Tag Archives: New Jersey

Commercial Fisherman Thomas “Tommy Guns” Blevin, 60, of Wildwood, NJ, has passed away

Thomas “Tommy Guns” Blevin, 60, of Wildwood, NJ, passed away on November 9, 2022 after a brief illness. Tommy is a beloved grandson, son, nephew, brother, uncle, cousin, father, and true friend. He was a proud commercial fisherman for over 4 decades, as close to a true modern day pirate as one would ever meet these days. When he wasn’t on the sea, he was an avid outdoors man and skilled carpenter. He never passed an opportunity to share memories of days gone by scalloping, crabbing, etc. with his mates. >click to read< 10:53

US offshore wind energy industry faces blowback from locals

Plenty of people in Ocean City, a popular beach community south of Atlantic City, are dead-set against a project proposed by Orsted and PSEG that still needs state approval to bring a power line onshore. “We don’t want this here in any way, shape or form,” said resident Suzanne Hornick, a leader of local opposition to the plan. The U.S. has 27 wind farm projects in development, with an additional five locations up for auction in California next month, according to the Business Network for Offshore Wind, a nonprofit dedicated to helping develop the offshore wind industry. If even a small portion of them were to face protracted legal or regulatory challenges, it could pose a serious obstacle to the industry. >click to read< 11:02

Wind Farm Public Hearing Draws Passionate Statements

Residents of Ocean City overwhelmingly opposed an offshore wind energy farm during a virtual public hearing Monday night that also included strong support for the project from environmental and labor groups. “I speak for Protect Our Coast NJ,” Ocean City resident Suzanne Hornick said in public comments at Monday’s virtual hearing. “We don’t want this in any way, shape or form. This should be a question and answer. We should be able to ask questions.” The original format for the hearing was to be a question-and-answer session, but Orsted did not respond to comments or questions posed by the public Monday. Instead, Orsted representatives said the company will respond in writing after the end of the public comment period for the project on Nov. 28. Critics angrily accused Orsted of running a “sham” hearing. >click to read< 09:02

Mystery of the disappearing mahi-mahi divides fishermen

At a recent meeting of federal regulators in the Florida Keys, local fishermen raised the alarm that one of the most popular fish they go after – the dolphinfish or mahi-mahi – is fast disappearing from local waters. But industry regulators and the commercial fishing boats, say the plight of the charter boats is more complicated than that. Commercial “long line” fishing is not permitted off the Florida coast and federal regulations allocate the vast majority of the 24.5 million pounds of mahi-mahi allowed annually to the charter boats and their recreational rod-and-reel customers. They blame the larger commercial fishing vessels ,,, Photos, >click to read< 17:19

Van Drew Says No To 1000 Feet Tall Wind Turbines off the coast of South Jersey

United States Congressman Jeff Van Drew is not opposed to green energy. In fact, he has solar panels and a windmill at his own personal residence in Cape May County, New Jersey. However, Van Drew is opposed to the massive wind turbine project planned for off of the coast of South Jersey. “This is really being done without proper protocol, without really looking into what it’s going to do to our fishing industry, what it’s going to do to our tourism industry, what it’s going to do to the environment, said Van Drew. “Supposedly Democrats are big environmentalists and love the environment, yet this is a real problem for the environment and what it’s going to do to the floor of the ocean,” >click to read< 19:13

Brigantine residents express concerns about offshore wind projects

Having clean energy as a renewable resource may sound nice, but residents still have questions and concerns about the offshore wind projects planned just off the island’s coast, which is why the mayor held an informational meeting last weekend. Ørsted’s offshore wind farms, which are expected to have 98 wind turbines roughly 15 miles off the coast, are scheduled to be completed by 2024. Meanwhile, 111 Atlantic Shores offshore wind turbines are expected to be operational 10 miles off Brigantine by 2027. Many residents said the cons outweigh the pros. “I’m just trying to figure out the positives in this,” said resident Mary Anne Ford. “The pro column is a big blank slate.” >click to read< 07:21

NEFMC to decide next moves on scallop license allocation leasing in Gloucester Tuesday

Scallop allocation leasing, the practice of boat owners selling days and tonnage from a fishing license to other vessel owners to harvest in restricted zones, has been at the center of debate in the Port of New Bedford since the NEFMC held two scoping meetings at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on May 11 and May 25 respectively. NEFMC invited stakeholders to attend nine meetings in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and two webinars. According to the Council, the vast majority, 78%, of the 286 commenters (several repeated, inflating the total number to 305) spoke against the proposed allocation leasing project during the scoping process.  >click to read< 14:45

Regulators to vote on controversial scallop leasing plan Tuesday – After months of heated debate between scallop fleet owners, captains and crew, fisheries regulators are set to decide on a proposal to allow leasing in New England’s lucrative scallop fishery. More than 75% of the nearly 300 people who commented during the public process said they opposed leasing — most of them captains and crew out of New Bedford, >click to read<

Ocean City Presses Fight Against Offshore Wind Farm

The city has intensified its criticism of plans by developer Orsted, a Danish energy company, to run a transmission line under Ocean City’s streets to connect the offshore wind turbines to the land-based power grid at the former B.L. England Generating Station in Marmora. Critics have assailed the project as an offshore “industrial park” that would harm the environment, marine life, the commercial fishing industry and the shore’s critical tourism industry. They also say the towering turbine blades would be a visual blight when viewed from shore. “It affects all of our livelihoods,” said Michael DeVlieger, a former Ocean City councilman who is an outspoken opponent of the wind farm. >click to read< 11:40

“It’s a step too far for us” – New Jersey lawmakers advance bill to study energy from waves and tides

When it comes to renewable energy, solar power and wind turbines hog all the headlines. Thursday, legislators advanced Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak’s bill that would require the state to study ocean energy potential and set goals in wave and tidal energy generation. The Assembly’s infrastructure and natural resources committee, which Karabinchak chairs, unanimously agreed to advance the bill, which would also require the state to add wave and tidal energy to its energy master plan and authorize pilot projects to test their efficacy. The approval came despite objections from an advocate for commercial fisheries, who warned the “industrialization of our ocean” — already underway with offshore wind projects — will obliterate fishing grounds. “We will not be able to fish in these locations,” said Scot C. Mackey, who represented the Garden State Seafood Association. >click to read< 08:16

Offshore Windmills Will Generate High Costs and Unsafe Conditions

A new wave of commenters now seems to have adopted the Kennedy family objection to an offshore wind farm that was proposed about 30 years ago for the area just south of Hyannis, off Cape Cod. “Well,” said one Kennedy family member memorably, “but we will have to look at those monstrosities.” Offshore wind is one of the most expensive sources of commercial electricity generation when all costs including maintenance and repairs are included in the rate calculation. Onshore windmills, on the other hand, are one of the least expensive ways to generate electricity, just a little cheaper than using natural gas. However, that’s a problem since Biden inflation and energy production in this country are locked together and have produced nothing but higher costs on everything. >click to read< 08:35

North Atlantic right whales at Risk – Offshore wind farms bring a lot of unknowns

The race is on to get offshore wind farms built off the U.S. East Coast, and North Carolina is one of the leading states with three projects planned for the Tar Heel Coast, two roughly 20 miles south of Bald Head Island in Brunswick County and one, which will be built first, about 27 miles off Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. And they might not be the last for the state’s coastal waters. While visiting a National Governors Association event in Wilmington last month, Gov. Roy Cooper was asked if he’d support more offshore wind built off the N.C. coast. “Absolutely,” he responded emphatically. >click to read< 09:26

Protect Our Coast NJ cites offshore wind farm’s ‘negative impacts’

Protect Our Coast NJ, a group dedicated to stopping the Ocean Wind 1 wind turbine project, has weighed in on the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, pointing out the areas the 1,400-page document shows dangers to the region. Meanwhile, Ocean Wind said it is finalizing comments that it plans to publicly release on points the project developers believe should be addressed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. A statement released Monday said it has already taken steps to minimize the project’s impact. The public comment period on the draft statement, or DEIS, closes Aug. 8. Most commenters either roundly supported the job creation they expect from Ocean Wind 1 and a series of other wind turbine projects off the coast, or they attacked the project for the harm they believe it will cause to marine mammals and the tourism, commercial fishing and recreational fishing industries. >click to read< 09:09

Remembering Gosta “Swede” Lovgren

Early last summer the fishing industry lost one of their loudest voices from the early years of federally managed fisheries when Gosta Lovgren of Lavallette New Jersey passed away less than two months after his wife of 55 years, Carol, died. He was born December 9 th 1938 and lived in Ocean County all his life. Affectionately known as “Swede” he was one of the first fishermen to understand the politics of the fishing industry and knew that if the industry did not become aware of, and fight, what was going to happen to them through management measures supposedly to save the fish, then they would be doomed. >click to continue<, By Jim Lovgren and Nils Stolpe 12:05

Fishermen fear Hudson Canyon sanctuary will mean more restrictions

The canyon is a prolific fishing ground that starts about 90 miles offshore from Manasquan Inlet and is in the crosshairs of a public debate over the sanctuary designation, which would give NOAA more leverage managing the resources of the largest submarine canyon off the Atlantic Coast. Commercial vessels fish for tunas, squid and lobster, while the state’s recreational fishing fleet of for-hire vessels continually run anglers out to the canyon to catch fresh tuna and tilefish. “We’re probably the greatest and strictest fishery management country in the world. Why do we need this extra layer on top of everything we have now?” said Jason Bahr, a seafood wholesaler and vice president of Blue Water Fisherman’s Association, a trade group of commercial longline fishermen who fish for pelagic species such as tuna and swordfish in the Hudson Canyon. >click to read< 07:50

Captain Happy

He got his first boat in 1969; he named it Miss Tina. It was old, needed lots of work, and was small. He was young, somewhat handy when it came to fixing things, and she was big enough to get him started. For the next seven years he and she were part of the commercial fishing fleet that called the port of Cape May/Wildwood in New Jersey home. With a great deal of hard work, no small measure of persistence, and a clear savings plan, he positioned himself to finance a new boat. He named her Lady Christine. He is an optimistic sort by nature. His outgoing, sometimes gregarious, optimism won him the nickname Captain Happy. Shortly after Lady Christine was launched, he began training a second mate. This mate was new to the port, and she was pleased to be hired by a captain with Happy’s reputation. >click to read< 18:21

Petition: More Time Needed to Review 1st NJ Offshore Wind Facility

Only 45 days were provided to the public to review a massive 1400+ page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on “Ocean Wind 1,” Ørsted & PSE&G’s industrial-scale wind energy project just 13 miles off Atlantic City, NJ. That is not enough time for responsible review of the first-ever offshore wind energy project off New Jersey’s coast. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued the bare minimum requirement for public review of the lengthy & highly technical document. It is clear to any reasonable person, the 45-day timeframe is unjust and unrealistic. The public, who is the rightful owner of these underwater public lands, needs more time to review and comment. >Please click to read, and sign the petition< 14:30

‘They want to turn the ocean into an aquarium’

I overheard those words a few years ago from a commercial fisherman in Barnegat Light. It seems it’s slowly happening. Your grandchildren might not ever know the idea of fishing off the Jersey Shore if NOAA gets its way. The NOAA is holding public hearings on whether to declare the Hudson Canyon a National Marine Sanctuary. The hearings will be held this summer. Now, who will show up in greater numbers will be interesting. You have commercial fisherman, most of whom are local men and women who have done this work for generations. The other crowd that will be heard are the activists and environmental groups who will plead their case that we need to save this precious resource. by Dennis Malloy >click to read< 11:54

Offshore wind farms could reduce Atlantic City’s surfclam fishery revenue up to 25%

New research from Rutgers University shows Mid-Atlantic surfclam fisheries could see revenue losses from planned offshore wind farms, at least in the short- to medium-term after the development takes place. The data is sure to fuel opposition from the fishing industry to the Biden administration’s rapid offshore wind development along the New York, New Jersey, and Delaware coasts. President Joe Biden has a goal of generating 30 gigawatts of wind energy by 2030 as part of his effort to tackle climate change. Clammers and scallop fishermen fear a shrinking patch of fishable ocean will lead to the collapse of the industry. >click to read< 14:03

Proposed N.J. wind farm could have major impact on area fisheries, draft report says

A proposed wind farm off the Jersey Shore could significantly affect local fisheries and boat traffic but generally have little impact on tourism and marine life while helping to move away from oil and gas, according to the draft environmental impact statement released Friday by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The impact statement is the next step toward winning federal approval for Ocean Wind, a wind farm to be built by the Danish energy company Ørsted and PSEG. The draft statement addressed concerns by officials in some New Jersey beach towns that the turbines would spoil the ocean views and discourage tourists from returning. >click to read the foolishness< 14:18

Ocean City not relenting in battle against offshore wind farm

Ocean City is not giving up its fight against a proposed offshore wind energy farm seeking state permission to run an underground transmission line through town to connect with the land-based power grid, Mayor Jay Gillian told local residents Saturday. “We still have a long way to go with this,” City Council President Bob Barr said he is beginning to sense that the project’s developer, the Danish energy company Orsted, may be growing concerned about the money it will ultimately have to spend to build the wind farm. “Right now, they’re burning through money like it’s nobody’s business,” Barr said of Orsted. “Eventually, they’re going to have to fish or cut bait on this.” Barr also said that Orsted does not want to have to spend a lot of time bringing the project online. He suggested that the longer Orsted has to wait, the more it may have second thoughts about developing the project. > click to read < 13:27

Cape May fisherman finds submerged engine from WWII-era aircraft

The engine of an aircraft that dates back to World War II was found underwater off the coast of New Jersey earlier this month while a former National Guardsman was out fishing for squid. The discovery was made by fisherman Randy Camp and his captain, Jake Wiscott, while they were out fishing and felt something unusually heavy in their net. When they got the machine out of the ocean, Camp knew pretty quickly that he had come across a neat artifact,,, >click to read< 08:25

Two commercial fishermen sue federal government to block ban on fishing near Gulf of Maine

David T. Malley of Massachusetts and Patrick Fehily of New Jersey are commercial fisherman who work near the Gulf of Maine, within the roughly 5,000 square miles that President Biden designated in October as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, according to court documents. Malley, a fisherman for more than 50 years, and Fehily, a fisherman for more than a decade, name Biden, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland as defendants in the suit, filed in US District Court in New Jersey, according to court documents. >click to read< 08:12

Beloved NJ Fisherman Dies Suddenly From ‘Massive’ Brain Bleed

Beloved New Jersey native and local fisherman Eric Charles Kelly died from a “massive” brain bleed on Friday, March 11. He was 24. Kelly was passionate about his work as a commercial fisherman. He started as a clammer on the Melissa K. and then worked his way up to scalloping for Cold Spring Fish and Supply Co. (Lobster House), according to his obituary. Kelly also enjoyed antiques and motorsports, especially his cherished 1988 Blazer. >click to read<, Read Eric’s obituary >here< 10:12

10 fisheries in N.J. may have wrongly received millions in pandemic money

In its first report detailing the waste, fraud and abuse of the distribution of federal COVID funds, a state watchdog agency said nearly $2.4 million in CARES Act funding may have been improperly paid out to fisheries in New Jersey. The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), which is tasked with tracking the distribution of federal COVID funding, said 10 marine fisheries in New Jersey received more money than they lost because of the pandemic in 2020. The state report did not name the fisheries that received the funds. >click to read< 19:08

From Sandy Hook to Cape May, rising gas/diesel prices impact the marine industry

At the Fishermen’s Dock Co-op along the Manasquan Inlet, the cost of fuel for privately owned commercial fishing boats comes out of the day’s catch, usually 10%. But with rising diesel prices, the percentage may increase to 30-40%. Some owners are wondering if it’s worth risking their crews’ lives for such a small return. “If these prices get up to $5, $6 a gallon, I don’t know if these boats will leave the dock,” says retired commercial fisherman Jim Lovgren. Video, >click to read< 09:09

Depredation: Whales and the Violent Fight for Fish on the Line

In the Gulf of Alaska, as well as in longline fisheries throughout the world from the Bering Sea to the Antarctic and tropical waters between, toothed whales, that is, any whale that feeds with teeth instead of baleen, such as sperm, pilot, and killer whales are learning to see fishers and their gear as a source of an easy meal. Scientists researching this behavior, known as depredation, say whales are increasingly eating lucrative catches right off the hook instead of foraging naturally. There’s no easy way to stop it, and the behavior is spreading through whale culture. Whales’ penchant for hooked fish might be the biggest fisheries story that hardly anyone knows about. >click to read< 10:01

New Jersey couple finds a pearl worth thousands during dinner at The Lobster House in Cape May

“It’s like a once in a lifetime event,” Maria Spressler said. Last Sunday, Michael Spressler ordered his usual appetizer, a dozen clams on the half shell. “I was down to the 12th one and when I picked it up on the fork it looked kinda heavy, but I didn’t think nothing of it,” Michael Spressler said. “Then when I started to eat it I noticed something was in my mouth. I actually thought one of my teeth broke.” Not only did something spectacular and rare happen on their impromptu trip, but the couple was also celebrating a special occasion. Video, >click to read< 10:07

‘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

New Jersey – Coastal towns go to court seeking more input on offshore wind

The suit alleges that the Biden administration’s plans to lease 480,000 acres off the coasts of New Jersey and New York for offshore wind development violate two key environmental protection laws, the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act and the U.S. Endangered Species Act by essentially bypassing them. As a result, the projects are moving forward without consideration for their impact on endangered species living in the area of the proposed turbines, as well as the state’s commercial fishing industry and local tourism along the Jersey Shore, according to the suit. >click to read< 10:30

New Jersey residents sue over offshore wind farm leases

A group of New Jersey residents have sued the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to seek the reversal of its March decision to pursue the development of an area of ocean 30 miles off the coast of New Jersey for wind turbines. Community group Save Long Beach Island accused BOEM in Washington, D.C., federal court Monday of failing to prepare an in-depth report on potential environmental impacts of selecting 800,000 acres of the New York Bight to lease to developers that would install wind turbines. The group also says that the development could further imperil the North Atlantic right whale, one of the world’s most endangered large whale species. >click to read< 19:35