Richard Gaines, Staff Writer, Gloucester Daily Times

Richard Gaines, Staff Reporter, Gloucester Daily Times

For years, we found his byline under the headline of every major fishery article that we read at the Gloucester Daily Times.  It told us to read on for the truth and an unbiased perspective that a great journalist presents regarding our livelihoods.Richard’s articles provided the information to the public of the complexities that made up the convoluted issues surrounding the stories of the New England ground fishery — something that was just about impossible.

Some of the articles would leave the public confused, but industry insiders knew exactly what he was bringing up.  At times, these controversial to insider articles would erupt, causing some noses to get out of joint, generating lively, pointed, and sometimes fierce debate.

Those were my favorites, and I know what Richard wrote was on the money, even though some would disagree, of course.

To those people I say, some of these issues will be raised again, because there has been no closure.

There’s a lot of unfinished business to be settled, and our literary warrior, Richard Gaines, forever rides with many of us in our hearts and minds. Many of us that will attempt to keep those issues alive.

There are some that won’t share in our feelings regarding our beloved friend and beacon of justice for the small boat fishermen, and for fishermen in general, and we understand this.

ENGO’s and the “too big to fail” fishing conglomerates and even the bureaucracy of NOAA/NMFS, that includes OLE/OGC, may be breathing sighs of relief, or are even content to know that Richard Gaines won’t be watchdogging them.

While such agenda bound groups might find temporary relief in Richard’s passing, his crossing the bar merely reaffirms to us that we must each continue the struggles that are easier to walk away from than to stand and fight back.  To those bad players, we’ll steadfastly say, “As long as we draw a breath of existence, let it be known that our loss will not be your gain.”

I also realize that many who do understand what I’m trying to say are battle weary. For many, it’s been a decade’s long continuous fight, but it is a worthy one.

Richard Gaines created a standard that we all now expect in the esoteric arena of fishery journalism; but sadly, there is no one individual to carry on the legacy he left for us.  During this time of awakening to this cruel reality the question becomes, “How do we continue Richard’s work that still demands greater accountability to the resource and the public?”

We must find the way. Richard would want us to; and his bright beacon will forever guide us to that home harbor where truth and conscience tie up to the dock alongside integrity and grit.

 

  • philips66

    Amen to that. Rest in Peace Richard Gaines.

    He will be missed not only in Gloucester, but in fishing villages all over the country.

  • Dick Grachek

    Thanks Moderator, well said.

    Richard wanted people to wake up and see what was being done to their fishing tradition.

    Let’s carry on his tradition by seeking out and exposing the truth about the anti-fishing campaigns and the big business forces behind them that masquerade as conservationists.

  • Dick Grachek

    I always thought of Richard as a worrior in a well-worn sport coat.

    He has always been a good friend and I will always think of him as one of the quality people I have been fortunate enough to have encountered.

    • – Moderator

      The first time I met him was at the field hearing in Gloucester.
      Everyone thought the slush fund held about $8 million bucks!
      That was quite a day, and watching Kucinich take Dale Jones apart like a starving man stripping the meat off a Cornish Game hen was incredible.
      Tierney also beat on him, while Barney was in Lubchenco’s stuff.
      I didn’t know who Richard was at the time, but I remember him that day wearing that well worn jacket, taking lots and lots of notes.
      Every night for the past few years, I checked the GDT for articles, and until I found them, I was restless for the rest of the night, or disappointed if they weren’t posted. Talk about addiction!
      I found another hero that day, along with Richard.
      Todd Zinnser.

  • An outstanding piece of writing that captures the essence of Richard Gaines untiring investigative work on the abuse by NOAA and NMFS against fishermen. Hopefully someone will pick up the gauntlet and continue what many times is a “thankless job” of writing without anyone even acknowledging the news. Fishermen, in this case it may take a village, and Richard Gaines has definitely shown us the way.

  • Joel Hovanesian

    Richard was an inspiration to all of us who have been fighting this long uphill battle against the corruption that we all know exists within the federal agencies that been taken over by the enviro frauds who claim their only motivation is to help fishermen. Yeah right.

    I will always be great full to Richard for keeping me inspired to never give up. Against all odds his reporting kept us in the loop and fed us the inside information the would serve to enrage and keep you motivated to continue fighting even when you were at the lowest of lows.

    His shoes will be hard to fill but God works in mysterious ways and something positive will come from all of Richards hard work. Of this I am certain.

    The battles rage on and I’m sure he wouldn’t want any of us to give in. Not one inch. We must all rededicate ourselves to never give up the fight on his behalf. This is what he lived for and I’m sure what he would want.

    Rest in peace Richard Gaines and know you inspired a whole army of warriors fighting for truth and justice.

  • Very truthful and appropriate tribute. Thanks, Moderator. All who work on behalf of the family fishing fleet have lost an invaluable warrior. It will be hard to replace Richard Gaines!

    This tribute ought to be on the pages of our national media.

    This attempt will give a test to the media, if they need one.