Two stories I recently wrote about, one on big sharks and the other on friendly dolphins, sparked some discussion, particularly about who is responsible for what seems to be unusual behavior among our iconic sea creatures. In both cases readers pointed to tighter fishery regulations as the cause. Some see the regulations creating a positive outcome, while others see the regulations as too tough. Finger-pointing is becoming the hallmark of the hot button issue of declining fisheries.
Escambia County – A new proposed Florida bill would keep the locations of some artificial reefs a secret. Senator Greg Evers is sponsoring the bill that would remove the location of privately built artificial reefs from public records.
Florida’s artificial reefs bring in billions of dollars a year. People all over the country travel to Pensacola to dive our reefs.
Steven Hemmert, has been diving for nearly 23 years. He’s been a dive instructor at MBT Diving Center for the past three years. He said he doesn’t see the benefit of removing the location of private reefs from public records.
Land-based anglers say sharks they are catching off Panhandle beaches have been getting bigger and bigger, thanks to bans on longline fishing in 2010 blamed on killing sharks and game fish.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As if the health of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery has not been the subject of enough scrutiny and political wrangling in recent years, foreign poachers continue to threaten the ecological conservation of the valued species with illegal catches in U.S. waters.
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Frying, searing or grilling is the best way to combat one invasive species that has gone from saltwater aquariums to establish colonies in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico from Venezuela to the Carolinas, Florida officials say.
In the past 25 years, lionfish brought to this country from the western Pacific and Indian oceans as pets have begun to pose a significant threat to native fish and shrimp. The carnivorous fish’s spikes are poisonous, and nothing in the Atlantic or Caribbean has decided they make a good meal.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a report of a suspected tar mat from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill near Langdon Beach in the Fort Pickens area of the National Seashore.
“We did get a report and did walk through Langdon Beach area and surveyed it this morning,” said Carlos Vega, Coast Guard spokesman with the Coast Guard Eighth District Office of External Affairs in New Orleans. “We only found a handful of tar balls and did not find any tar mat.”
MISSISSIPPI – Scientists say they’ve found a 10 million gallon oil bath math at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. That crude oil is what’s left from the 2010 Deep Water Horizon Disaster. Right now, they say the mat is buried underneath the sediment of the Gulf’s floor. It is located 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta.
An executive for the BP subsidiary that faces billions of dollars in possible fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill testified Tuesday that it is uncertain whether other BP entities would step in to help pay a steep penalty.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — A memorial service is scheduled Tuesday night for a Starkville man missing since he disappeared on a kayak trip in the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores earlier this month. The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville will host the service for John Switzer, 24, from 6 p.m. til 7 p.m. at the church on North Montgomery Street.
MOBILE, Ala. — The U.S. Coast Guard announced its search for a missing fisherman in the the Gulf of Mexico, the second search they have been involved in for a missing fisherman in the past two weeks, has been suspended. The Coast Guard reported Monday the search was for a missing fisherman 70 miles south of Dauphin Island, Alabama, Monday.
BP says it should not have to pay the top penalty of 13.7 billion for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago. It took the oil company almost 90 days to contain millions of barrels of spilling crude. A BP expert witness called the company’s response exemplary.
There is a high risk for rip currents along the Gulf Coast through Monday, according to the National Weather Service. A large swell and a strong westerly wind flow are attributed to be the culprits.
NEW ORLEANS — A government witness in a trial to determine civil penalties against BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill says the disaster hurt a wide array of industries over a broad geographic area. Charles Mason also testified Thursday that the harm was only modestly countered by BP’s spending and investment in the region.
NEW ORLEANS — Images of oil-coated birds and testimony about “widespread sociocultural harm” opened the third phase of a trial to establish penalties BP must pay under the federal Clean Water Act for spilling millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Lawyers for the government and oil giant BP head to federal court Tuesday for a trial in that could add more than $13 billion in penalties to the billions BP already has shelled out as a result of 2010 Gulf oil spill. Federal lawyers say BP should pay Clean Water Act penalties as high as $4,300 per barrel spilled after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion at BP’s Macondo well. Based on a court finding that 3.19 barrels polluted the Gulf, the penalties could reach $13.7 billion.
NEW ORLEANS AP – As manatees recover in Florida, their U.S. home base, more and more seem to be showing up farther west along the Gulf of Mexico.A total of seven stranded manatees had been reported along the Alabama coast before 2007, when a network to report strandings and sightings was created. Since then, “we’ve responded to dozens” of strandings, said Ruth Carmichael, head of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network for Alabama and Mississippi.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Three people in need of medical attention were rescued from their grounded boat by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Coast Guard crews early Sunday morning.At approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the three made a distress call received by Coast Guard watchstanders at Station South Padre Island.
December 24, 2014 – Montgomery, AL – To borrow from an old song from the holidays that I was forced to endure for six years as a snaggle-toothed youngster, “All I want for Christmas are my two red snapper.” It’s obviously not going to happen in a couple of weeks, but there is hope the situation will look much better in the near future.
To borrow from an old song from the holidays that I was forced to endure for six years as a snaggle-toothed youngster, “All I want for Christmas are my two red snapper.” It’s obviously not going to happen in a couple of weeks, but there is hope the situation will look much better in the near future.
ORANGE BEACH — Chris Sherrill, executive chef at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and long time friend of John Brunick, is leading an effort to have a reef in the Gulf dedicated to his friend. The first four structures in Poseidon’s Playground, a new dive attraction about three miles off Orange Beach, were deployed on Dec. 17.
Our beaches are economic engines generating millions of dollars in revenue from throngs of visitors seeking sun, relaxation and water recreation, and an eco-friendly experience they can’t find in Orlando. Our beaches and surrounding bodies of water define our Gulf Coast lifestyle, whether we’re anglers, kayakers, boaters, bird watchers or just beachgoers.
When it comes to counting how many red snapper actually are in the Gulf of Mexico it’s the responsibility of Samuel Rauch with NOAA. “We believe we have an accurate sample of this fish stock.”
via Red Snapper Debate Goes to Washington.
Changes in red snapper fishing regulations resulted in 2014 having one of the shortest seasons for that species in recent years. On Thursday, congressman Jeff Miller will present proposal that could have an impact on those regulations. Due to red snapper management at the federal level, the season in federal waters was only 9 days long. In state waters, it was 52. That’s led to many asking for a new way to manage, account for, and regulate red snapper fishing in both state and federal waters.
Sites along the Gulf Coast where researchers collected shrimp for testing included Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, FL; Mobile and Orange Beach, AL; Biloxi and Ocean Springs, MS; New Orleans and Lafayette, LA, and Houston and Galveston, TX.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) An explosion has occurred on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, killing one person and injuring three. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Fieldwood Energy reported the explosion on its Echo Platform just before 3 p.m. Thursday about 12 miles off Louisiana’s coast. A telephone call to the Houston, Texas-based company was not immediately returned.
Holt will leave Columbia on Tuesday with Sterling House Columbia Executive Director Mark Davis and care associates Tracy Marcy and Debbie Surgeon. The group will head to Orange Beach, Ala., for a three-night stay in a beachfront room.
CODEN, Alabama — As a third-generation shrimper, Capt. Steve Johnson learned early on that simpler is better when it comes to eating shrimp. ”I’m like Bubba Gump when it comes to eating shrimp,” Johnson said. “I like them just about any way you fix them.”
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – Around fall season, the Gulf Coast sees plenty of visitors from the northern parts of the country, looking for a place to escape from the ice and snow for a few days. However, Monday and the next few days won’t provide quite the complete relief for which they were hoping. “Well we thought that it would be hot weather here and we knew it would be cool in Canada. But we’ve been kind of shocked at how cool it really is here at the moment,” Margaret Hughes, a Canadian resident said.
via Some snowbirds brave the cold to enjoy the beach | FOX10 News | Fox10tv.com.
“The Gulf Coast of Alabama is one of the state’s greatest natural treasures, and it is important that we restore it from the harm caused by the 2010 oil spill,” Governor Bentley said. “The $9.6 million we will receive from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will support our continued long-term recovery efforts from the adverse effects of the oil spill. I appreciate all of our local, state and federal partners who are working with us in this long-term recovery effort to restore the Alabama Gulf Coast.”
At approximately 3:15pm, News 5 began receiving dozens of phone calls from viewers across the Gulf Coast who said they heard or felt a “loud boom.”This was confirmed by News 5 crew members who experienced the same thing.As of now, the source of this noise/tremor is unknown at this time.