Historic Sinking of the USCGC Mohawk
Creates First Dedicated Veterans Memorial Reef using a Military Ship
Coastal Conservation Association Florida and the Lee County Department of Natural Resources partnered to deploy the USCGC Mohawk to its final resting place. The 165-foot World War II Coast Guard Cutter, "Mohawk" was the last remaining ship of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Mohawk was laid to rest in 90 feet of water on July 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM roughly 28 nautical miles off of Sanibel Island on Floridas southwest coast, creating the first Veterans Memorial Reef dedicated to all U.S. veterans. The reef will be the new home to untold numbers of fish and other invertebrates living in the Gulf of Mexico.
CCA Florida chartered the 90 "Great Getaway" that transported over 100 passengers to the deployment site. The passengers included USCG 2nd Class Petty Officer Edward March who served on the Mohawk for 15 months during WWII, his family, local veterans, members of the media, local and state dignitaries and elected officials as well as CCA members from across the state of Florida. â€œThe feeling was surreal as the cutter slipped below the surface,â€ said CCA Chairman Jeff Miller. â€œThis moment marked the ending to a long and historical life above water and the beginning of a new life as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico.â€
Fisherman and scuba divers alike are very excited about the new artificial reef. â€œWith more fish in the Gulf of Mexico comes the need for more habitat,â€ said Don Roberts, CCA Florida Habitat Chairman. â€œThe sinking of the Mohawk will bring a new home to fish and marine life as well as new opportunities for fishermen and scuba divers from all over the world. The ship was an amazing site and looked as if she was ready for action.â€ The Mohawk was laid to rest with a fresh coat of wartime camouflage paint along with her anchor chains, props, replica guns, replica depth charges and a even a new whale boat was added. The official name of the reef is the U.S.S. Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef and the coordinates are 82°43'42.347"W 26°33'14.64"N.
The Mohawk was built in 1934 for patrol and icebreaking duties in the Hudson and Delaware rivers. During WWII, the USS Mohawk was commissioned for escort operations and traveled the world defending her country until 1945. The Mohawk launched 14 attacks on German submarines, rescued more than 300 survivors from torpedoed ships and was the last vessel to radio Gen. Dwight Eisenhower that the weather would be clear enough to launch the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
â€œCCA Florida was honored to have the opportunity to participate in this historical event,â€ said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. â€œCCA Florida would like to thank Mike Campbell and the Lee County Department of Natural Resources for all of their time and effort in establishing the U.S.S. Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef.â€
CCA Florida salutes the members that served on the USCGC Mohawk along with all other service men and women that have served or are currently serving to protect the United States of America.
Southeast Fishery Bulletin
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308 FB12-048
NOAA Fisheries Service Announces an Extension to the
Gulf of Mexico Recreational Red Snapper Season
NOAA Fisheries Service announces that the closure date for the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season is being extended six days. The new closure time is 12:01 a.m. local time, July 17, 2012.
Landings and effort data are not available in-season to estimate if the recreational red snapper quota will be met on July 10. However, the north-central Gulf of Mexico has experienced extended severe weather during the first 26 days of the 2012 recreational red snapper fishing season, including Tropical Storm Debby. A substantial portion of recreational red snapper harvest in the Gulf of Mexico comes from the north-central Gulf of Mexico, thus NOAA Fisheries Service expects fishing effort and landings have been less than initially projected.
Wind speed and wave height data from four buoys stationed throughout the Gulf of Mexico were used as proxies for determining days when fishing did not occur or when effort was reduced. Wave height was the most consistent difference between 2011 and 2012. Days with wave heights greater than 4
feet was used as the proxy to indicate fishing days lost. Weather was not as much of a factor in the western Gulf of Mexico, and this was considered in the calculations as well. Assuming weather in the eastern Gulf of Mexico will improve, and fishing effort returns to expected rates, NOAA Fisheries Service projects the recreational fishing season for the entire Gulf of Mexico can be extended an additional six days.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the rule. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the rule published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.
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6919 Portwest, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2012 CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH
Florida Senators Join Call for Snapper Season Extension
Stretch of bad weather impacts already short Gulf red snapper season
WASHINGTON, DC â€“ A stubborn tropical system that impacted the eastern Gulf of Mexico for more than a week in late June put a significant dent in the shortest red snapper season on record and prompted Floridas two U.S. Senators to write a letter to the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requesting an extension to the season.
â€œWeve spoken at length about the red snapper fishery and its economic impact in the state of Florida. Fishing is more than a job in the Gulf of Mexico â€“ it is a way of life,â€ wrote Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. â€œShortened seasons, decreased bag limits, and closures severely impact these coastal communities. We urge you to ensure that fishermen arent unfairly disadvantaged by weather that is out of their control, and extend the red snapper season accordingly.â€
The request by Nelson and Rubio is accompanied by a similar letter from 17 members of the U.S. House of Representatives also seeking an extension of the season.
â€œYou cant do anything about the weather and even without a tropical system stirring things up, you can lose a lot of days out on the water just because of high wind and waves,â€ said Jeff Miller, chairman of CCA Florida and owner of Millers Boating Center in Ocala, Florida. â€œA 40-day season does not leave much margin for error, and to be kept off the water for a week or more really impacts this region economically. I am glad that our elected officials are keeping an eye on this and thank them for going to bat for us. Hopefully NOAA Fisheries is listening.â€
Compounding anglers frustration is mounting evidence that the snapper population is the healthiest it is been in recent history, with fishermen finding snapper in places they have never appeared before and catching the two-fish limit literally in minutes.
â€œYou cant get a bait past them if you can get out there,â€ said Miller. â€œBeyond the impact of this recent spate of bad weather, someone really needs to look at how we are managing this fishery. Im all for rebuilding the fishery and proceeding with caution, but the current regulations seem way behind the curve. This is a success story for fisheries management, but they are still clamping down on it like its a collapsed stock. It just doesnt make sense.â€
The 2012 red snapper season opened on June 1 and is scheduled to close around July 11. To see a copy of the Nelson/Rubio letter, click HERE.