon Business and Intrafish. >click to read< 08:55

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for December 11, 2020

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, The North Carolina Fisheries Association Officers, Members and Staff offer our prayers and most sincere condolences to Representative Michael and Hazel Speciale and their family on the death of their daughter, Dawn April Stewart on November 30th… to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<  14:31

Man rescued after being spotted clinging to the bow of his sunken boat 86 miles east of Port Canaveral

The Coast Guard is monitoring the safe return home of Stuart Bee, a 63-year-old man, who departed Cape Marina, Port Canaveral, Friday, and was rescued Sunday, by the 225-meter motor vessel Angeles crew about 86 miles off the coast. The Angeles’ next port of call is Wilmington, Delaware. Bee is in contact with his brother who will assist in bringing him home once in Delaware. Receiving the alert, the Angeles’ crew lookout spotted Bee clinging to the bow of his boat at approximately 10 a.m. and brought him aboard, 5 photos, >click to read< 19:23

Florida: One month into stone crab season, and there’s good news from the docks and markets

Fishermen are reporting a strong supply while markets and restaurants are saying customer demand is just as promising. “It’s been an outstanding season so far,” said Kelly Kirk, owner of Kirk Fish Company.  For customers, that means good news: Prices have held steady compared to last year. And large claws, usually more elusive, have been especially abundant, Kirk said.  The strong landings come despite new restrictions imposed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aimed at protecting the stone crab population after years of declining harvests. Kirk said those declines aren’t being seen this season. “We’re seeing the opposite of that, actually,” Kirk said. “Had COVID not hit and the whole market turned upside down (last year), we probably would have broken records as far as production. >click to read< 10:34

Coast Guard concluded search for missing man near St. Helena Sound

The Coast Guard concluded the search Thursday evening for a man who went missing after his fishing vessel capsized, Wednesday. The man has been identified as Don Melcoock, 50, who is from the greater Charleston area. “I am thankful of the aggressive search efforts put forth by all of our Coast Guard units and partner agencies who have conducted search and rescue operations over the past three days,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christie Connell, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Charleston. “We found the second missing man who unfortunately did not survive. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased.” >click to read< 20:37

UPDATED: 1 man found alive, 1 still missing after shrimp boat capsizes in Beaufort County

The found man’s condition is stable and he’s continuing to improve after he was found late this morning off Tybee Island. According to the Coast Guard, one of the men has been found alive in a life raft. He has been airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah. There is no word yet on his condition. Officials say a Good Samaritan spotted the man and called the Coast Guard. The search continues for the other missing boater. >click to read< 06:51

Coast Guard crews work to remove 33,000 gallons fuel from fishing vessel aground east of Egg Island, GA

The Coast Guard is working to remove diesel fuel from an aground fishing vessel east of Egg Island. The fishing vessel initially ran aground on November 4 after it became disabled.  The Coast Guard is working with partner agencies and a hired contractor to remove a potential amount of 33,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the fishing vessel. The Coast Guard is actively working with salvage contractors and the vessel’s owner to find the best means possible for this unique situation being that it’s a difficult project due to the grounding location.”  >click to read< 17:43

Two missing after shrimp boat capsizes in Beaufort County, South Carolina

The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple other agencies are searching for two adult males who disappeared after a shrimp boat capsized Tuesday. Responders found the capsized shrimp boat in St. Helena Sound near Harbor Island where the pair had been fishing. Multiple agencies have boats, cutters and helicopters searching for the fishermen. >click to read< 07:14

Coast Guard, partner agencies searching for 2 men near St. Helena Sound – Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston received notification at 3:47 p.m., Tuesday from a family member stating the two men were overdue. A Coast Guard Air Station Savannah helicopter aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer to the 27-foot capsized vessel with no signs of the two men.  >click to read<

From the sea floor to the courtroom, the fight to save right whales

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered species on the planet. Scientists announced last month that there are only about 360 of the animals left, down roughly 50 from the previous year’s survey. They live along the East Coast, from northern Florida to Canada, where the 50-foot-long, 140,000-pound leviathans must navigate through millions of commercial fishing lines primarily, lobster traps, and one of the world’s most crowded shipping channels. Too often they become tangled in those lines, or are struck by a ship, (Ships, A LOT of ships). The fight to save them, led by biologists and conservation groups, has grown urgent — in the water and in the courts. >click to read< 11:28

Three New Calves! North Atlantic Right Whale calving season is now underway

Right whales are an endangered species that usually migrate south along the Georgia and Florida coastline to give birth to their calves. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced over the weekend that calving season is now underway and lasts through March. In the 2020 calving season, there were 10 calves born, which was up from seven in the 2019 season. Despite the increase in calves, the species is still endangered. In the 2020 calving season, there were 10 calves born, which was up from seven in the 2019 season.>click to read< 15:27

One lawsuit dismissed, another filed against State of North Carolina over fisheries management

The latest suit was filed on Tuesday in state court, the same day another group’s legal action against government officials’ management of marine fisheries in North Carolina was dismissed in federal court. The Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, along with 86 North Carolinians, filed their civil action Tuesday against the state in Wake County Superior Court. In an unrelated case, an organization called the North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group filed a federal lawsuit in August saying regulations that allow large, ocean-going shrimp trawlers to work in the state’s sounds violated the Clean Water Act. >click to read< 08:01

McClellanville receives $25K grant to help preserve its working waterfront

McClellanville is one of 12 towns recently awarded the Hometown Economic Development Grant from the Municipal Association of South Carolina. The $25,000 grant will go towards an economic development plan to keep and preserve it’s working waterfront, the main economic and cultural aspect of the town.,, “It’ll help the whole town out, this is a shrimping and fishing village, so that working waterfront, probably about half of that town relies on that working waterfront,” >Video, click to read< 09:49

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 54′ Fiberglass Shrimp Dragger, 2 John Deere 6081’s, Kubota – 21 KW genset

To review specifications, and information, and 3 photos >click here<, To see all the boats in this series, >click here<12:10

U.S. Coast Guard rescues seven in two missions off the Georgia coast – Video

The Coast Guard rescued seven people in two separate search and rescue cases Tuesday off the Georgia coast.  In the first rescue, three people were hoisted from a life raft about 60 miles east of Tybee Island,,, In the second rescue, a separate Air Station Savannah Dolphin aircrew hoisted four survivors at 5:18 a.m. after the fishing vessel, Jimmy & Charlie, began taking on water near Egg Island.  >Video, click to read< 15:13