Tag Archives: oysters

Last of the Chesapeake Skipjacks

Over the course of a Chesapeake Bay waterman’s life, big memories tend to swallow smaller ones. So when seventy-two-year-old Harold “Stoney” Whitelock looks back on his childhood now, it’s all misty images of water and boats, and little else. “That’s all my family talked about at Sunday dinner,” he says. “Boat this and boat that.”  Whitelock is one of the bay’s last skipjack captains. Long, shallow wooden boats with tall, wide sails, skipjacks survive as the only commercial sailing vessels left in North America. The nine or so (by Whitelock’s estimate) still used to dredge for oysters all concentrate here on Maryland’s toothy Eastern Shore, kept afloat by a couple of dozen people who speak with a distinctive brogue that’s fading by the generation, too. >click to read< 09:27

Seafood Connect! Maine Fishermen hold events to get products direct to customers

It’s first come, first served this weekend at Maine’s Working Waterfront – Seafood Connect event. In the midst of everything happening in the world, the local fishing community has been hit hard. This event will feature fresh seafood at an “off the boat” price. Any fisherman who is legal to sell is welcome. No preorders. Fishermen will decide what/if they are selling each week. As of May 4, the group will be switching from the Rockland location to the Reny’s in Camden. Bring bags to take your seafood home. Names, phone numbers, locations, product diversity! >click to read< 09:21

Cruise Ships: When is Maine and Mass going to ban exhaust scrubbers?

An undue burden is being imposed on the lobster industry by foreign flagged ships that are dumping poisons on our lobsters. This should be a violation of the Jones Act which is in need of a revision to address the exploding cruise industry. It should be viewed as an undue burden inflicted on a Port of Call by a foreign vessel. Cruise Ships were not envisioned when this act was written. Cruise ships anchor all day right next to towns with their engines burning lots of fuel, and discharging sewage and graywater up and down the coast, and even while using scrubbers a cruise ship is still legally allowed to emit a deadly cloud,,, By Jim O’Connell  >click to read< 07:58

Plymouth-based Manomet Inc. tests hard-shell clams for replenishing Gulf of Maine fisheries

When Maine’s shellfish farmers had questions, they turned to Manomet Inc. for answers. The environmental science organization in Plymouth is helping the industry find solutions to predation problems plaguing soft-shell clams in coastal waters along the Gulf of Maine. Marissa McMahan, director of the Fisheries Division at Manomet, is working on a pilot program that may lead to the introduction of quahogs, a hardshell variety that is more resistant to predators, to deal with the changing conditions to the north. Photo’s,  >click to read< 14:36

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries: report of loss linked to Bonnet Carre Spillway opening

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my life,” Shrimper Charles Robin said. Robin is a shrimper in Yscloskey. He said his catch dropped by more than half this year compared to last. “Last year on average I’d catch a thousand or 1,200 pounds a day on a slow day. Now, you can’t even catch 500 pounds,” Robin said. According to Wildlife and Fisheries, brown shrimp landings are down 34 to 44 percent compared to the five year average. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said he’s actively pushing for an Emergency Fisheries Declaration in Washington, D.C.  Video, >click to read<16:33

Refusing to Leave! St. Bernard fisherman in Washington, DC to make their case for millions in federal aid

Fishermen and elected leaders from St. Bernard Parish are refusing to leave Washington, DC without $150 million in federal disaster aid, funded through a federal fisheries disaster declaration. They say repeat openings of the Bonnet Carre spillway has flooded the coast with fresh water that seafood cannot tolerate. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said the openings are destroying the $4 billion regional seafood industry and the money would be used to subsidize fishermen, repair fishing grounds and coastal waters. >click to read< 08:35

Katrina, BP, 2019 Mississippi River — Oyster Industry Braces For Another Major Disaster

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River. Commercial oysterman Mitch Jurisich is picking through a pile of freshly harvested oysters at a dock in Empire, Louisiana. One hand clutches an oyster knife, the other grabs a bivalve from the top of the mound. “This one’s good right here,” he says before tossing it aside and picking up another. “This one’s not good.” Audio, >click to read< 20:28

Hurricane Harvey decimates Galveston Bay’s oyster population

The storm was the latest setback to a multimillion-dollar commercial fishing and seafood-processing industry that appeared poised to finally rebound from floods, including two devastating tropical weather systems, and an extended drought in less than a decade. Shrimpers, crabbers and other fishermen who work the bay also will feel an impact. But it’s most lethal in the case of the oysters, as Harvey-spawned rains and rainwater runoff drove down the bay’s salinity to fatal levels. of 12 to 30 parts per thousand are ideal for a healthy oyster harvest in Galveston Bay, which researchers say is the nation’s most bountiful. Yet preliminary tests performed by commercial fisheries on Tuesday revealed salinity levels at 0 to 5 parts per thousand – and excessive water continues to drain into the bay. click here to read the story 15:14

Apalachicola Advocates, Fishermen Continue Fight For Water

At the end of a river system that feeds booming Atlanta, and farms throughout Georgia and Alabama, sits Apalachicola Bay. The Army Corps of Engineers decides how much water flows here, where the river meets the Gulf. For years, Florida has argued it’s not getting its fair share, and the Bay and surrounding Franklin County are struggling because of it. T.J. Ward is a third generation fisherman who works at his family’s business in downtown Apalach. Over the past ten years, he’s seen the lack of freshwater take its toll, in the form of oyster predators. “One of those are, they call them snails, but we call them oyster drills, the locals do. And they eat oysters. And they’re even cannibalistic, so when they run out of oysters they’ll eat themselves. I mean they’re devastating. That’s one thing that’s killed the end of the bay that our oyster company’s on,” Ward said. Audio report, continue reading the story here 10:15

The quest to save South Mississippi’s oysters – Fishermen begin oyster relay under DMR program

9673587_GThe quest to save South Mississippi’s oysters continued Monday. Coast fishermen were out on the Mississippi Sound all morning working to relocate oysters. The fishermen were working with the Department of Marine Resources to not only save the oyster crop, but to also save their livelihood. For the first time in months, the  was alive with activity as fishermen readied their boats for a day’s work. Over the past five years, many of these fishermen have had a very limited amount of time on the water, if any. “Everybody’s excited to do it,” said fisherman Shelby Cooper. Read the article here 10:12

Fishermen hope to rescue oysters, as well as their livelihood

9669211_GCoast fishermen are preparing to make much-needed money in the face of disaster. Beginning at sunrise Monday, fisherman will begin to move oysters to safety away from surging fresh water into the Mississippi Sound. But, it won’t be easy, and the money likely won’t be enough to make up for a disastrous six-year struggle.The Oyster Recovery Program is allowing fishermen to move oysters from the St. Joe’s Reef south of Waveland out of harm’s way. Fresh water from the recently opened Bonnet Carre spillway is threatening their habitat. Video, Read the article here 09:34

North Carolina: Economic impact on the half-shell

As mollusks go, are an especially generous lot. They clean the water. They help stabilize eroding shorelines. And they’re delicious, especially with butter. Which is why North Carolina is working on a statewide plan to become “the Napa Valley of oysters,” as several people proclaimed during this month’s Oyster Summit in Raleigh. Business owners, local officials, and marine researchers from across the state gathered at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences to outline bivalve strategies for the coastal economy. Read the rest here 09:24

Mississippi oysters make a comeback – for a price

The Mississippi oyster industry is bouncing back from a triple whammy — Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil disaster and the Mississippi River flood — and is still a long way from its peak 10 years ago. Just over 78,000 sacks of oysters were harvested in the reporting year that ended June 30, according to Department of Marine Resources. Read more here 08:44

China lifts geoduck ban, to Peninsula suppliers’ relief

China has lifted a five-month ban on live shellfish from U.S. West Coast waters, a move greeted with relief by North Olympic Peninsula producers. The Chinese government announced the ban’s end in a letter Friday, officials said. China imposed the ban in December on the import of clams, oysters, mussels and scallops harvested from Washington, Oregon, Alaska and .  Read more here  10:33

Gulf Oystermen Harvest Support from D.C. Legislators and Organizations

GSI-LogoOver the course of four days, the oystermen met with more than 20 Congressmen or staff, as well as with the House Transportation Committee, the Food and Drug Administration, the Senate Labor Appropriations Subcommittee, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s new head of fisheries Eileen Sorbeck. Read more here  13:14

“So far it looks like a good season,” “So far all I’ve heard is good news.” – Chuckie White, President of the Kent County Watermen’s Association

There have been no reports of dead or dying oysters, and prices are up because the Gulf Coast fishery is still crippled after the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in April 2010. [email protected] 09:04

Oyster rising: Farmers work to propel aquaculture in NC

WILMINGTON — The bays and sounds of North Carolina once yielded hundreds of thousands of bushels of oysters a year, before pollution, overfishing , disease and other factors caused their populations to decline. Now a small group of scientists and growers is laying the groundwork to revive the industry by cultivating oysters in cages and bags. [email protected]06:23:59

Steps taken in Chatham Mass. to protect oysters, public health

Selectmen and the state Department of Marine Fisheries agreed to an emergency  relay request from the Chatham Shellfish Company. [email protected]

Florida Fishermen become farmers in quest for a new oyster industry

“We knew nothing about oysters,” Clay Lovel said. So the men studied oyster history. They experimented with enclosures and planting methods. The fishermen became farmers. Nine months later, with some 150,000 pieces growing in 500 cages, their first crop is coming in — big, succulent 3-inch oysters that within a couple of hours on this late May day, will be in the family fish house cooler, ready to be served on the half shell to seafood lovers at the Lovels’ Spring Creek Restaurant. continued @ tallahassee.com

APALACHICOLA, Fla: A Fight Over Water, and to Save a Way of Life

NYT – “This bay would be filled with boats,” said Mr. Shiver, 36, whose father and grandfather plunged nets, set traps and dipped tongs into the water along this stretch of the Florida Panhandle. “There used to be oysters everywhere in here, and now there is none.” In a budding ecological crisis, the oyster population has drastically declined in Apalachicola Bay, one of the country’s major estuaries and the cradle of Florida’s prized oyster industry. continued

Oysters: A complicated economy and ecology

NORWALK  Conn– It’s 6:30 a.m., and the oyster boat Grace  P. Lowndes was making its way to oyster beds just a mile or two off the  Norwalk harbor. The trip only takes two hours. There are two boom-mounted dredges, one port,  the other starboard. The dredges are lowered one at a time to the beds, raking  the bottom for less than a minute. Then they’re hauled up, their loads of  oysters dumped on the steel-plated deck. continued

Oysters continue to struggle post-spill

More than three years after the Gulf oil spill, the state’s oyster industry is continuing to struggle. Oyster grounds in some of the state’s most productive areas east of the Mississippi River and in the Barataria Basin are struggling to survive and reproduce, and industry officials don’t know why. Those grounds typically provide almost 50 percent of the state’s oyster harvest. But crops were killed after the BP oil spill in 2010, and unsuccessful reproductive cycles since then have failed to replenish stocks. continued

Researchers think industrious oysters could clean up Chesapeake

WashingtonPost – Behold the tiny oyster. No, not on the half-shell, with a squirt of lemon, but in its watery habitat, the Choptank River. Out there on a reef with many other oysters, the bivalve is awesome, a janitor that helps remove pollution with incredible efficiency. continued

New Seafood Board has Big Job Representing $2.4 Billion Industry

by Springfield Lewis/Louisiana Seafood News – The 12 new members of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board inherit an organization proven many times over as an advocate for the state’s commercial fishing community – in good times and especially bad. They begin their terms representing six distinct industries: crab, finfish, oysters, shrimp, alligator and crawfish. And as diverse as those industries might be, the board’s overall effectiveness will come down to its ability to work together to benefit the entire community of 12,000+ fishermen. continued

US Army Corps Assesses Oyster Crisis-Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint water basin, Since 2005, the Corps has restricted the water flow from Lake Lanier

Eastpoint, Fla. – The last couple of months have been tough on oystermen in Franklin County, and projections look bleak. That’s why stake holders of the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint water basin invited the Army Corps of Engineers to see the devastation for themselves. The stakeholders say it basically boils down to an unbalanced system. The lack of fresh water is causing oysters to die at a rapid rate, and if you couple that with a lack of funding for research and infrastructure projects, it’s a catastrophe in the works. “There’s nothing out there to look forward to.” Devin Barber, an oysterman of 13 years says this is the worst he’s seen the bay. http://www.wmbb.com/story/19887019/us-army-corps-assesses-oyster-crisis