Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) recently sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging the Committee to once again include a provision in the government funding bill to expand state waters in the Gulf of Mexico to nine miles for Red Snapper fishing.
Byrne said: “As we prepare for the upcoming Red Snapper season, it is critically important that state waters remain out to nine miles. Changing this provision just weeks before the season starts would create unnecessary uncertainty and confusion for our local fishermen.
via Byrne Urges Continuation of Nine Mile State Waters for Red Snapper | Representative Bradley Byrne.
Orange Beach, AL (WKRG) — Most tourists do not expect to include sharks on their lists of sights to see, but that’s been the case for a few beach goers this month along Baldwin County beaches.
A viewer-submitted video shows a shark lurking close to the shoreline in Orange Beach as a crowd gathers nearby to watch.
via CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Shark Spotted Near Shore in Orange Beach.
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 4.8 million visitors to Gulf Islands National Seashore in 2016 spent $206 million in communities near the park, creating an economic benefit of $251.8 million.
That spending supported 3,000 jobs in the local area.
via National Seashore creates $251.8 million in economic benefit | WEAR.
It appears the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will make at least one more attempt at regional management of the red snapper fishery.
At the Gulf Council meeting last week in Birmingham, three states petitioned the council to manage the fishery off their respective coasts out to 200 nautical miles, based on historical landings.
The council approved motions by Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi by 11-5 votes to eventually shift red snapper management to those states.
via Gulf Council Tries Different Red Snapper Approach.
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WIAT) – Photos of a shark swimming uncomfortably close to Gulf Shores vacationers went viral earlier this week.
The man behind the images, Kenneth Clark of Georgia, described what he saw from his condominium balcony.
“He was just staying along the water’s edge,” Clark told our sister station, WKRG. “Right in about three to four foot of water.”
via Experts weigh in on Gulf Coast viral shark photos.
The 2017 hurricane season won’t officially begin until June 1 for the Atlantic, but researchers are already taking a look at how it could play out.
Colorado State University released its 34th annual pre-season hurricane forecast on Thursday, nearly two months before the official start of the season.
Its report, written by CSU meteorologist and research scientist Philip Klotzbach and Associate Professor Michael Bell, is forecasting a below-average season for 2017.
via How busy could this hurricane season be? CSU researchers offer their predictions | AL.com.
The federal government will hold five public meetings around the Gulf Coast to get comments about air quality modeling and analysis for proposed region-wide oil lease sales next year.
via Gulf Coast oil lease sale public meetings scheduled – FOX10 News | WALA.
March 30, 2017 – Orange Beach, AL – OBA – The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division MRD announces that Alabama’s waters will open for the recreational harvest of red snapper from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2017. Alabama state waters extend 9 nautical miles from shore. The daily bag limit will be two red snapper per person, and the minimum size will be 16 inches in total length.
via Red Snapper Season Opens Memorial Weekend in Alabama Waters.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - Red flags were back up again at Baldwin County Beaches and are expected to be posted through the weekend. Orange Beach safety officials are also warning of Portuguese Man-O-War along the beaches.
A sunny start to the day lured plenty of folks to Cotton Bayou Public Beach. Most stayed on the sand, enjoying the sunshine and sea breeze. Some couldn’t resist the temptation of splashing in the surf despite visible warnings. Orange Beach Safety officials posted red and purple flags Thursday, March 30, 2017 because of the high surf, rip currents and the presence of stinging jellyfish.
via Orange Beach posts warnings for rip currents and dangerous marin – FOX10 News | WALA.
Alabama’s recreational red snapper season will open for Memorial Day weekend and run through the end of July, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced.
According to information released Thursday by the department’s Marine Resources Division, “Alabama’s waters will open for the recreational harvest of red snapper from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2017. Alabama state waters extend 9 nautical miles from shore. The daily bag limit will be two red snapper per person, and the minimum size will be 16 inches in total length.”
This year’s federal red snapper season has not yet been set.
via State sets red snapper season to open May 26 | AL.com.
According to a release from the U.S. Coast Guard, a vessel overturned in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday afternoon.
Units from the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile responded to the vessel which overturned about 300 miles south of Pensacola, Florida.
The initial call was reported at 5 p.m. of an overturned 16-foot long white vessel
via Coast Guard Responds to Overturned Vessel in Gulf of Mexico.
Today’s announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that it will provide a $9.5 million competitive grant to determine the abundance of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico is being praised by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy, Jr. says this action would not have taken place without the efforts of Senator Richard Shelby (R.-Ala.).
via Sen. Shelby Praised for Grant to Assess Red Snapper | Outdoor Alabama.
An oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the Chandeleur Islands, off the Southeastern tip of Louisiana. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
The federal government is opening 73 million acres offshore from Alabama and other Gulf Coast states to oil and gas exploration and development, the Department of the Interior announced Monday.
via Feds opening 73 million acres off Alabama, Gulf states for oil and gas exploration | AL.com.
Chris Blankenship, Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, is on a mission, and the next month may be crucial to the outcome of his ultimate goal.
Blankenship was in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., this week to continue spreading Alabama’s common-sense approach to the management of the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Blankenship and the directors of the marine resources divisions of the other four Gulf states visited with Senators, Representatives and congressional staffers this week on a variety of issues that affect fisheries, especially the red snapper fishery, which has been the center of controversy for the last decade with ridiculously short private recreational seasons in federal waters. The federal snapper season for 2017 has not been set, but it is not expected to be much different than the 2016 dates.
via Blankenship on Mission for Better Red Snapper Plan | Outdoor Alabama.
Combining the reporting of Alabama’s charter fleet and private recreational anglers for both the federal and state seasons, the Alabama Snapper Check data estimated that a little more than 1.5 million pounds of snapper were landed in 2016.
The federal estimate through NOAA Fisheries’ survey program indicated that more than 2.7 million pounds were landed in Alabama.
via Advisory Board Updated on Game Check, Snapper Check | WPMI.
Among the projects funded by BP because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the deployment of artificial reefs along Florida’s Panhandle as part of an effort to restore crucial habitats for fish and other marine animals.
University of West Florida researchers are part of a team conducting a study to see how effective some of those reefs are in creating a productive ecosystem that will attract fish and help revitalize the commercial fisheries affected by the spill.
via UWF researchers studying effects of artificial reefs.
(Foley, Ala.) – Foley’s new entertainment destination, OWA, has partnered with one of its contractors to donate used construction materials to be recycled for the building of an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico.
OWA has contacted the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and gotten its approval for the donated materials. The ADCNR has inspected the concrete materials and deemed them eco-friendly for use in the reef. Cunningham Delaney Construction LLC has gathered the discarded construction items from the OWA site and delivered them to the ADCNR. These materials will be combined with items from other donators to build an artificial reef this year off Alabama’s coast, a few miles out from the Gulf Shores coastline.
via OWA provides artificial reef donation to state of Alabama.
Anyone who has paid attention to Gulf of Mexico red snapper management in the last several years knows that it is the most controversial of all Gulf species. Though controversial, there is one thing that almost everyone agrees on – the need for better data. At the upcoming January meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) is slated to take a major step in the right direction by voting on an electronic logbook (ELB) requirement for the for-hire portion of the fishery.
via 21st-Century technology is key to sustainable fisheries | AL.com.
The off-season in Gulf Shores. Hardly a soul on the beaches and a perfect time to get things in order for the tourists season that’s just a couple of months away.
“Our season is March through October,” says Jason Holt with Suncoast Beach Services.
via Beach Rental Chairs In For A Change This Summer.
A boat washed up on the Gulf Islands National Seashore about two weeks ago.
When park rangers found it, the 50 foot hull was filled with sand.
via Boat washes ashore Gulf Islands National Seashore | WEAR.
There are renewed concerns in the diving community after a diver died Friday.
The diver’s widow said her husband was diving the shipwreck, Oriskany, when he went up to fast and began suffering from decompression sickness, a condition also known as ‘bends.’
Kerry Freeland, a long time diver and owner of ‘Dive Pros in Pensacola, says getting decompression sickness is rare and treatment requires the use of a hyperbaric chamber.
via Diver’s death sparks renewed concerns in Northwest Florida’s diving community. | WEAR.
Oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico could be set for bigger profits under the President-elect Donald Trump’s industry-friendly administration, claims a leading energy industry consulting firm.
While any oil and gas boom is unlikely to come from Trump’s promise to open up federal waters to exploration and drilling in the future, which would take years to yield significant results, there are several ways in which the incoming administration could make things easier for companies to turn profit in an era of lowly priced oil, says Imran Khan, senior manager at Scottish-based consultancy firm Wood MacKenzie.
via Oil and gas companies in Gulf of Mexico could flourish under Trump presidency | AL.com.
Alabama’s Gulf Coast has always been a source of pride for the state. The white sandy beaches are among the finest in the world and are a destination for fishermen, families, ecologists and biologists.
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill threatened much of the shoreline but, six years later, Gov. Robert Bentley is demonstrating a willingness to turn that near-disaster into an environmental triumph.
via Bentley should be celebrated for preserving coast line | AL.com.
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) — Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday announced the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved more than $63 million for six Alabama projects that address high priority conservation needs, including the acquisition and restoration of coastal habitats in key focal areas.
via Gulf Shores BP funds will go toward keeping the land ‘forever wild’ | WPMI.
A national foundation says the five Gulf states are getting nearly $370 million for 24 projects to restore natural resources damaged by the 2010 oil spill.
via The Latest: Nearly $370M oil spill money for 5 Gulf states – FOX10 News | WALA.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved $63 million for six Alabama projects as part of a restoration and conservation plan resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gov. Robert Bentley’s office announced.
The money comes out of two plea agreements approved by a federal court in 2013 that resolved certain criminal charges against BP and Transocean, according to the governor’s office.
via Alabama Gulf projects approved for $63 million in oil spill funds | AL.com.
An area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean had a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm later this week. (National Hurricane Center)
via Hurricane forecasters watching Caribbean for possibility of late-season storm | AL.com.
The red snapper season will stay open in the Gulf of Mexico for an extra seven days in November.
November 5, 6, 11, 12, 25, 26 and 27 are the new additions to this popular fishing season.
The extension includes the Veteran’s Day holiday and Thanksgiving weekend.
via Red snapper season extended for the Gulf | WEAR.
For many years, the horrific fate of the crew of the World War II battleship USS Indianapolis was largely forgotten by the general public. Then the movie “Jaws” brought the story of the world’s deadliest shark attack to a new generation with a monologue performed by the gravel-voiced Robert Shaw. Here is a condensed version:
via Alabamians ‘can all be proud’ of USS Indianapolis film, in theaters Nov. 11 | AL.com.