Fishing mogul’s arrest ripples across New Bedford waterfront – What about the quota?

AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Frustration and sadness moved across the waterfront Friday as news spread that Carlos Rafael and his bookkeeper had been arrested by the Justice Department and charged with making false filings to the government as a means of skirting fisheries laws. One waterfront business manager who did not wish to be identified said that Friday was a “sad day” for the fishing industry, one that is going to hurt in a lot of ways. Seafood consultant James Kendall said he is worried about the effect Rafael’s arrest is going to have on the reputation of the city and its important fishing industry. Mayor Jon Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor, said he had read the affidavit from an undercover agent on the case. “Based on my experience if the allegations are true, then he’s going to federal prison for a long time,” he said. Read the rest here 08:23

5 Responses to Fishing mogul’s arrest ripples across New Bedford waterfront – What about the quota?

  1. DickyG says:

    “…it underscores the need for greater accountability of vessels out at sea, and potentially on the dock.”
    That’s a very predictable opportunistic spin, Joshua Wiersma (a Ph.D.).

    Your Environmental Defense Corporation poured millions into imposing and defending the privatization and consolidation scam of “catch shares” which eliminated over half the single vessel, family-owned fishing operations. Such operations had the accountability of their catches and landings cross-checked at least 5 different ways, by 3 different government agencies.

    Actually, it was EDF’s campaigns of pushing catch shares that has resulted in opening the door wide for any market-cap corporation, or any ambitious individual, to own more quota then they are able or willing to manage responsibly and legitimately. But, more monitoring at sea? Don’t you think Carlos’ vessels were monitored at sea? The captains were not raided and arrested. This was an OFFICE raid not a VESSEL raid!

    Also, this is not “an extreme case” it’s happening worldwide, found anywhere fish have been commoditized and put in the hands of a business entity concerned solely with bottom line quarterly profits.

    Carlos owned many boats and licenses long before the imposition of catch shares, but the alleged mismanagement here was definitely accelerated, if not caused by, a catch shares regime.

    To analyze causes, look to the catch shares “business plan” as a major culprit, creating an environment that fosters consolidation and monopolization and all the administrative chicanery that accompanies those mega-corporate style ambitions.

    Solutions? It’s not “More at sea monitoring”! That’s merely a defensive talking point!

    How about: Catch Shares Overboard! And go Hierarchical Eco-system Management with a Numbers System Dis-incentive?

  2. Groundswell says:

    The IRS was swift to spring on the case because of the $$$$ = cash flow, money laundering, etc. because they want to stand first in line on behalf of the U.S. Treasury, as they should, for the unpaid federal taxes. Esp. with Portugal in the picture (i.e think cross-border Abusive TRANSFER PRICING).
    But let’s just center in on the ex-vessel prices (either on ticket or off fish ticket) for starters, as it affects the proper amount the captain and crew (“vessel operators” engaged in actual fishing) should have on the vessel books as a Gross Revenue from Fishing Trip(s) less the related and allowable deductions for Fuel, Bait, maybe some motor oils for the trip and maybe gear losses due to crew, and some basic taxes all parties share. That creates an ADJUSTED NET REVENUES from the fishing voyage that each C&C member multiplies by his percentage share (his “LAY SHARE” = think Hermann Melville, this principle in law is so old.)
    Think beyond culpability – if crew was handed cash from the bags, or if captain kept that knowledge from the crew, etc. Think about the declarable income and expenses for each independent business (fisherman) and what the IRS will see there.
    Think USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Act or 1988, & the CFRs related. Look up: 46 U.S.C.S. §10601, §11107 and contract laws, too. Yes, the protections of pre-voyage bargaining to protect fishermen from arbitrary discrimination by the captain after leaving port. Fishermen are “the favorites of the admiralty and their economic interests entitled to the fullest possible legal protection.” [209 F.2d78; CARBONE et al versus URSICH et al, THE DEL RIO; No. 13302 US Court of Appeals, 9th District 1953 – and BJORNSSON v. U.S. DOMINATOR, INC (11/12/93), 863 P 2d 235 – and other legal cases]
    Each could sue under his own name. All of the crew involved, if they believe they were victims of embezzlement, fraud, bad faith, and not paid “according to their lay,” should consider legal representation, and potential for a class action lawsuit. Better go do it now, and protect your priority position in the distribution of spoils of a bankruptcy – or just to clawback funds stolen – and make sure the judge notes your “labor surplus” creating class foremost.
    There is a saying about all capital derives from the fruits of labor alone. You were the ones who risked life at-sea, handled the gear and piloted/worked the boat throughout the fishing voyages. You alone have the ultimate right to collect foremost, and then you can file your taxes and declare the amount to Treasury. But me thinks the IRS hammer will fall first on the assets (cash, equipment, plant etc.). But how will the IRS know what portion was assignable to your own Lay Share and respective “net adjusted revenues” unless you get over the shock (hardly think many of you were surprised) and start protecting your own legal rights. For the sake of family and loved ones, alone.
    Carlos Rafael will glide on the precarious idea that “innocent until PROVEN guilty” is justice. But that’s our system. It’s time though to stand tall about Lay Shares, come to grips with this aspect of IFQ systems, and sectors. If the vessel had to pay the sealord 70% (like Alaska) before even getting access to the right to go out fishing, that’s another crime. MSA promised that no American fishermen should have to pay an access fee. What is a lease fee for quota, or quota rent, if not a violation of that statute?
    Lawyer up. The big boys have.
    Fish on!

  3. Timothy SharkBite Brady says:

    OK so Environmental Defense Fund and their head honcho Jane Lubchenko basically used NOAA as the tool to create Sector Management…which was designed to privatize and consolidate quota…which it did….and created the destruction of small boat family fisherman….which it did….and the totally predictable outcome of big players owning and manipulating everything is….not Environmental defense fund’s fault and we need NOAA to regulate things better…that some interesting logic

  4. DANDOG says:

    How many lbs of GOM cod were sold as some other “less valuable” species, when Carlos had 12 boats fishing out of p-town in 2012, when all the local boats were struggling under quota cuts? Catch shares = license to steal … F-ing B.S.

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