Tag Archives: North Carolina.

Lifelong Commercial Fisherman Carlton Maxwell Muse, Sr. of Pamlico, North Carolina has passed away

Carlton Maxwell Muse Sr. passed peacefully at 92 years old in his home on Sunday, November 12, 2023, while watching the sunrise over Broad Creek. According to his birth certificate, Carlton was debatably born on July 31, 1931, but his mother told him otherwise. Carlton “Mack,” or “Son” as he was referred to by his parents, was as salty as they come. He was a proud U.S. Coast Guard Veteran, serving in both active duty and USCG reserves. He was also a lifelong commercial fisherman, who was once air lifted off the F/V Miss Pamlico when she hit the bottom in Oregon Inlet. Year after year he would trawl the waters from the Mid- Atlantic all the way to Key West, Fla. He loved fishing so much that he would move his family to the Keys once a year, just for shrimp season. Carlton and his family would always find their way back home, to Little Pamlico. When he finally grew tired of the wind in his face, the salt in his hair, and missing Shirley May way too often, he opened C.M. Muse Seafood.   >>click to read<< 07:40

Fish house keeps fresh fish on the table

Every day, the Ocracoke Seafood Company sends about 4,500 pounds of locally caught fish off to places beyond. Sometimes Shane Mason gets up at 3 a.m. to drive the refrigerated truck on a four-plus-hour run to drop off the previous day’s catch to Jeffrey’s in Hatteras. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are big market days, he said while icing down fish brought in by one of several local commercial fishermen, packing them into boxes and loading them onto pallets. From Jeffrey’s, the Ocracoke catch goes all over, especially to New York and overseas. Locally, restaurants and individuals can partake in that bounty by purchasing fish and shellfish in the retail area of Ocracoke’s “fish house,” as it is known. This operation is helping to keep the island’s few commercial fishermen working and there’s been a renewed interest by the fishermen and the community to revitalize the business, said Stevie Wilson, vice-president of the board of directors. Photos, >>click to read<< 19:04

Bluefin Tuna Get It On off North Carolina

In November 1981, a fleet of briefcase-toting lobbyists, scientists, and political negotiators gathered in sunny Tenerife, Spain, to decide the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Representing more than a dozen countries, including Canada, the United States, Spain, and Italy, the besuited men knew crisis loomed. Since the early 1970s, rising global demand for bluefin flesh had spurred fishing fleets—hailing from ports on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—to kill untold thousands of the wide-ranging predator every year. Under this heavy fishing pressure, primarily driven by the Japanese appetite for sushi-grade tuna, the species careened toward collapse. During the meeting in Tenerife, the American delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas proposed a disarmingly simple solution: they would draw a line down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and split the bluefin into two separate stocks. >>click to read<< 08:19

Community rallies for NC shrimper after boat fire

A local shrimper in Beaufort lost everything in a boat fire last weekend. Now, the community is rallying behind him to help get him back on the water. The F/V Lady Logan was owned by Jerry Kellum for the last eight years. “When I started shrimping, I played in the creek when I was about 6 years old and I loved it,” said Jerry. He’s carried on the shrimping tradition of his family for over 50 years. Then, last Friday, his most prized possession and way of income was destroyed. “I got in about 10:30 from shrimping on the straits, and I left and the boat was fine. They call me about three o’clock, it was on fire and that was it from there,” said Kellum. >>click to read<< 11:47

Will small boats soon have to slow down off NC to protect North Atlantic Right Whales?

Vessel speed limits to help avoid fatal collisions between ships and one of the most endangered animals in the world that has fallen to around 350 individuals have gone back into effect off the U.S. Southeastern coast, including parts of North Carolina. The seasonal-management areas, or SMAs, limit the speed of most vessels 65 feet or longer to 10 knots, about 11.5 mph, in areas known to have heavy ship traffic that are also migratory routes or known calving grounds for the North Atlantic right whale. The go-slow zones, which run from November through April and have been in effect for more than a decade, extend about 20 nautical miles, or 23 miles, offshore and include areas around Morehead City and Beaufort and within 23 miles from shore between Wilmington and Brunswick, Ga. >>click to read<< 15:46

‘Catastrophic crisis’: Imported shrimp flood US market

Foreign shrimp imports are overwhelming the country’s inventories of shrimp and driving market prices for locally sourced shrimp to record lows, prompting widespread calls from elected officials and organizations throughout southern Atlantic and Gulf Coast states for the federal government to declare a fishery resource disaster. Governors of coastal states from North Carolina to Florida to Texas are being pressed to ask U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to determine a fishery resource disaster for the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery. In what one North Carolina coastal county’s board of commissioners refer to as an “unprecedented catastrophic crisis,” shrimpers are struggling to maintain operations because they’re making substantially less for their catch while paying historically high fuel prices and other inflation-driven costs. Shrimpers are also being forced to dock their freezer boats, or vessels with onboard freezers, because they can’t move their product in a market flooded with frozen shrimp from overseas. >>click to read<< 09:40

County lawmakers request fishery resource disaster determination amidst nationwide shrimp disaster

On Sept. 18 the Pamlico County Commissioners adopted a resolution urging North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to consider submitting a request for a fishery resource disaster determination to the NC Secretary of Commerce. Craven County followed suit and adopted a similar resolution on October 2.  According to these resolutions, the global supply of farm-raised shrimp imports into the United States has reached record highs. This imported shrimp now dominates cold storages, distribution hubs, and the American market at a level that is devastating to US operators. This influx of imported shrimp into the American market has caused significant revenue loss, and loss of access to the shrimp fisheries themselves, for small family-owned supporting businesses, and other supporting businesses. >>click to read<< 09:47

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update: October 23, 2023: The ASMFC

Last week I had a reader who was interested in understanding more about what the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is and how they fit in with North Carolina fisheries management. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) held their 81st Annual Meeting in Beaufort, NC last week. Although no hot button issues were on the agenda last week, a lot of other necessary fisheries management issues were discussed and voted on. In fact, many of the rules and regulations on how North Carolina manages our inshore species comes directly from ASMFC decisions. The ASMFC began in 1942 when the Atlantic Coast States realized that their shared migratory fish stocks would be more sustainable and better managed as coast-wide stocks rather than being managed solely at the state level. This is expressed in the ASMFC vision statement, “Sustainable and Cooperative Management of Atlantic Coastal Fisheries”. >>click to read<<,10: 50

Commercial fleet owner Julius Leroy Whorton of North Crolina has passed away

Julius Leroy Whorton, 84, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and friends on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. Leroy, as he was known, was born in South Creek, North Carolina. on March 31, 1939, to the late Clara Myrtice Mayo Whorton and the late Julius Timothy Whorton. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Daniel Atwood Whorton. Leroy graduated from New Bern High School in New Bern, North Carolina, Georgia Military College and received scholarships to play football for Wake Forest and University of Georgia. After college, Leroy built his career in the seafood industry with a fleet of commercial fishing boats, working the oceans from Alaska to Texas, Key West to Virginia, and North Carolina to Nova Scotia. >>click to read<< 10:54

Marine Constructor/ Commercial Shrimper Arnold Roland Melton of Wilmington, N.C. has passed away

Arnold Roland Melton, 67 of Wilmington, NC affectionately known as Bimbo, quietly sailed away on Monday October 9, 2023, leaving behind a wake of laughter and cherished memories. Born in Wilmington, North Carolina on August 9, 1956, Bimbo was a true saltwater soul, forever tied to the shores and seas that he loved. Bimbo’s career spanned various marine adventures, from his days in Marine Construction to his time as a Commercial Shrimper. He rode the waves with a spirit of determination and grit, always ready to conquer whatever obstacles lay before him. When Bimbo wasn’t busy conquering the high seas, you could find him cheering on his favorite NASCAR drivers with a cold brew in hand. His passion for speed and competition was unmatched, and he took great pride in sharing his love for the sport with his family and friends. >>click to read<< 14:50

Commercial fishing industry deserves greater appreciation

North Carolina has over 10.5 million residents, many of whom love to eat seafood. North Carolinians who love local seafood might not know that the 4th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals recently rejected an attempt by some recreational charter fishermen and a former producer of a NC fishing show to make it illegal for NC shrimp trawlers to discard fish while fishing for shrimp and to catch shrimp with trawls in Pamlico Sound unless the fishermen had a permit from EPA or its state proxy. To the relief of commercial fishermen, the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously against the plaintiffs, noting their claims would have required recreational fishermen to get an environmental permit before releasing fish back to the water and would have substantial impacts on the public. The shrimpers waited three anxious years for the litigation to run its course and of course, incurring substantial legal fees to combat the claims. >>click to read<< 09:33

U.S. offshore wind plans are utterly collapsing 

Offshore wind developer Ørsted has delayed its New Jersey Ocean Wind 1 project to 2026. Previously, the company had announced construction of the project would begin in October 2023. The delay was attributed to supply chain issues, higher interest rates, and a failure so far to garner enough tax credits from the federal government. For now, they are not walking away from all their U.S. projects but will reconsider long-term plans by the end of this year. Ørsted’s stock price has fallen 30% in 5 days. This is just the latest bad news for offshore win. >>click to read<<10:57

Commercial Fisherman James Alan Ruhle, Sr. of Wanchese, N.C. has passed away

The commercial fishing industry has lost one of its biggest advocates, James Alan Ruhle, Sr., at the age of 75. Twenty-one weeks to the hour after his bride, he set out for the last time on the morning of September 28, 2023. Born in Oceanside, NY on January 4, 1948, to the late Phil and Gloria Ruhle, James later moved to Wanchese at the age of 15, where he made his home for over 60 years. In 1966, he married the love of his wife, Kathy Daniels, and followed his dream of working on the water as a commercial fisherman. Although Jimmy did not finish high school, the education he received in the ocean surpassed anything taught from a textbook. If there was anyone who had fishing in his veins, it was Jimmy. He recognized early on the importance of sustainability in the fishing industry. He served nine years faithfully on the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and positively affected the industry through legislation. Although he loved his family dearly, his most prized possession is the F/V Darana R, which he had proudly and successfully captained for almost 50 years! So many times, he’d say with a big smile and heart full of pride; “That ol boat has been good to us,” and he was right!>>click to read<< 11:55

Beaufort’s shrimping industry on the brink. Local boats sit while imported catch floods market

Thursday at Village Creek on St. Helena Island was another picture postcard-worthy morning with an American flag lilting in a slight southeast breeze near the shrimper Gracie Bell — idly tied to the dock. At Sea Eagle Market, a catch of shrimp swept up in the nets of trawlers in recent days are being processed by small group of dockside workers. They clean the valuable seafood crop harvested from waters as far away as North Carolina to the northeast coast of Florida before being sold locally and up and down the Palmetto State’s coast. After this recent harvest was completed, the boats returned, as they always do — to Village Creek, home base for shrimping on Fripp and Hunting Islands in Beaufort County and beyond. Against this serene backdrop, a storm is brewing that threatens destruction. It is not the threat of foul weather, these shrimpers have seen generations of bad weather days. The storm brewing is economic for the community of shrimpers and related businesses. >click to read< 10:10

North Carolina: State’s shrimping industry needs Cooper’s support

As the state’s shrimping industry faces a perfect storm of challenges that may result in the demise of hundreds of family owned fishing businesses, it is time for Governor Cooper to show that he is as committed to the small entrepreneur as he is the large industrial investors that he continually promotes whenever a ribbon cutting opportunity arises. John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance has sent a letter to eight coastal governors, including North Carolina’s, asking their support both financially and politically as the domestic shrimping industry faces unprecedented challenges to its existence. So far the alliance has not received a positive response. Describing the situation as “an unprecedented catastrophic crisis that threatens its (the domestic shrimping industry’s) very existence,” William’s letter notes that foreign imports along with high fuel prices are devastating “the many family-owned businesses that are the core of the economies of coastal communities.” >>click to read<< 08:36

Shrimp Alliance request fisheries disaster declaration

There’s no other way to put it if you ask Aaron Wallace. Despite a decent catch by the eight shrimp boats that supply Anchored Shrimp Co. in Brunswick, the prices fishermen are getting for their hauls aren’t what they should be. “It’s been one of our toughest years,” Wallace said. He and his father, John Wallace, own Anchored Shrimp and operate the Gale Force, one of the boats that serve the company’s retail and wholesale business. The Southern Shrimp Alliance, for which John Wallace serves as a member of the board of directors, is calling the flood of imported shrimp a crisis. The alliance asked the governors of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas in a letter on Aug. 25 to collectively request a fisheries disaster determination by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. shrimp fishery. >>click to read<< 11:06

Commercial Fisherman Carl Blackman, Jr., of New Bern, North Carolina has passed away

Carl O’Brian Blackman, Jr., 65, passed away August 26, 2023, surrounded by his family. Carl was known for his sense of humor, loyalty, kindness, and love for his family and friends. He was a jack of all trades, a highly skilled, self-taught mechanic, specializing in diesel marine motors, and a lifetime commercial fisherman. In addition to his love for crabbing, Carl was very passionate about his work. He worked at Bryan Wholesale, for the City of New Bern as the Heavy Equipment Manager, and at B&J Seafood for the past 20+ years as a mechanic and commercial fisherman. >>click to read<< 15:00

Murray Bridges, NC soft-crab industry pioneer, has passed away

Murray Bridges, the visionary Outer Banks fisherman who remade tiny Colington Island into a behemoth of the soft-shell crab industry in North Carolina, died Tuesday morning after being infected by the Vibrio bacteria two days earlier while tending his crab shedders. Bridges, who owned and operated Endurance Seafood Co. off Colington Road since 1976, was 89. “One week ago, he was setting peeler pots and fishing them,” Willy Phillips, a close friend and a fellow crabber, told Coastal Review Wednesday. “So, he fished to the end. That was Murray — his work ethic was incredible.” A native of Wanchese, Bridges was instrumental in establishing soft-shell crab as a profitable shellfish product in North Carolina, while also insisting on the highest standards. >click to read< 08:40

“Miracles Do Happen” – Family Of Missing Fisherman Holding Out Hope

The family of Patrick Hoagland, the man who went overboard from the fishing vessel Gaston’s Legacy south of Nantucket last Saturday and remains missing, is still holding out hope he will be found. “I am praying his survival instinct kicks in and brings him back safely,” said his brother Howard Hoagland. “Miracles do happen. But we all know the way of the sea.” Patrick Hoagland is a resident of Bath, North Carolina. The F/V Gaston’s Legacy, after searching in vain for Hoagland for several days after he went overboard, traveled south and is now anchored in nearby Beaufort, North Carolina. >click to read< 14:47

EDITORIAL: Commercial fishing avoids being gaffed one more time

In August of 2020, almost three years before the date of the circuit court decision, a citizen’s lawsuit was filed against local shrimp trawl operators who regularly trawl for shrimp in Pamlico Sound. The plaintiffs argued that shrimp trawlers are violating the Clean Water Act by engaging in two type of unpermitted activity, “throwing bycatch (untargeted fish) overboard and disturbing sediment with their trawl net.” Named as defendants were local trawl owners who fortunately, with the help of outside support, were able to withstand the cost and time to defend themselves and by extension, the commercial fishing industry, during the three-year path of the lawsuit. >click to read< 08:15

U.S. Appeals Court’s unanimous decision supports shrimp trawling in state sounds

Commercial shrimpers in the state’s sounds received an overwhelming vote of confidence Monday, Aug. 7 with a unanimous decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming a lower court ruling dismissing complaints against shrimp trawling under the Clean Water Act. The plaintiffs contend that shrimp trawlers in Pamlico Sound are violating the Clean Water Act by engaging in two types of unpermitted activity, “throwing bycatch overboard and disturbing sediment with their trawl net. Glenn Skinner, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association which represents the state’s commercial fishing industry, noted that this lawsuit had far-reaching impact and could have, if approved, closed the commercial industry. The North Carolina shrimp fishery is immensely important to the state’s commercial watermen but also to the state’s economy. Much of the fishery is in Pamlico Sound and its tributaries. >click to read< 12:55

Former commercial fisherman Samuel “Sammie” Elton Leonard of Calabash, NC. has passed away

He was born on May 26, 1939 in Shallotte Point, NC. He was the son of the late Lloyd Leonard and Pauline Grissett Leonard. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters Joyce Skeen and Dorit Teeters, and brothers Elroy Leonard and Etheridge Leonard.  Sammie was quite a successful commercial fisherman, owning a fleet of shrimp boats. He was well respected in the shrimping industry as one of the best. He even designed and took part in the building process of his largest boat, The Big Mama, which dwarfed other boats of its kind. He later owned and operated True Value Hardware in Calabash, NC. Sammie was a jack of all trades and always willing to lend a hand when needed.  >click to read< 10:40

Making A Name In Outer Banks Seafood – Vicki Basnight is carrying on the family legacy, one catch at a time

When you pick up the specials list at the Lone Cedar Café in Nags Head, it’s hard to miss Vicki Basnight’s name. On a spring night during the short soft-shell crab season, her name is on it four times, not just as co-owner of the restaurant she opened 27 years ago with her parents, Marc and Sandy, but also as the crabber for the fried soft-shell crab bites appetizer, the fried soft-shell platter with French fries and coleslaw, the soft-shell crab and shrimp pasta, and the stuffed softshells filled with mounds of flaky white crabmeat. Truthfully, she gets a little embarrassed about it. But there are other names on the menu, too: Luke Midgett, who traded another fisherman for the rockfish, Boo Daniels and Joe Elms, who caught the tuna used in two different dishes. Photos, >click to read< 13:27

NC joins pact to cover offshore wind farm related fisheries losses

North Carolina has joined nearly a dozen other East Coast states to create a financial compensation program that would cover economic losses within the fisheries industry caused by Atlantic offshore wind development. The Fisheries Mitigation Project aims to establish a regional administrator to oversee the process of reviewing claims and making payouts collected through a fund paid for by wind developers to commercial and for-hire recreational fisheries industries to mitigate financial loss associated with offshore wind farms. The goal first and foremost of the states is to ensure wind energy areas and the cable systems that will run from wind farms to land are developed in way that would result in minimal impacts to the fisheries industry. >click to read< 10:22

North Carolina Joins Effort to Establish Regional Fisheries Mitigation for Offshore Wind Development

Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina has joined other Atlantic Coast states involved with the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind on a coordinated project to support fisheries mitigation in the development of offshore wind along the East Coast. “It is important that we work to meet our state’s offshore wind energy goals while still protecting our marine fishery industry,” said Governor Cooper. “We are committed to collaborating with other states in this effort to make sure we achieve both goals.” Currently, the Initiative is focused on establishing a framework to compensate commercial and for-hire fishermen in the event of economic impact related to offshore wind development. The goal is to develop a regional approach for administration of any financial compensation paid by developers. Economic impacts from coastal fishing in North Carolina top $4.5 billion annually. >click to read< 08:26

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 08, 2023

Final DMF Observer Call-In Program Meetings and ASMFC Recap, This is a great opportunity to provide input on the new anchored gill net observer call-in program beginning this fall. If you fish anchored gill nets you WILL BE REQUIRED under the conditions of our state sea turtle and sturgeon ITPs to call in BEFORE you fish once this program begins.  Much more included in this weeks update. >click to read< 14:49

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 1st, 2023

DMF Call-in Observer Program Meetings and ASMFC Spring Meeting – We at NCFA want to emphasize the importance of attending one of the five public outreach meetings about the new automated call-in system that will be used to schedule observer trips in our state anchored gill net fisheries. Once this new call-in system for the anchored gill net fisheries is in place, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will NO longer be calling individual fishermen to try to set up observer trips. If you want to set anchored gill nets YOU will have to call-in and declare your intent and if chosen to carry an observer, YOU will be responsible for setting up the observer trip. >click to read< 14:50

Proposed bill, Senate Bill 687, could stymy North Carolina’s offshore wind development

Offshore wind may have strong support in the White House and in the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh, but it remains clear that support for the “green” power alternative to traditional fossil fuel power sources remains far from unanimous in North Carolina.  Fishermen also have raised concerns about the wind farms placing rich fishing grounds out of bounds, and from some environmentalists worried about them negatively impacting marine life, especially the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Those lingering concerns have resurfaced in a proposed bill in Raleigh. Senate Bill 687, sponsored by Republican Sens. Tim Moffitt from Henderson County and Bobby Hanig from Currituck County, calls for a 10-year moratorium,,, >click to read< 09:49

Black Carolinians in fishing industry heart of new exhibit

NC Catch, a nonprofit aimed at educating consumers about the importance of buying local seafood, is spearheading a collaboration of Black seafood business owners and historians to roll out the North Carolina Black Seafood Trail. The traveling exhibit will share the under-told, multifaceted, sea-to-table story of Black North Carolinians’ contributions to the state’s fisheries. The conceptualization of the historic trail goes back a couple of years when conversations within NC Catch, an organization that includes Black chef ambassadors and seafood market owners, began reflecting on Black-owned seafood businesses. Personal experiences and stories from those who’ve lived it highlighted just how much fishing — from catching fish to cooking it and eating it — is intricately woven into the cultural fabric of Black communities. >click to read<  10:24

Captain William Tyndale “Punk” Daniels of Wanchese, North Carolina has passed away

William Tyndale “Punk” Daniels, 77, of Wanchese, North Carolina, died on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at Chesapeake Health and Rehabilitation Center. As a commercial fishing boat captain with Wanchese Fish Company, Punk spent countless hours on the water, providing for his family, and contributing to the local economy. In addition to his work as a captain, Punk was a co-owner of Wanchese Fish Company. Punk’s expertise in the fishing industry was legendary, and he was widely known in fishing ports on both coasts of the United States. Punk was also well known for his trademark whistle; if you heard it, you knew it was him and that he would “see you around like a donut.” >click to read< 09:24