Gulf Coast Fisherman
TV PRODUCTION COMPANY SEARCHES FOR MULTI-GENERATIONAL FISHING FAMILY
Is fishing in your blood? Have you been raised on the ocean with a “fish or die” mentality? Are you a hardworking commercial fishing family determined to keep your way of life alive? If so, an award winning production company developing a documentary reality series about multi-generational fishing families is looking for you. Relativity Media, a global media company engaged in multiple aspects of content production and distribution, including movies, television, fashion, sports, digital, and music, is currently in the first stage of developing a documentary series about a multi-generational family-run commercial fishing business which would explore the challenges and triumphs faced in today’s day and age.
“We are open to any kind of offshore fishing, in any area of the US, but I’m particularly interested in finding a family in the Gulf coast region,” Andrea McHugh a Development Producer with Relativity Media/Press Start Productions told Gulf Seafood News. “We develop and produce movies, documentaries, and TV series for networks like Nat Geo, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and many others. In an ideal world, We’d like to find a family commercial fishing business where more than two generations are still actively working.”
According to McHugh, the series will celebrate American fishing families and give a birds eye view into the immense dedication they have to their craft and each other.
“Since family-run fishing businesses have become few and far between, we’d like to explore the challenges they face in order to keep their business afloat,” McHugh said. “Since a big portion of the program will focus on legacy and tradition, we’d really like to find a family with at least two generations, but ideally three, and at least four or more family members actively working in the business. The deadline is August 14th. If anyone knows of a multi-generational family we’d love to speak with them.”
For more information contact Relativity Studios at: FishingFamilies@gmail.com (Source: GSI Newsroom)
BOATERS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR E15 FUEL
The Renewable Fuel Standard is the 2005 law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise, and therefore mandated escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. Since 2005, U.S. gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily and now the law forces more ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline. To keep up with this mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15% ethanol) into the marketplace, for some engines. E15 is prohibited from being used in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawnmowers, and leaf blowers, as well as any vehicle made before 2001. E15 has been proven to damage boat engines, and these high ethanol fuels can now be found in 24 states, often at the very same pumps as E10 gasoline. The only warning you may have is one sticker mixed in with all the other warning labels on the pump. This creates a huge potential for mis-fueling and puts boaters at risk of using fuel that will damage their engines
BAIT AND TACKLE RETAILERS GENERATE $2.3 BILLION FOR U.S. ECONOMY
Independent marine recreational bait and tackle retail stores provide a big boost to the U.S. economy, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study has found. According to the study, the first economic survey of its kind, in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, these retailers contribute approximately $2.3 billion across the broader U.S. economy, including $796 million in income. In addition, the industry supports nearly 16,000 jobs across the nation. NOAA Fisheries released these figures on July 15th today at the 2015 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades in Orlando, Florida.
“This study clearly shows the strong contribution of the bait and tackle industry to the economic health of our coastal communities and to the broader U.S. economy,” said Doug Lipton, NOAA Fisheries senior scientist for economics. “And it gives us a good baseline for measuring the economic impacts of these businesses as we move forward.”
Because the study focused only on independent businesses and not large retail chain stores, it captured only a portion of the entire U.S. bait and tackle industry’s contribution to the economy. However, the businesses surveyed generated an estimated $854 million in total sales of saltwater fishing bait and tackle. For those businesses specializing only in bait and tackle, the average retailer sold about $426,000 in saltwater bait, tackle and related equipment in 2013.
“Even though this study only captured a slice of an even bigger pie, this first-time economic assessment of the industry will help managers and regulators better understand the effect that changing conditions have on recreational fisheries and coastal communities,” Lipton said. “These data will also help quantify the effects of future natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes, or tsunamis.”
NOAA Fisheries surveyed 3,500 independent, primarily small, businesses for this study. Of the 944 responders, 35 percent classified themselves as bait and tackle stores that exclusively sell bait, tackle, and recreational fishing equipment. The remaining 65 percent of responding stores included sporting goods retailers, marinas, general retailers, convenience stores and hardware stores.
LOUISIANA FALL INSHORE SHRIMP SEASON OPENING
On July 23rd, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2015 fall inshore shrimp season opening dates. The season will open in state inside waters at 6 a.m., Monday, August 17. The Commission set the season based on data presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists and public comments.
During the 2015 Louisiana regular legislative session, legislators repealed a state law prohibiting LDWF enforcement agents from enforcing federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) laws. As of August 1, 2015, LDWF agents are authorized to conduct TED inspections aboard shrimp vessels. Federal TED regulations require any shrimp trawler in the Gulf area to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without mechanical advantage or power net retrieval, test trawls, skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions). A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole, or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler. Skimmer and butterfly nets are exempt from TED use; however, federal regulations require skimmer and butterfly net fishermen to limit tow times if they do not use TEDs. The tow time is measured from the time the cod-end of the net enters the water until it is removed from the water. Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.
GULF OF MEXICO AMBERJACK RECREATIONAL FISHING SEASON REOPENS
The Gulf of Mexico greater amberjack recreational fishing season reopened on August 1, 2015, at 12:01 a.m., local time. The minimum size limit continues to be 30 inches fork length, which is expected to continue through the end of the recreational fishing season. There is a one fish per person daily bag limit. The captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat may not retain a bag limit. Preliminary landings indicate the recreational quota may be met by mid- to late September, 2015. If needed, NOAA Fisheries will distribute a Fishery Bulletin announcing a closure at a later date. Note: NOAA Fisheries is reviewing a recommendation by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to increase the minimum recreational size limit to 34 inches fork length. The Agency will notify fisherman when this rule is finalized.
REGIONAL BLUE CRAB MANAGEMENT PLAN NOW AVAILABLE
The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) recently announced the completion and final approval of The Blue Crab Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, United States: A Regional Management Plan - 2015 Revision. The plan is a cooperative effort on the part of the Gulf states to manage blue crab stocks within the territorial seas of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The plan is a comprehensive document of the biology of blue crabs and includes a description of the fisheries as well as discussion on the distribution, habitat, and genetics of this species in the Gulf. Management authorities, their laws, regulations, and policies are included as well as the sociology and economics of the fishery. Most importantly, the plan includes a stock status based upon the results of Gulf-wide assessment of the blue crab populations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The regional assessment was completed through the GSMFC’s Gulf Data, Assessment, and Review process. Each of the five Gulf state marine resource agencies provided blue crab experts and analysts to develop abundance indices for use in stock assessment models. Much of this work was influenced by assessments already completed in Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay. The GSMFC has posted the regional blue crab management plan at its website as a downloadable Adobe PDF filet http://tinyurl.com/BlueCrabFMP2015. For more information, please contact Steve VanderKooy at the GSMFC office. (Phone: 228-875-5912)
BELOW AVERAGE SEASON PREDICTED FOR GULF BROWN SHRIMP
The harvest of brown shrimp in the western Gulf of Mexico is expected to be 42.8 million pounds, which is below the historical 54-year average of 56.5 million pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual forecast. The prediction covers the period from July 2015 through June 2016 for state and federal waters off Louisiana and federal waters off Texas. This year, Texas and Louisiana experienced several weather fronts during the spring with record high rainfall, notably in May, that subsequently led to large freshwater discharges into the estuaries. Moreover, Texas’ four-year drought ended in one month with May 2015 being documented as the wettest single month on record. The unprecedented flooding in Texas forced young shrimp out of their nursery habitats, needed for growth and survival, and into the mouth of the bays. These extreme environmental factors may impact our forecast of harvest of brown shrimp this year since it is unknown whether survival of shrimp was reduced or shrimp just moved out of our sampling area, because of the reduced salinities.
NOAA scientists make the annual prediction of brown shrimp catches based on monitoring of juvenile brown shrimp abundance, growth estimates and environmental indicators. They predict shrimp catches for state and federal waters off Louisiana from west of the Mississippi River to the Texas-Louisiana border to be approximately 24.8 million pounds this season. The Texas portion of the catch is predicted to be 18.0 million pounds. Most of the shrimp harvested in the U.S. – 68 percent – comes from the Gulf of Mexico, especially Texas and Louisiana.
________________________________________________________________ This information was compiled by Dave Burrage, Peter Nguyen, and Benedict Posadas. For more information, visit our office at 1815 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS 39532 or telephone (228) 388-4710.
MSU Coastal Research and