Author Archives: - Moderator

Fishermen facing cuts to Georges Bank stocks, Council considering catch limits for yellowtail, cod, haddock

The New England Fishery Management Council is expected to vote this week on the 2019 total allowable catch limits for three Georges Bank groundfish stocks the United States shares with Canada, with significant reductions expected for each stock. The council, set to meet Monday through Thursday in Plymouth, will discuss total allowable catch, or TAC, recommendations by both the science-based Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee and the management-based Transboundary Management Guidance Committee. The latter, however, is expected to hold more sway in developing the 2019 limits. The U.S. and Canada already have negotiated the catch limits within the TMGC recommendations for Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, Eastern Georges Bank haddock and Eastern Georges Bank cod. >click to read<21:42

Annual NAFO meeting adopts measures for Greenland halibut, Flemish Cap cod

The 40th annual week-long meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) ended on Friday in Tallinn, Estonia, where there were a number of measures accepted by Canada and other NAFO member contracting parties aimed at improving the monitoring and management of international fish stocks outside Canada’s 200-mile limit in the Northwest Atlantic. In addition to the traditional total allowable catch (TAC) and quota decisions made, other decisions included: >click to read<20:01

New England Fishery Management Council meeting September 24-27, 2018 in Plymouth, MA.

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Hotel 1620, 180 Water Street, Plymouth Harbor, MA. September 24, 2018 – September 27, 2018. To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 19:42

Fishing vessel burns at Fishermen’s Terminal

Dozens of firefighters responded by land and by water to a fire on a large fishing trawler at Fishermen’s Terminal just after 7 this morning. Seattle Fire says there are no injuries. The fire was burning below deck, which made access difficult. Hoses had to be run down the long dock. But firefighters had the fire under control a short time later.,,, The boat is the “Ocean Explorer“, a 145-foot long fishing trawler based out of Seattle. Lucas Bonnema photos>click to read<13:50

Body found believed to be one of the two missing Tignish, P.E.I. fishermen

The body of one of the two fishermen involved in a boating accident early last week has been found. The body was found around 7 a.m. Sunday wrapped in seaweed on the south side of the North Cape point by someone searching the shore. The coroner has taken possession of the body. A search was originally initiated the night of the accident, Tuesday, Sept. 18 and involved resources from RCMP, Ground Search and Rescue and community members in Prince County for Glen DesRoches, 57, the captain of the lobster fishing boat ‘the Kyla Anne’, and his longtime first mate, Maurice (Moe) Getson, 54, after their boat capsized on that afternoon.,, The identity of the body has not been officially released at this time. But according to multiple accounts on the scene rescuers believe it is the body of the ‘Kyla Anne’s’ captain, Glen DesRoches. >click to read<12:46

New proof that fish farm escapees interbreed with wild salmon: DFO

For as long as there have been fish farms in this province, there have been fish escaping from cages into the wild. Conservationists have suspected those escapees breed with native fish, changing their DNA. Now they say they have proof. One of the largest escapes in Newfoundland happened in 2013, when more than 20,000 salmon got away from a farm in Hermitage Bay. That incident inspired DFO scientists to study the genetic material of fish in salmon rivers on the island’s south coast. “We looked at 19 rivers in the first year and hybrids were detected in 18 of those rivers,” said lead researcher, biologist Brendan Wringe. >click to read<10:27

Maine man spent more than $100,000 to dredge for quahog. Now the practice might be banned.

Raymond “Bucky” Alexander figures he has at least $100,000 and several years invested in rebuilding his boat and crafting, by hand, the iron dredger he’s used this summer to dredge for quahogs in the New Meadows River. He checked with the Maine Marine Patrol about the law, and early this spring, when he headed down the river, he and his cousin, West Bath Shellfish Warden Doug Alexander, set out buoys to mark the subtidal area, the part of the river that is underwater even at low tide, where the law says he can dredge. >click to read<09:54

Jack Spillane: A Shakespearean tragedy on the New Bedford waterfront

How corrupt is the New Bedford waterfront? John Bullard seems to think it’s more than a little corrupt. Jon Mitchell seems to think it’s corrupt mostly with one top guy. And Jim Kendall seems to think it’s hard for the working guys — fishing boat captains to be specific — to be anything but corrupt when the big evil guy that controlled so many boats (Carlos Rafael) also controlled the ability of so many captains to make a living. “It’s a case of what choice did they have?” asked Kendall in a heart-wrenching Standard-Times story Saturday morning. As a working-class stiff who has worked for “the man” all my life, I can very much identify. Mayor Jon Mitchell pointed out in the Saturday story that prosecutors and regulatory authorities endanger the people’s confidence when they overreach. They risk bringing down the whole system when they crack down on too many working men and women who get swept up by a guy like Carlos Rafael. >click to read<

Florence floodwaters reveal fish washed up on North Carolina interstate

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence are leaving quite a fishy situation in North Carolina. As floodwaters from the hurricane begin to recede more a week after the storm made landfall, first responders on Saturday came across hundreds of dead fish on a stretch of Interstate 40 that had been hit hard by flooding.,, The fish were discovered along a stretch of the interstate near Wallace, located about 40 miles northwest of Wilmington, where the storm made landfall. “Hurricane Florence caused massive flooding in our area and allowed the fish to travel far from their natural habitat, stranding them on the interstate when waters receded,” the fire department said. >click to read<08:22

State stops Mainer from sedating lobsters with marijuana smoke before being cooked

State regulators have put a halt to a Maine restaurant owner’s experiment of sedating live lobsters with marijuana smoke before they are cooked, at least for now. Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor is getting some of its lobsters high before cooking them,,, Gill, a registered medical marijuana caregiver, said Saturday that she was working to change her procedure after a “technicality under the Maine Medical Use Program and a remark from the health department.” The Maine Health Inspection Program was investigating, Emily Spencer, a spokeswoman with the Department of Health and Human Services, said Saturday. She said the state was also looking into whether the medical marijuana was being used appropriately. >click to read<21:54

Skates, bait for lobsters, unloaded at Town Dock in Stonington

Geal Roderick, of Mystic, captain of the lobster boat Pocahontas, unloads skates that he had just purchased at the Stonington Town Dock on Thursday. The skates, a deepwater fish similar to rays, will be used as bait in the 300 pots that Roderick intended to set over the next few days. Roderick also crews, as needed, on his father’s boat, the Stacy and Geal. Harold Hanka, 3 photos, >click here<18:51

Atlantic herring quotas may be cut again

Later this month, fisheries regulators will decide whether to adopt a new set of regulations, known as Amendment 8, that could include restricting fishing areas for the herring and could, for the first time, account for the fish’s place in the larger ecosystem. The New England Fishery Management Council’s Atlantic herring committee will meet next week to vote on a recommendation to the full council, which meets the following week. Consideration of the new management system, and the restrictions it would bring, follows the announcement in August that next year’s quota for Atlantic herring had been cut by 55 percent from its original level. >click to read<16:06

LETTER: Coal transportation plan earns a big ‘NO’ from Cape Breton lobster fishermen

There has been much said about the Donkin Mine, Kameron Coal and Cape Breton lobster fishermen lately and I would like to set the record straight on some matters. First and foremost, 99.9 per cent of fishermen are in support of the Donkin Mine, as am I. What we don’t support is seismic activity, and a pier and barge system. A new pier in Morien Bay will take up a lot of the fishing grounds, plus we will have to deal with a barge full of coal being transported to Mira Bay where a minimum 400-foot coal vessel will be waiting to off-load and take it. This will create coal dust not only in Morien Bay but also in Mira Bay. >click to read<15:13

Big dreams for tidal power: Irish company hoping to drop turbines in Minas Passage, expecting some cynicism

Simon De Pietro will have to mend burnt bridges before he can build the world’s largest tidal array. “I expect there to be some cynicism and it’s not a good thing that happened,” said the director of DP Energy, based in Ireland. “But that wasn’t us.” His company’s plan to install an array of five sub-sea tidal turbines and one floating turbine in the Minas Passage with a combined power output of nine megawatts makes him the latest Irish proponent with big dreams for tidal power. The last one was OpenHydro, which went bankrupt days after installing its turbine on July 22 — leaving local companies holding the bag for millions of dollars worth of work and a 1,000-tonne turbine on the seabed. A team brought from Ireland to get it working over recent weeks have determined that it’s not spinning as a result of an unknown mechanical failure. >click to read<

A week later, overturned F/V Miss Annie in Bluffton’s May River is still there. Here’s why

State officials said Friday they still didn’t know when the boat, which leaked an unknown amount of fuel into the river, would be removed. The boat, “Miss Annie,” overturned Sept. 15, when it was docked in the May to avoid Florence’s wrath. An official with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and another with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control visited the site that day. Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard didn’t arrive until Monday because the boat was “reported as stable” and all of their “assets were engaged in the hurricane response with the impacts in Myrtle Beach and Wilmington,” U.S. Coast Guard MSTC Clayton Rennie said Thursday morning. >click to read<10:00

Wicker advocates for bipartisan bill to end illegal global fishing, seafood trade

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), a member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, earlier this week questioned whether increased federal action would aide in the halt of illegal fishing and seafood trade in the global marketplace. Sen. Wicker on Aug. 28 introduced the bipartisan Maritime Security And Fisheries Enforcement (SAFE) Act, S. 3400, to address the threat to national security from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and associated illegal activity, to prevent the illegal trade of seafood and seafood products, among other purposes, according to the text of the bill. S. 3400 calls for “a whole-of-government approach” that would include the intelligence community to help combat IUU fishing,,,>click to read<09:08

Waterman charged with 600+ fishing, boating violations in Delaware City area

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a commercial waterman from Sussex County on Thursday for more than 600 shellfish and boating violations near Delaware City.
Shawn P. Moore, 40, of Georgetown, was charged with 322 counts of failure to tend commercial crab pots within 72 hours; 171 counts of improperly-marked commercial crab pot license number on buoy; 121 counts of over-the-limit commercial crab pots; two counts of crabbing from a vessel not displaying a proper color panel; >click to read<08:20

Drag Net – New Bedford shocked by NOAA’s latest move in Carlos Rafael case

Jim Kendall sees fingerprints on NOAA’s most recent allegations that go beyond Carlos Rafael and loop 22 of his captains into the agency’s non-criminal civil action. “I’ll tell you right now, you can print it or not, but I think John Bullard still has his thumb on the scale,” the former fishing captain and executive director of New Bedford Seafood Consulting said. Kendall backed up his claims by saying, “because I know John. He’s a vindictive SOB.” Bullard is the former mayor of New Bedford, but in this case more importantly acted as the regional administrator for NOAA when Rafael was criminally indicted, pled guilty and was sentenced. Bullard also imposed a groundfishing ban on Rafael-owned vessels. “A comment like that is insulting to all the people who do very important and hard work in the enforcement arena,” Bullard said. >click to read<20:12

Family finding comfort at home, says son of missing fisherman

Lucas DesRoches says his mom is home now, surrounded by family and friends. Until Thursday, she stayed as close as she could to the shore of North Cape, P.E.I., where her husband and a fellow fisherman were lost at sea when their boat capsized on Tuesday. “It’s definitely hard on the family, on my mother, it’s very difficult,” DesRoches said Friday. “She’s feeling comfort at home. My sister as well is surrounded by family and friends. Both of my brothers are here and they’re doing the best they can to help and support.” The search for the bodies of Capt. Glen DesRoches and Maurice (Moe) Getson was suspended Friday. But residents of the Tignish area continue to do all they can to help the families. >click to read<19:40

Ocean acidification may reduce sea scallop fisheries

Each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of Atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the United States. A new model created by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, predicts that those fisheries may potentially be in danger. As levels of carbon dioxide increase in the Earth’s atmosphere, the upper oceans become increasingly acidic—a condition that could reduce the sea scallop population by more than 50% in the next 30 to 80 years, under a worst-case scenario. Strong fisheries management and efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, however, might slow or even stop that trend. >click to read<16:26

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for September 21, 2018 – Hurricane Florence Aftermath

Keith Bruno (Endurance Seafood) of Oriental, NC is just one example of the destruction to our seafood industry from Hurricane Florence. North Carolina Fisheries Association is trying to get an idea of the total impact that Hurricane Florence has had on our industry. If you are a commercial fisherman, dealer and/or processor, please email your estimated damages and losses to Aundrea O’Neal. ([email protected]) Please include photos if possible. We are going to attempt reaching out to our Legislators to try and get assistance for our industry, but we need figures to present to them. NCFA would like to extend our sympathies to the Bruno family for the loss of their business and livelihood, as well as others’ throughout our region. >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<13:47

Scallop wars barely over as new accusations from Cornish fishermen spark crab wars

The scallop wars are barely over but already new tensions have emerged in the English Channel in the form of crab wars. Cornish fishermen have accused French trawlers of deliberately sabotaging their crab pots, costing them hundreds of thousands of pounds. They said French trawlers had been seen in English waters towing nets “without a care in the world” within the UK’s 12-mile limit. Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO), said: “They are just dragging through all the gear, they break the ropes, damage the pots or just tow them away altogether.” >click to read<11:13

Hurricane Florence: Commercial, charter communities are answering call for help

The commercial fishing and charter boat communities in the north east part of the state are answering the call for help from hard-hit communities south of Dare, particularly Down East Carteret County. Tuesday, led by Hatteras Island fisherman Paul Rosell, a group made the long trek to Davis in Down East Carteret County. They delivered supplies and took along equipment to help secure homes. On Wednesday, Britton Shackleford, commercial fisherman, charter boat operator and Wicked Tuna Outer Banks personality, put out a call for others to join him to go Carteret County that day to clear trees around the homes of Capt. Sonny Davis and his family members. Davis is a member of North Carolina United Watermen. >click to read<10:28

Offshore wind energy: fishermen ask for relief

Offshore windmills may be the future of energy here, but they’re presently a source of agitation to commercial fishermen. A vocal group of them, who aren’t necessarily opposed to windmills but just the placement of them on or near fishing grounds, which if you ask them is anywhere the water is salt, gave the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management their two cents at a public meeting Thursday.  “All of these areas are prime scallop grounds. We’re not going to take any of this lying down,” said Arthur Osche, a member of the Point Pleasant Fishermen’s Dock Co-operative. Osche was referring to fishing grounds in Hudson North and Hudson South, two designated wind farm lease sites that start about 17 miles east of the coastline here. Fellow co-operative dock member Jim Lovgren said if their access to the grounds is restricted then they should be paid for the economic loss. “Mark off the area and then compensate us,” said Lovgren. >click to read<

NOAA Seeks $3 Million in Civil Fines against Carlos Rafael, Takes Aim at 20 Captains

NOAA hasn’t removed Carlos Rafael from its crosshairs. It’s requesting more than $3 million from the fishing tycoon and also took aim at 20 additional Rafael captains in a civil action filed last week, the governing agency told The Standard-Times on Thursday. NOAA issued superseding charging documents in its civil administrative case involving Rafael on Sept. 10, which added charges and included more respondents than the original document NOAA issued Jan. 10. The new document seeks to revoke 42 of Rafael’s federal fishing permits, prevent Rafael or his agents from applying for NOAA permits in the future, and increase the total monetary penalties sought from $983,528 to $3,356,269.,,, The documents, which are non-criminal, also increased the number of alleged violations of federal fishery laws from 35 to 88 in addition to lassoing 20 of Rafael’s captains into the civil action. The original documents included only two captains. NOAA also is seeking to revoke operator permits of 17 fishing vessel captains for Rafael. >click to read<20:48

New London fishing fleet signs lease at Fort Trumbull

The city’s commercial fishing fleet has secured a lease to continue its operations on the Fort Trumbull peninsula and opened the door to future expansion. The Renaissance City Development Association approved a five-year, $2,500-a-month lease agreement with New London Seafood Distributors on Thursday and, for the time being, allayed concerns by the fleet of being evicted from the site. New London Seafood was formed in 1989 and started operating off two piers when it still was owned by the Castle family, owners of Lehigh Oil. The fleet managed to survive at its location during the time the city took homes and businesses in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood through use of eminent domain. >click to read<

How I got hooked on the secret world of tuna fishing

For some, tuna fishing can be like watching paint dry. You head out early in the morning, catch your bait, steam to your marked spot, set up the rods, and wait, and wait, and wait. But once you have the fishing bug, either by birth or from hearing a reel screaming for the first time, you’re hooked. After three days on the water tuna fishing I heard that golden sound and I am indeed hooked. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to experience: to haul in a bluefin tuna with its gorgeous yellow dorsal finlets after a long and strategic battle. >click to read<17:50

Law protecting seals needs to change as population grows

John Dowd is correct that we have a “booming seal population,” but he’s wrong on two other counts (“Still swimming with sharks,” Metro, Sept. 13). First, he says that Nantucket has no seal or shark problem. On the contrary, one of the Northeast’s most celebrated fishing destinations, Nantucket’s Great Point, is now effectively a seal refuge, and the small island of Muskeget, just to the west of Nantucket, has been called one of the largest gray seal breeding sites in the country. More important, the first step to managing an ever-expanding seal population, and the white sharks it attracts, is not, as Dowd does, to call for a seal cull, which is a political nonstarter, but rather to pass an amendment to the Marine Mammal Protection Act,,, and a short rebuttal. >click to read<16:33

Opinion: The seafood trade deficit is a diversionary tactic

Lately, politicians, bureaucrats and journalists have begun lamenting the fact that the United States runs a seafood trade deficit. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The booming economy trumps Trump’s trade battle with China has called the deficit “silly” given the ample U.S. coastline. In June, Timothy Gallaudet, Acting Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suggested reducing the seafood trade deficit by allowing commercial fishing in marine protected areas. Now the agency has launched a series of public listening sessions on the topic that began Aug. 31 and continue through November. >click to read<15:08

American Greed: ‘Something’s Fishy’: CNBC the latest to tell Carlos Rafael story

“Carlos Rafael makes millions as the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses on the East Coast but will his big mouth get him hooked in an undercover IRS sting with agents posing as Russian mobsters?” SPOILER ALERT: Yes, it will. CNBC is the latest media outlet to zero in on the story of New Bedford’s “Codfather” with an American Greed episode airing at 10 p.m. Monday called “Something Fishy.” Rafael’s downfall started with a conversation between the fishing mogul and undercover agents in his New Bedford office. You can hear it all here … >click to read< 12:02