Category Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Numbers Show Surprising Impact to Animals from Oil Spill

April 19, 2016

It was a busy day at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) in Gulfport…but then again, they’ve been busy for years.

Six years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and veterinarians like Debra Moore are still learning more about how the spill impacts marine wildlife. Dolphins are among the most impacted.

via Numbers Show Surprising Impact to Animals from Oil Spill.

Treasurer Opposes Push to Keep Most BP Money on Coast

April 15, 2016

A vote in the Alabama House could come as early as next week on how to use the state’s remaining BP Oil Spill settlement funds.

BP is set to pay the state about $53 million a year for the next 18 years.

Lawmakers propose borrowing against those payments to create about 650 million-dollars for immediate spending. Those from coastal Alabama propose a significant portion go to Baldwin and Mobile Counties where the entirety of the environmental damages, and the majority of economic damages from the oil spill took place.

via Treasurer Opposes Push to Keep Most BP Money on Coast.

Scientist: BP Oil Spill Research Shouldn’t Be Like ‘writing an obituary’

April 15, 2016

We can never replace the lives lost in the Deepwater Horizon explosion or the turmoil it caused coastal business owners struggling to stay afloat in the months that followed, but 6 years later, the scientific studies surfacing paint a more positive picture of the gulf.

“Often we’re writing an obituary about the gulf, but in reality, we should celebrate the fact that we got hit hard and the United States Government, academia, and even BP has done a great job post-spill,” Scientist Chris Reddy said.

via Scientist: BP Oil Spill Research Shouldn’t Be Like ‘writing an obituary’.

Hurricane season 2016: First forecast from CSU predicts an average Atlantic season | AL.com

April 15, 2016

The upcoming hurricane season could be busier than the past three.

That€’s according to researchers at Colorado State University, who released their 33rd annual hurricane season forecast this week.

The report, written by CSU’s Philip Klotzbach with an assist by veteran hurricane forecaster William Gray, suggests the Atlantic will have a near-average season in 2016.

via Hurricane season 2016: First forecast from CSU predicts an average Atlantic season | AL.com.

El Nino 2016: Watching for the rise of La Nina | AL.com

April 15, 2016

El Nino appears to be on the way out, but another climate phenomenon may be waiting to take its place.

A group of researchers including the National Weather Service issued a La Nina watch this week in its monthly report updating El Nino’s status.

A watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of La Nina in the next six months, according to NOAA’€™s Climate Prediction Center.

via El Nino 2016: Watching for the rise of La Nina | AL.com.

Study: Oil Spill Continuing to Kill Baby Dolphins – FOX10 News | WALA

April 13, 2016

In recent years studies have linked Adult Dolphin illnesses and deaths to ongoing effects of the oil spill. Now researches are finding when the mother Dolphins are sick the babies suffer as well.

Baby Dolphins, in the womb or newborn, have struggled on the Gulf Coast in the shadow of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A new study from NOAA found Baby Dolphins in our area are a staggering 18 times more likely to suffer from fetal distress leading to death.

via Study: Oil Spill Continuing to Kill Baby Dolphins – FOX10 News | WALA.

FOX10 News | WALA

Fishermen May See A Shortened Red Snapper Season

April 10, 2016

Gulf Coast fishermen could see their days of catching red snapper shrink even more than 2014’s record low of nine.

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) told News 5 that this year’s quota is not sufficient for recreational anglers who fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Byrne says, “a week or a week and a half is just not enough time to fish.”

via Fishermen May See A Shortened Red Snapper Season.

GulfQuest to screen new Deepwater Horizon documentary Saturday | AL.com

April 08, 2016

On Saturday, Mobile’s GulfQuest museum will offer interested viewers an early look at “Dispatches from the Gulf,” a new documentary on the Gulf of Mexico’s recovery following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

On Saturday, April 9, the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf Coast will screen the film four times in the museum’s theater. Showtimes are 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.; normal admission prices to GulfQuest apply.

via GulfQuest to screen new Deepwater Horizon documentary Saturday | AL.com.

Fishing frustration: Red snapper season could be an all-time low | AL.com

April 07, 2016

Alabama anglers could be faced with the most restrictive red snapper quota ever in the Gulf of Mexico, possibly just six days, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne said Wednesday.

Byrne, R-Fairhope, is a frequent critic of the federal government’s handling of regulations for the annual snapper season for commercial and recreational fishing. Deep-sea fishing is a multimillion-dollar tourism draw in Alabama, and the coastal region touts itself as the top snapper spot in the world.

via Fishing frustration: Red snapper season could be an all-time low | AL.com.

Texas charter captains use loophole to get around federal red snapper limits | AL.com

April 07, 2016

The future of recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is for sale in Texas.

While charter boats and private recreational anglers in the Gulf were only allowed to catch red snapper in federal waters on 10 days last year, two companies in Galveston, Texas have been taking recreational anglers red snapper fishing all year round.

What’s more, the companies allow the fishermen to keep as many red snapper as they want each day, blowing past the two-fish-per-day federal limit.

via Texas charter captains use loophole to get around federal red snapper limits | AL.com.

Astounding video of 26,000 sea turtles nesting highlights losses since BP oil spill, say UAB scientists | AL.com

April 01, 2016

The world’s most endangered sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley, suffered a 34 percent decline in the number of nests laid in 2015 compared to the year before the BP oil spill, according to a new study authored by scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

via Astounding video of 26,000 sea turtles nesting highlights losses since BP oil spill, say UAB scientists | AL.com.

GulfQuest to Show Documentary about Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Effects on the Gulf

March 17, 2016

As the world’s only museum dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico, it is fitting that GulfQuest/National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will host the state of Alabama premiere of Dispatches From the Gulf, a new documentary that follows teams of scientists as they investigate the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s effect on the world’s ninth largest body of water.

via GulfQuest to Show Documentary about Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Effects on the Gulf.

Beach mayors issue ultimatum: We’re ready to ban booze | AL.com

March 17, 2016

Alabama’s white sands are being inundated with college students, trashed by empty beer cans and littered with broken beach furniture.

Police in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have broken up crowds of over 1,000, arrested dozens for underage drinking and stepped up DUI patrols. And if Spring Break 2016 doesn’t calm itself very soon, mayors are ready to call for alcohol bans on the beach ahead of 2017.

“I would say there is a probability we will be doing that next year if this trend continues this year,” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said about an alcohol ban, which would be similar to Panama City Beach’s ban implemented at the end of last year’s calamitous spring break in the Florida city.

via Beach mayors issue ultimatum: We’re ready to ban booze | AL.com.

Red Snapper Fishing, Conservation Red Snapper Gulf | Sport Fishing Magazine

March 16, 2016

A colleague sent me an email recently that’s typical of many I’ve received in recent years. He had just been copied on a cruise report from a research group working off the Texas coast. Their vertical longline had just landed 112 fish, of which 109 were red snapper and three were vermilion snapper.

via Red Snapper Fishing, Conservation Red Snapper Gulf | Sport Fishing Magazine.

Dangerous Surf Along Baldwin County Beaches

March 10, 2016

Dangerous surf and winds gusting to 30 miles per hour. This is when going to the beach can be deadly.

“They can walk out and all of a sudden there’s a drop-off,” says lifeguard Scott Smothers, “when they get in the drop-off, that’s when the current starts taking them.”

via Dangerous Surf Along Baldwin County Beaches.

Strong rip currents keep red flags flying over Alabama beaches – FOX10 News | WALA

March 09, 2016

The surf continued to churn off Alabama’s beaches, driven by strong southerly winds Wednesday, March 09, 2016.  It created strong rip currents and beach safety officials flew single red flags at Gulf Shores’ public beaches.  That didn’t keep everyone out of the water and lifeguards were patrolling the beaches to keep a close eye on everyone.

via Strong rip currents keep red flags flying over Alabama beaches – FOX10 News | WALA.

Managing ‘snapper’ is vital | The Atmore Advance

February 10, 2016

If regional management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be realized any time soon, it’s apparently not going to be through the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

The Gulf Council met recently in Orange Beach, and Amendment 39, which has to do with regional management, was tabled after it lost support from the representatives from the five Gulf states.

via Managing ‘snapper’ is vital | The Atmore Advance.

Kingpins of the Gulf make millions off red snapper harvest without ever going fishing | AL.com

January 24, 2016

A little-known federal program has turned dozens of Gulf of Mexico fishermen into the lords of the sea — able to earn millions annually without even going fishing — and transformed dozens more into modern-day serfs who must pay the lords for the right to harvest red snapper.

A four-month probe by AL.com has found that roughly $60 million has been earned since 2007 by this small number of fishermen whose boats never left port. That money was collected from the labor of fishermen who have no choice but to hand over more than half of the price that their catch brings at the dock.

As it stands today, the right to catch 77 percent of the annual red snapper harvest is controlled by just 55 people, according to an AL.com analysis of hundreds of pages of federal documents, reports and websites.

via Kingpins of the Gulf make millions off red snapper harvest without ever going fishing | AL.com.

Gulf council meeting in Orange Beach

January 21, 2016

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet Jan. 25-28 at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala.

The Gulf Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.

via Gulf council meeting in Orange Beach.

Alabama State Waters Extended to 9 Miles

January 07, 2016

The Congressional Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, includes a provision to extend Alabama’s state waters from 3 miles to 9 miles. The bill includes additional provisions that attempt to address the ongoing Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery mismanagement that has resulted in abbreviated nine and 10-day seasons for private sector recreational anglers the last two years. The red snapper provisions in the bill were authored by Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

via Alabama State Waters Extended to 9 Miles.

Marine Resources Readies Canine Unit to Aid Enforcement

December 23, 2015

Alabama Marine Resources Fishing Regulations

While many of us have been busy searching for the perfect Christmas gifts these past few weeks, one group at Dauphin Island has been on an unusual quest for a totally different prize – fish fillets.

Nope, there’s no big Christmas fish fry planned. The search for fish fillets is part of an intensive training regimen for the Alabama Marine Resources Division’s new canine program to sniff out violators of state and federal fishing regulations.

via Marine Resources Readies Canine Unit to Aid Enforcement.

Red Tide Continues To Impact Local Beaches

December 16, 2015

ORANGE BEACH, AL- The Alabama Department of Public Health’s Red Tide Warning is still in effect for coastal Alabama waters.

Red tide is caused by a massive build of certain species of microscopic sea organisms. Red tide can cause fish kills and the blooms can discolors the water.

Exposure to red tide can be unpleasant and for some, symptoms can be severe.

via Red Tide Continues To Impact Local Beaches.

CONCORDE Scientists Monitoring Harmful Algal Bloom in Northern Gulf – CONCORDE

December 15, 2015

CONCORDE scientists are using cutting-edge plankton imaging, satellite remote sensing, and modelling technology to track and forecast a harmful algal bloom in the area that has beaches and oyster reefs along the Mississippi Coast closed until further notice.Harmful algal blooms, locally referred to as red tides, are large concentrations of single-celled phytoplankton, such as Karenia brevis, that can be toxic to both marine and human life.

via CONCORDE Scientists Monitoring Harmful Algal Bloom in Northern Gulf – CONCORDE.

New Report Confirms Federal Government’s Poor Red Snapper Data, Byrne Says

December 15, 2015

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today drew attention to a new report that outlines serious flaws with the federal government’s data collection efforts, especially as it relates to Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

The new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the federal government has failed to develop a “comprehensive strategy to guide its data collection efforts.” The report also highlights the lack of communication with stakeholders as it relates to data collection efforts.

via New Report Confirms Federal Government’s Poor Red Snapper Data, Byrne Says.

Toxic red tide a “massive bloom in our area” – FOX10 News | WALA

December 12, 2015

DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL (WALA) - A harmful algae blooming in the Gulf is causing some serious problems for the Alabama Gulf Coast.

It’s commonly called “red tide” because the blooms can turn the water a deep red.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, samples of the red tide have been collected from Florida Point to Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Weeks Bay, Bayou la Batre and the Mississippi Sound.

via Toxic red tide a “massive bloom in our area” – FOX10 News | WALA.

FOX10 News | WALA

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