Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

More Florida manatees died in 2021 compared to any other year

There have more manatee deaths so far this year in Florida compared to any other year in the state’s recorded history. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports 841 manatees have died through July 2, topping the previous record of 830 deaths that were recorded in all of 2013. That occurred following a red tide outbreak,,, This year, the FWC says, there has been “unprecedented manatee mortality due to starvation.” video, >click to read< 15;04

Uncertain Future: Commercial shrimp season nears for “frustrated” Port Arthur shrimpers

Port Arthur area shrimpers are facing an uncertain future even with the opening next week of the Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for state and federal waters. Texas and federal waters are slated to open for commercial shrimping at 30 minutes past sunset Thursday. Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association Vice President Kim Tran,,, a combination of events that includes Hurricane Harvey fallout and the COVID pandemic produced less-than-ideal shrimping hauls leading to fewer boat captains and deckhands. >click to read< 09:16

Tropical Storm Elsa Public Advisory – 800 AM EDT

The center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located near latitude 24.5 North, longitude 82.6 West. Elsa is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the north by tonight. A north-northeastward motion is expected on Wednesday. On the forecast track, Elsa will continue to pass near the Florida Keys this morning, and move near or over portions of the west coast of Florida later today through tonight. On Wednesday morning, Elsa is forecast to make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States through Thursday. >click to read< 08:25

‘Eye of fire’ Near Offshore Platform in Mexico Extinguished

Bright orange flames jumping out of water resembling molten lava was dubbed an “eye of fire” on social media due to the blaze’s circular shape, as it raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform. The fire took more than five hours to fully put out, according to Pemex. The fire began in an underwater pipeline that connects to a platform at Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development, the company’s most important, four sources told Reuters earlier. >click to read< 12:49

Tropical Storm Warning up along northern Gulf Coast with Claudette forming today

At 10 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center said Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 was centered 220 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana and moving north at 14 mph. It had sustained winds of 35 mph. It is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Claudette by afternoon and reach the northern Gulf Coast by Saturday morning. Winter dry air is still mixing down deep into the tropics. Yes, it is not cold air, but it is dry air. This almost always leads to asymmetrical tropical systems. The “wet” side is generally east of the storm track and it is in this region, where over the next 3-5 days we will see the wettest and stormiest, along with the highest winds and highest storm surge (if any, this is a weak system). >click to read< 11:41

Between June 18 and 21, 1959, an Atlantic hurricane caused one of New Brunswick’s worst fishing-related disasters. – The incident, called the 1959 Escuminac disaster, killed 35 people and caused US$2.5 million worth of damage. On June 18, the storm developed in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< – 16:41, 6/20/2021

Research concludes after years of studying the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its effects in the Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, a consortium of 17 institutions in six countries, was funded through a $500 million grant from BP. The money was spent on a variety of studies, looking at both the Deepwater Horizon incident itself, and also the long-term ecological impacts.,, Steve Murawski is with the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, which was a leader in the multinational project. The biggest takeaway, he said, is that we weren’t ready for this event. They didn’t have the technology to cap a runaway well, a mile deep, and the government wasn’t prepared,” >click to read< 14:01

US Embargo Hits Mexican Shrimp Industry Hard

The United States has suspended certification of wild-caught Mexican shrimp, preventing producers from export part of their production to the USA. Already financially weakened Mexican shrimp exporters are confident that the decision will be reversed soon, but have concerns about the severe economic consequences. US inspectors identified non-conformities in the turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in dozens of fishing gears inspected at Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Campeche ports. News of the embargo was received with concern by the shrimp fishermen all over Mexico. ‘But we haven’t felt any impact yet, given that we had already exported all stocks and we’re now waiting for the next shrimp season to start in September,’ >photos, click to read< 13:13

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser – $2 billion river diversion is opposed by many. I am opposed.

Turning the tide on land loss in coastal Louisiana is a matter of self-preservation.  However, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s (CPRA) plan to address coastal land loss is a staggering $2 billion river diversion,,, I oppose this large-scale river diversion, and I’m not alone.  The parish councils of Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany have joined in because those communities will lose already limited flood protections while the negative impact to their fisheries environment upends the livelihood of fishermen who rely on fresh water, salt water and land. >click to read< 12:28

Seacor Power crew tried to drop vessel’s legs, anchor to seafloor when it capsized

A squall was passing over the Seacor Power in the Gulf of Mexico, the wind pounded and visibility from the wheelhouse of the massive lift boat had dimmed when a decision was made, three hours after leaving Port Fourchon on April 13, to drop its massive legs and anchor them to the seafloor. The emergency plan was to raise the deck above the rising sea and wait out a storm that was much more powerful than forecast, according to an early assessment of the tragedy released Tuesday by federal regulators. In a preliminary report,,, >click to read< 11:43

This is Bryan Mires’ story: An improbable Seacor Power rescue after emergency locator failed

As he drifted for two hours in mountainous waves in the Gulf of Mexico, Bryan Mires kept thinking about his wife and daughter. He didn’t know whether he would live or die. But he was carrying an emergency transmitter to alert radio operators of his position, and he thought his chances depended on one of them detecting him. The first mate on the Seacor Power lift boat, Mires had boarded the vessel at Port Fourchon on April 13, bound with 18 other crew members for a Talos Energy offshore oil platform about 100 miles away near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Their job was to deliver equipment. >click to read< 15:07

Joe Biden’s Offshore Wind Farm Mirage – a scam. The costs and impacts are enormous.

The only existing U.S. offshore wind operation features five 6-MW turbines off Rhode Island. Their combined capacity (what they could generate if they worked full-bore, round the clock 24/7) is 30 MW. Mr. Biden is planning 1,000 times more offshore electricity, perhaps split three ways: 10,000 MW for each coast. While that might sound impressive, it isn’t. It means total wind capacity for the entire Atlantic coast, under Biden’s plan, would only meet three-fourths of the peak summertime electricity needed to power New York City. Again, this assumes the blades are fully spinning 24/7.,, How many millions of tons of steel, copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, concrete, petroleum-based composites (for turbine blades), and other raw materials would be required to manufacture and install the turbines and undersea electrical cables, especially where deep-water turbines are involved? How many billions of tons of ore would have to be mined, crushed,,, not very green, these things! >click to read< 14:43

Seacor Power: Two more dead crew identified – search of capsized lift boat continues – Nine still missing

Confirmed deaths stood at four after the Lafourche Parish coroner identified the latest victims, both found inside the jackup barge: Anthony Hartford, 53, of New Orleans and James “Tracy” Wallingsford, 55, of the northeast Louisiana village of Gilbert. Hartford’s wife, Janet, said a knock came to her door  at 3 a.m. with news of her husband’s death. >click to read< Seacor Power death toll rises to four as dive teams recover two bodies -The  confirmed death toll in the Seacor Power liftboat disaster has risen to four, after dive teams recovered two bodies inside the overturned oil exploration vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Nineteen crew members were aboard the Seacor Power when the vessel flipped over in about 50 feet of water during hurricane-force winds and high waves on Tuesday. Six were quickly rescued, nine remain missing, and now four are confirmed dead. >click to read< What we know about capsized lift boat Seacor Power and rescue efforts off Louisiana coast, an inventory of related stories, >click here< 20:55

Divers search Seacor Power wreckage for survivors – Second body recovered 33 miles from Seacor Power site

Search-and-rescue divers worked Friday to get inside the cabin of the capsized Seacor Power lift boat, hoping to find survivors a day after rescuers several miles away plucked the body of a second crewman from the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read<  Second body recovered 33 miles from Seacor Power site – He has been identified as 69-year-old Ernest Williams of Arnaudville, LA. Officials say the body was spotted by an aerial crew around 7:10 p.m. Thursday night. A Coast Guard boat was deployed to recover the body Friday morning. >click to read< 20:31

Video: “WE’RE STILL HERE!” Captain brings shrimp boat and crew to safety through big blow in the Gulf of Mexico

“We might lose her.” Aaron Callais, who is from Galliano, says they were about 10-15 miles off the coast of Grand Isle when the wind and waves started thrashing against his boat, F/V Ramblin’ Cajun. There were three people on board,,, The video, shows lightning lighting up the sky as the boat is tossed, often leaning to the side. Callais prepared his crew for the worst, asking them to secure their life jackets. Then, a call to his parents. “The windows are cracking…they’re rattling…we’re about to lose the boat, I think we’re going to roll. I love you mom, I need you to put dad on the phone.” >click to read/watch< 14:40

The host parish for Mid-Barataria diversion just voted 8-0 thumbs down against it – would destroy economy, culture

The Plaquemines Parish Council has decided to oppose Louisiana’s $2 billion plan to channel land-building sediment and nutrient-laden water from the Mississippi River,,, Members said the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project would destroy their parish’s seafood-based economy and culture. The 8-0 thumbs down from the governing authority in the project’s home parish marks an expected rebuke for Gov. John Bel Edwards, his coastal planners and their nonprofit advocates, who see Mid-Barataria as the flagship project in the state’s 50-year, $50 billion effort to stave off the disappearance of much of the bottom third of Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 11:13

LDWF Agent Completes Successful Search and Rescue Mission in the Gulf of Mexico

LDWF Senior Agent Matthew Perkins received a call around 3 p.m. about a shrimp boat that was taking on water off the coast of the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.  Perkins responded immediately in a 32-foot vessel with a CPSO deputy. Around 4 p.m., Perkins and the CPSO deputy found the shrimp boat and were able to rescue the three people on board.  They transported them back safely to shore with no injuries around 5 p.m. >click to read< 10:53

Study shows three times as many Red Snapper as previously estimated in the Gulf of Mexico

The $12 million Great Red Snapper Count estimated that the Gulf holds about 110 million adult red snapper, those at least 2 years old. A 2018 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine fisheries’ estimate was about 36 million. Clay Porch, director of NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center Director in Miami, said peer reviewers will be going over the science for the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, which is likely to consider revising quotas in April, Porch said Tuesday. >click to read< 14:24

Port Fourchon moves to Storm Phase 3, Recommended Evacuation as Zeta heads into the Gulf

The Port Fourchon area is anticipating more or less a direct hit from Zeta’s center of circulation sometime Wednesday evening. Fortunately, Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to move quickly, lessening the length of time we receive severe impacts from wind and rain, but be prepared for significant storm surge outside of the levee system. >click to read< 10:58  Tropical Storm Zeta was entering the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning on its path toward landfall in Louisiana, forecasters said. It weakened after making landfall overnight in the Yucatan, but Zeta is expected to strengthen and regain its hurricane status Tuesday. It’s forecast to make landfall Wednesday in southeast Louisiana as a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. >click to read< 11:04

Stone crab season opens Oct. 15 with new regulations in place

For roughly a week now, armadas of Floridian crabbing fleets and their deckhands have boated miles offshore into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to lay their traps on the depths. Come Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, these crabbers will venture out again to launch Florida’s stone crab season, hauling in anticipated bounties of Menippe mercenaria and their treasured claws. “We’re putting them out right now,” Richard Stiglitz, owner of the Homosassa-based Salty Bones Fisheries, said about 650 of his 10,000 traps. It’ll take some time before crabbing crews know what kind of season they’ll have. >click to read< 10:05

Hurricane Delta Public Advisory Notice

At 0700, Hurricane Delta is moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue today followed by a north-northeastward motion by tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move inland within the hurricane warning area this evening. Delta is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Slow weakening is expected to begin as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast later today, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland. >click to read< 08:15

Hurricane Delta Public Advisory Notice

At 700 AM CDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located by NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 23.7 North, longitude 92.3 West. Delta is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a reduction in forward speed is expected today. A turn to the north is forecast to occur by late tonight, followed by a north- northeastward motion by Friday night. On the forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the central Gulf of Mexico today, and move inland within the hurricane warning area Friday afternoon or Friday night. >click to read< 08:10

Opening a can of worms: Offshore fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico: Who benefits?

Velella Epsilon – the first fish farm in federal waters off the contiguous United States – would operate in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles from Florida’s coast. Globe-shaped pens would hold fingerling almaco jack, a member of the amberjack genus, that would grow into 4-pound market fish within a year. The White House appears eager to open federal waters to aquaculture. With Executive Order 13921, President Donald Trump on May 7 ordered NOAA to winnow down regulations for both aquaculture and wild-caught fish.,, Ocean aquaculture is not without its environmental costs, such as escaped fish, parasites, and “fish sewage.” To James Bois, a commercial fisherman based here in Cortez, it’s unclear how a massive fish farm operation off the coast of Cortez will change his life. >click to read< 14:52

“It looks like 1,000 tornadoes went through”,,, Hurricane Laura blasts Louisiana coast with wind and wall of seawater

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. pounded the Gulf Coast with wind and rain Thursday as Laura roared ashore in Louisiana near the Texas border, unleashing a fearsome wall of seawater and killing at least two people. Louisiana took the brunt of the damage when the Category 4 system barreled over Lake Charles, an industrial and casino city of 80,000 people. Laura’s powerful gusts blew out windows in tall buildings and tossed around glass and debris. Police spotted a floating casino that came unmoored and hit a bridge. >photos, click to read< 15:59

Feds select Gulf of Mexico Southern, California as potential zones for fish farming in the EEZ

The gulf joins Southern California in becoming a region for “Aquaculture Opportunity Areas,” the first two in the United States. President Donald Trump issued an executive order earlier this year outlining the concept as a way of boosting the country’s seafood industry and reducing its reliance on imported fish. The selection covers federal waters but does not identify more specific locations. “The creation of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas will foster the U.S. aquaculture industry as a needed complement to our wild capture fisheries,” said Chris Oliver, the assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, in a statement.  >click to read< 14:14

Commissioner Fried Welcomes NOAA Announcement – The announcement comes after Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried sent a letter to the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, asking that the department consider designating waters off Florida’s coast as an Aquaculture Opportunity Area. Echoing Commissioner Fried’s call were U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, the National Aquaculture Association, the Florida Aquaculture Ass,,, >click to read<

Florida fisheries wait for federal aid as prices take a deep dive – fisheries across the nation have experienced steep sales decline

Federal officials Wednesday defended the delay in releasing $300 million on fisheries assistance funding, including $23.4 million for Florida, saying the pandemic has set them behind in analyzing data to determine how much each fishery is due. Senators on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee urged faster action to offset the impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., noted that fisheries across the nation have experienced up to a 90 percent decline in sales.,, In May, the CARES Act allocated $300 million for fisheries assistance funding. Florida received $23,447,815, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not approved the state’s plan. >click to read< 13:03

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, bait shrimping business is good

Over the past few years, the shrimping business has been struggling. Even the number of boats licensed to catch bait shrimp in Texas bays has dropped. There are currently only about 300 boats licensed to catch bait shrimp in Texas bay waters compared to 2,378 in 1988. Just days after Hurricane Hanna slammed into the Coastal Bend, those few bait shrimping boats were back at work to meet the public demand. “They have been selling as fast as we can get them. It is gone. We are steady every day; every day we need 200 pounds every day,”, video, >click to read< 09:22

Anna Maria Island: Brad Lisk’s life celebrated in true Island style

The life and legacy of longtime Island resident and Dcoy Ducks’ bartender Brad Lisk was celebrated Saturday with a boat brigade, an ash spreading ceremony in the Gulf of Mexico and an after-party. Brad passed away at the age of 51 on March 25 after suffering a massive heart attack on March 20 , a heart attack preceded by previous heart issues. He left behind his two sons, Shane Pelkey Lisk and Tanner Pelkey Lisk, both of whom share their dad’s strong ties to Anna Maria Island. At 6:10 p.m., on Saturday, June 13, a procession of about 20 boats that departed from Longboat Pass arrived offshore at 68th and 69th streets in Holmes Beach. The commercial fishing boat Savage Lady flew a large banner on the starboard side that said, “Hang Loose Brad Lisk.” The boat brigade was greeted by dozens of people gathered on the beach,,, >click to read< 10:15

Offshore Fish Farms Opposed

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order the White House said will ‘remove unnecessary regulatory burdens’ and improve America’s seafood industry. But Dr. Ryan Orgera, CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, said the order will fast-track approval for fish farms, which he said don’t belong in our waters. “This would be a way to do things quickly without proper environmental checks,” Orgera said. “I think in 10 years when we’re having fisheries emergencies and the collapse of several stocks, I think we would turn back and say, ‘Why would we do that for a short-term gain?’”One Hawaii fish farm company, Ocean Era (formerly Kampachi Farms), has already applied to put a small, test fish pen in the gulf 40 miles offshore Sarasota. >click to read< 10:09

Brownsville: How Coronavirus pandemic is affecting shrimp producers

About two months ago, one of Andrea Hance’s boats came in with about 10,000 pounds of shrimp. Hance said on average the price of shrimp that they get from the boat is about $5, but buyers were not willing to pay that much. “They were coming back after they told us that they were not going to bid at all, you pressure them a little bit and then they said well we’ll give you a bid, but you’re not going to like it,” said Hance. “Well we ended up selling our shrimp for $3 a pound so we lost quite a bit of money on the last trip.” These are prices that John Keil Burnell, who is one of the owners of Shrimp Outlet in Brownsville, is seeing. Video, >click to read< 16:16

Potential regulations loom for Texas’ southern flounder fishery

The recommendations were made in response to TPWD data that shows southern flounder populations have experienced a dismal decline over the last several decades. The proposals aim to protect spawning females during their annual migration to the Gulf of Mexico, much to the dismay of anglers whose passion and livelihood coincide with the fall flounder run. >click to read< 17:49