Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Delcambre shrimp processor overcoming old and new problems to survive

Gulf Crown Seafood’s Jeff Floyd and his son Jon agree that every year in the seafood business is unique. Each year new problems arise and are added to the same old ones continuously sticking around. Last year new problems arising from Covid and Hurricane Ida were added to the old ones; H2B visiting worker visa, labor shortages, import prices and product availability. “We weren’t affected directly by Hurricane Ida,” said the senior of the Floyds. “But without production this plant doesn’t survive. They only way we get production is with the boats. I don’t know exactly how many we lost out of the fleet from the storm, but talking to those at the docks their were a lot a fisherman whose boats won’t be able to be salvaged.” Gulf Crown Seafood in Delcambre is one of approximately seven shrimp processors left Louisiana. >click to read< 12:58

Gulf commercial fishermen file lawsuit over new red grouper quotas

The federal government will soon impose new limits on the amount of red grouper that commercial fishers can catch in the Gulf of Mexico and local business owners say that will impact the industry and their customers. “It will definitely cost you more today. And will probably cost you more tomorrow because there’ll be less allocation,” said Frank Chivas. Karen Bell, owner of A.P. Bell Fishing Company in Cortez agrees that the price for grouper is likely to rise. Bell has signed on to a federal lawsuit challenging the reallocation of the red grouper harvest.  > click to read < 09:49

Offshore wind farm plans collide with fishing industry concerns off Carolina coast

The Biden administration’s plans to develop wind power off the East Coast are drawing concerns from the fishing industry, in the latest example of climate policy colliding with the livelihood of coastal businesses. Interior officials say they are aware of the concerns and are working on regulatory guidance that would lay out how wind farm developers can minimize harm to commercial and recreational fishing, while compensating businesses for losses. Wednesday’s auction is moving forward before officials finish that work. More lease sales are planned in the next two years for regions off the coast of California, the central Atlantic region and in the Gulf of Mexico. Without federal guidance, offshore wind developers have carved out their own settlements with local fishing groups. “Saddling project proponents with the costs of fisheries compensation would almost certainly have an adverse impact on ratepayers and/or project finance,” association officials said in a January letter to U.S. officials. >click to read< 14:50

Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance Supports Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful Red Grouper Quotas

Commercial fishermen and members of the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a recent decision by NOAA Fisheries to reallocate red grouper quota to recreational fishermen at the expense of the commercial fishery. The Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance supports the efforts by the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, Southern Offshore Fishing Association, and A.P. Bell Fish Company to challenge this decision, in an effort to restore a fair allocation for commercial fishermen. The lawsuit, filed late on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges recent red grouper allocations approved by NOAA as part of Amendment 53 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 16:16

Commercial Fisherman Captain Jason Ian Nevel of Ohio has passed away

Jason came into this life on November 19, 1977, in Hamilton, Ohio. As early as age 6 he was drawing pictures of fish and boats and said he wanted to be a fisherman when he grew up.  He became a crewmember on a commercial fishing boat and over the years worked his way up and passed the test to obtain his Commercial Captain License, something he was very proud of. Like most commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, Captain Jason worked hard and played hard. In the past couple of years, he returned to Hamilton but would travel back to Florida to work on fishing boats. He was at home on the ocean, he said that is where he found peace and tranquility. >click to read< 11:09

Wreck of a 190-year-old Massachusetts whaling ship Industry discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Roughly 15 years before Herman Melville introduced the world to Moby Dick, a whaling ship from Massachusetts sank near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Not much is left of the two-masted wooden brig thought to be Industry, a 65-foot-long (20-meter-long) whaler that foundered after a storm in 1836. An old news clipping found in a library shows its 15 or so crew members were rescued by another whaling ship and returned home to Westport, Massachusetts, said researcher Jim Delgado of SEARCH Inc. photos, >click to read< 21:40

Alabama Man Cited For Commercial Fishing Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents cited an Alabama man for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on March 17. Agents cited James R. Owens, 53, of Sumerdale, Alabama, for fishing without a commercial gear license and using shrimp trawls exceeding the size requirements in offshore Louisiana territorial waters. Agents were on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol in the Gulf of Mexico inspecting shrimp vessels for Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations. They boarded a vessel captained by Owens and found he did not possess commercial gear licenses for each of the four trawls he was actively using. >click to read< 16:00

Boat captain charged with fishing violations

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Offshore Patrol Vessel Program officers stopped the 48-foot commercial vessel, named Legacy, in the Pompano Endorsement Zone in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. They found the captain, Ronald Birren, had a monofilament entanglement net, known as a gill net, which has been illegal in Florida waters since 1995. Birren, of Hernando Beach, was cited for 2,611 pompano over the limit, possession of 76 undersized pompano, and having the gill net. >click to read< 08:22

Grand Isle shrimp dock owner Dean Blanchard takes good with the bad after Hurricane Ida

The docks at Blanchard Seafood plant are about as close to the Gulf of Mexico as possible without getting wet. When Hurricane Ida struck the island, all that changed. The processing plant was not only inundated, but the winds tore away walls and ceilings, leaving owner and wholesaler Dean Blanchard with more than $1 million in damage. “It was Katrina-like damage,” Blanchard said. “There was less water damage but a hell of a lot of wind damage. We thought Katrina was a once-in-a-lifetime storm, but apparently it wasn’t.”  At 63, Blanchard has seen his share of disasters impacting not only his seafood business but also the whole state. >click to read< 09:38

Evidence Bolsters Classification Of A Major Spawning Ground For Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Off The Northeast U.S.

The prevailing understanding has been that Atlantic bluefin tuna comprise two populations with strong natal homing to spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea. However, there has long been speculation that spawning may occur in other regions, and a 2016 paper demonstrated a bluefin tuna spawning ground in the Slope Sea. The Slope Sea is a wedge of ocean that is bounded by the U.S. shelf break and the Gulf Stream as it moves away from the U.S. east coast. >click to read< 15:38

‘These Waters Are Hot’: U.S. Auction Opens Up Offshore Wind Farm Rush

When the U.S. last auctioned big plots of ocean to companies that wanted to build offshore wind farms a few years ago, it raked in a then-record-setting haul of $405 million. That’s set to be obliterated Wednesday,,, “We expect high bids, potentially the highest on record.”  While the Trump administration only held two lease sales for offshore wind areas in four years, President Joe Biden has said he wants enough offshore wind farms to power 10 million homes by 2030 and is planning six more auctions from California to the Carolinas. Not everyone is excited about the prospect of hundreds of new turbines,,, There’s also another potential problem with a record-setting sale: power prices. Since developers will eventually be passing on the costs of building the wind farms to the homeowners and businesses that buy the electricity they generate, bidding wars and high prices for the tracts of ocean could eventually boost the price of that power. >click to read< 13:58

Commercial Fisherman medevaced 80 miles west of Tampa

The Coast Guard medevaced a 37-year-old man from a commercial fishing vessel. F/V Swordfish, 80 miles west of Tampa, Thursday. An MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater flew the man to Tampa General Hospital in stable condition. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders were notified by the fishing vessel captain of the man’s critical medical condition. A Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended the man be brought ashore. Video, >click to read< 07:14

The Oysterman, the Pirate and Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands 

Maurer was in a bind. Hurricane Ida had decimated the supply chain. The storm swept through the heart of Louisiana’s $2.4bn seafood industry, which supports one out of 70 jobs in the state, leaving him with no roads, no power, and very little seed. He decided he needed to find “new routes to market, whether by boat or by land. Go pirate on them.” He meant this literally. As he looked for a solution among the lingering chaos of the hurricane, he thought of the notorious pirate Jean Laffite, who once operated out of Grand Isle. Maurer decided he would follow the same route: He bought Les Bons Temps to see if he could bring his catch to town directly, bypassing the wrecked roads and bridges. photos, >click to read< 15:12

U.S. puts restrictions on Mexican boats over illegal fishing

The U.S. government is putting restrictions on Mexican fishing boats entering U.S. ports over allegations that the Mexican government has failed to prevent illegal fishing in U.S. waters. Starting Feb. 7, all Mexican fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico will be prohibited from entering U.S. ports. “This is an example of how rampant illegal fishing is in Mexico,” said Alejandro Olivera with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Mexican fisheries enforcement has been weakened since the start of this administration.” >click to read< 09:50

Stormy weather triggers 1st mullet run in ‘nick of time’ for a Christmas payday

It was the first substantial mullet run of the 2021-22 season and, by late morning, dozens of boats and anxious fishers were on the Intracoastal Waterway pursuing mullet near the Cortez Bridge. Along the way, fishers race and jostle to net them and unload their catch at the Cortez fish houses, which pay higher prices for egg-bearing females. Around 11 a.m. Dec. 21, Brett Dowdy, Shawn Childers and Ryan Sloan, mullet fishers with about 39 years of combined experience, unloaded their first haul of the day at John Banyas’ fish processing plant, Cortez Bait and Seafood. Photos! >click to read< 07:40

Commercial Fishing Safety on the West Coast

In 2009, NIOSH completed an in-depth study of commercial fishing fatalities in the United States for the decade spanning 2000-2009. The purpose of the study was to identify the most hazardous fisheries around the country and to describe the unique safety issues in each. For this study the US was divided into four fishing regions: Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. The results of this analysis for the West Coast region can be found in the document,,, >click to read< 13:18

Anglers welcome offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico; shrimpers skeptical

While commercial shrimpers worried that turbines might crowd them out of prime harvesting areas, recreational fishing groups wanted assurances they could get as close as possible to turbines, which can act as artificial reefs. Off the coast of New England, commercial fishers are fighting plans for large offshore wind farms. They say the farms will overlap some of the best spots to catch squid, lobster and other species, and could make fishing more dangerous and costly. >click to read< 07:43

Fishing Vessel Fire and Sinking Caused by Deteriorated Wiring

The F/V Lucky Angel was trawling for shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico when a fire broke out in the vessel’s engine room on December 10, 2020. The three crewmembers attempted to fight the fire but were forced to abandon the vessel. They were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel sank two days later. No pollution was reported. There was one minor injury. The vessel was a total constructive loss with an estimated value of $120,000. A smoke alarm for the engine room indicated on the alarm panel in the wheelhouse of the Lucky Angel. When he reached the engine room, the Captain,,, >click to read< 13:07

’Twas the night before mullet season

’Twas the night before mullet seasonw hen all through the village not a husband was home there was no one around. The nets were all hung by the fisherman with care in hopes that the mullet run soon would be there. My crew in their slickers and new boots and caps took a few moments to take a quick nap. When out on gulf there roared such a sound, like thunder the fish, they showered all around, away to our nets we flew like a flash, tore open the box lid threw the net, splash. >click to read< 07:08

National: Legal Petition Seeks Federal Ropeless Rule to Save Whales, Turtles From Fishing Gear

The Center for Biological Diversity formally petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to require crab, lobster and other trap fisheries to convert to new ropeless or “pop-up” gear within the next five years. The petition requests that the agency prioritize the transition in national marine sanctuaries.,, The proposed change would protect whales and other animals from entanglements in California’s Dungeness crab fishery, New England’s lobster fishery, the stone crab fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, and others. >click to read< 07:17

Coast Guard interrupts suspected illegal shrimp harvest off Key West

Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo’s law enforcement crew detained a U.S. flagged fishing vessel Saturday for suspected shrimp fishing in the Dry Tortugas shrimp sanctuary during an annual closure period. The law enforcement team boarded the F/V Double E at approximately 7:30 p.m. and also discovered two safety violations. The vessel was escorted to Station Fort Myers Beach for further investigation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Division. >click to read< 19:31

Alabama: Fishermen land big haul of roe mullet on Fowl River

More than half a dozen boats lined up at the mouth of Fowl River Monday for a big catch of roe mullet. The roe mullet is a popular fish that can be sold for money, especially the females that hold eggs. Licensed fishermen use gill nets to capture the fish as they move from the rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. In Alabama, gill net fishing will soon be extinct. The state no longer issues gill net licenses for environmental concerns. Many gill net fishermen have been fishing for roe mullet for generations and sell the fish to support their families. Video, >click to read< 07:34

NOAA: Temporary rule allows shrimpers limited tow times as an alternative to TED’s

NOAA is publishing a temporary rule to allow shrimp fishers to continue to use limited tow times as an alternative to Turtle Excluder Devices. According to LDWF, the use will be in specific Louisiana state waters from 91° 23’ West longitude eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi border, and seaward out three nautical miles. The temporary rule is effective from December 7, 2021 through January 5, 2022. >click to read< 12:02

A vanishing coastal icon

You don’t see shrimp trawlers working the sea like you once did. You don’t see them coming in with their photogenic outriggers up. To be clear, trawlers still work the sea but nowhere in numbers like they once did.,, Times were you’d see them out at sea working, nets out, capturing shrimp. Beachgoers would see several trawlers with nets up coming home with a haul. Beachgoers and locals alike knew where to get fresh-caught shrimp and it was no marketing spin. It was the real deal, but those days are slipping away. Regulations, pollution, imports, inaccessible shrimping grounds, mariculture, maintenance costs, aging fleets, and other factors have put the hurt on the shrimping industry.  >click to read< 07:36

The U.S. is hungry for seafood, but more industrial aquaculture is not the answer

An often cited statistic to prove the need for industrial aquaculture is that as a country, we import as much as 90% of the seafood we consume. A lesser-known fact is that U.S. seafood exports have grown to record levels over the past decade. Rather than allowing destructive fish farming practices that can pollute our environment and displace commercial fishing in our markets, we should support our domestic fishing communities, so they can sell more of the higher-quality wild-caught seafood we produce here at home. Right now, megacorporation’s are pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to gut existing regulations and fast-track permit approvals to build new floating factory fish farms and control even more of the seafood market. >click to read< 14:11

Photo’s, Florida Stone Crab season begins for local crabbers

Stone crab season began in Florida on Friday prompting area crabbers to the Gulf of Mexico with traps loaded with fish heads and pigs blood. The goal: haul in thousands of pounds of the highly sought after crustacean claws, known for their delicate and succulent taste. Justin Ivers, left, of New Port Richey, and Josh Brokus, of New Port Richey, collect a basket of stone crab claws on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, while offloading them from a stone crab boat at Lockhart’s Seafood Fish and Stone Crab Market at 589 Island Dr. in Tarpon Springs. Photos, >click to read< 10:55

Stone crab season to open, race to place traps begins

Stone crab season opens Oct. 15 and crabbers are permitted to drop traps 10 days in advance. Cortez fisher Brian Lacey and his crew wasted no time Oct. 5, the first day traps were allowed in the water, putting their first load out in the Gulf of Mexico at midnight. “The longer the soak period, the better the catch, typically, for stone crabs,” Lacey said Oct. 5. In 400-trap increments, the 7-year commercial fisher aimed to drop 2,700 traps within a 40-mile area in a four-day span. >click to read< 08:47

Hurricane Ida: A Bad Time on the Bayou

Hurricane Ida struck the heart of Louisiana’s seafood industry as a Category 4 hurricane, wiping out homes, boats, trucks, plants and icehouses…. ‘This is just a bad time to be on the bayou it seems,’ said Venice shrimper Acy Cooper, a member of the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force. ‘Before the storm we were being hit hard by Covid. Covid is still here, but now we have to face the difficulties brought on by Ida,’ he said, adding that he has been fortunate compared to those to the east of him. ‘Here in Venice, we lost three or four shrimp boats, but over in Chauvin and Dulac, it’s more like half that fleet. People have lost their homes, their boats. They don’t have power, gas or food. These are people that aren’t going to ask for anything, but let me tell you they need it, and they need it now.’ Click to read >Pt.1< and >Pt.2< 18:55

Hurricane Ida: Leaves Toxic Chemicals, Oil Spills, And Sewage Swirling In Her Wake

Days after the storm swept through the region, the environmental aftermath is emerging in a petrochemical corridor packed with hazardous-chemical plants and refineries. In some areas, the chemicals are mixing with raw sewage released from treatment plants that lost power.,, Nearly 100 spills and other episodes have been reported to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as of Thursday afternoon, raising concerns among environmentalists and public health officials about toxic discharges. >click to read< 10:47

Louisiana: Coast Guard conducts Hurricane Ida post-storm overflights along the Gulf Coast

The Coast Guard is conducting critical incident search and rescue overflights and assessing for damage Monday along the Gulf Coast Region of Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. Assets conducted critical incident search and rescue overflights and assessing for damage  Monday along the Gulf Coast Region of Louisiana. Photos, >click to read< 14:39