Category Archives: Letter to the Editor

Lobster stock levels remain high in Gulf of Maine, but there is cause for concern

The “now” looks solid for local commercial lobster fishery, based on findings reported in the 2020 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Lobster Benchmark Stock Assessment, which reported the stock at “record high abundance levels.” The good news continued,, The news for southern New England, including southern Maine, remained poor, with a depleted fishery and no signs of resurgence. The research was conducted by several organizations, including the Department of Marine Resources, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the University of Maine’s Sea Grant program and Lobster Institute. The assessment, released in October, was based on surveys conducted from 2016 through 2018. However, once the research turns to lobster settlements the future does not look as bright. >click to read< 18:29

New Zealand: There’s something fishy about the government’s relationship with seafood

The government’s decision to delay the installation of monitoring cameras on fishing boats is being condemned by critics (of course)  A pattern of delay and scuttling has emerged over the three years of the current government when it has faced a decision that could impose strict The National Party and Greenpeace have suggested that the government’s moves reflect NZ First undermining Labour and the Greens at the cabinet table, however NZ First MP Shane Jones dismissed the allegation in an interview with The Spinoff. His ardent vocal support for fisheries in parliament and reports that he’s received financial backing from the industry isn’t reflected in the government’s decisions, he said. >click to read< 14:41

NOAA – Their mission

Back in the sixties when I was fishing with my dad we would fish about a one hundred miles east of New Bedford for whiting in the spring. We had a ninety foot dragger. And there were Russian vessels there that were three hundred foot  and they were using a small mesh net that caught everything in the water. At the time there was no 200 mile limit. The Russians and other foreign vessels could come into our waters and were restricted to within fifteen miles of our coast. Today  no one knows how much damage they did but our fisherman would eventually pay the price. Finally in 1978, we enacted the 200 mile limit. That was great so we thought, but we created a monster. That being NOAA. >click to read< Thank You, Sam Parisi 08:52

Fish farms not worth damage they’ll do

I have lived in Tiverton my whole life. I am a lobster fisher. I am very concerned about the effect that fish pens proposed by Cermaq will have on St. Mary’s Bay. I have environmental, economic and community concerns. I have been told approximately 25 acres of prime lobster bottom is being taken away from us by each of these salmon pens. We don’t have a groundfish fishery anymore. Lobsters are what sustain our way of life. These pens are proposed to go where I have always caught the majority of my lobster, and that could displace me from my job, by Sheldon Dixon, >click to read< 11:10

Commercial fishing isn’t the main threat to habitat

A recent letter wondered why Gov. Inslee would allow gillnetters on the Columbia River. The fact is, in the environment in which orcas struggle to survive commercial fishers are the easiest element to manage.,,, Gillnetters catch limited numbers of salmon. But land developers and homeowners can destroy an entire salmon run permanently. The pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, moss removers, and deck waterproofing folks liberally use around the house and yard are absolute fish killers. Personal care products, pain medications, antidepressants and other popular pharmaceuticals are either disposed of or excreted into our sewage systems and flushed into the Salish Sea and Columbia River. >click to read< by Arthur Lynch, Bainbridge Island

Trump admin intends to roll back ban on offshore drilling

The Trump administration Thursday announced plans to roll back a ban on new offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida and California and is considering more than 40 sites for leasing of natural gas and oil production. The proposal is yet another blow to the Obama-era environmental agenda, and it has the potential to open up nearly all US federal waters that were previously protected. The proposal would increase drilling sites off the coasts of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. It would reinstate leasing sites in Pacific and Atlantic waters. click here to read the story 16:53

No silver bullet Mr. Bullard?

My response to Mr. Bullard. (A Message from John Bullard, Regional Administrator – There Is No Silver Bullet for Groundfish). Mr. Bullard attends many meetings, and as he said himself, it is his job. Also his job is to see that fish stocks rebuild, however if we are to believe NOAA scientific data our cod stocks and flounder are in the worst shape under his administration, even though he imposed tough regulations at the fisherman’s expense without any consideration of their welfare. Instead of coming up with a solution that fisherman and government can live with, he discourage us that are still left in the fishing industry. He does not offer any remedy  for those that are left. He says we need more monitoring, but at who’s cost? He says we need more law enforcement. I can not see where any of this can increase the ground fish stocks. Now, I am not blaming him alone and rather than blame the government or our fisherman, lets look for an economic plan to see our fisherman make a living and a plan to see fish stocks increase. I gave my plan to our local politicians, that being the need for a Fish Bill. Like the Farm Bill, and yes they listen to but no one has taken the ball home! After a while, I feel discouraged and want to throw in the towel, but then I think, that is the easy way out. I find myself reading Fisherynation, Seafood news etc., to see what else NOAA going to throw at us! Maybe Mr. Bullard does not see a Silver Bullet perhaps we can open his eyes. Thank You for your attention Sam Parisi, Gloucester, Mass. 09:00

Cod salvation and devilish interference

The more people I talk to about the fishery the more I become convinced that there are three root causes of the reoccurring catastrophes in the fishing industry. Those causes are corporate profits, election votes and union agendas. Combined, they add up to political interference. We have been digging and tunnelling for hundreds of years but we still have more non-renewable resources left under the ground than we have renewable resources left under the water. What does that tell us about our track record on managing our renewable resources? Click here to read the op-ed by Harvey Jarvis, Portugal Cove–St. Philip’s  11:11

Menhaden aren’t being ‘decimated’ – Ronnie Sheldon, Pascagoula

menhadenLately, I’ve read several opinion articles about the menhaden fishery and problems with Omega Protein. I’m a lifelong resident of Pascagoula and a sport fisherman. I have no connections or interests in Omega Protein, but most of my spare time is spent fishing for trout and redfish, and I typically fish the same area (Round Island) where Omega Protein fishes for menhaden. I have no issue with menhaden fishing. Their industry provides hundreds of jobs and pumps millions of dollars into our local economy. Indirectly, their product helps provide food for many as animal feed. Their bycatch is closely regulated and very small. I’ve never personally seen evidence of any bycatch dumped overboard. Read the letter here 13:19

We need a rigorous examination of our fishery, Phil Earle, Carbonear

An inquiry is the only thing that can save this province’s fishery. Other then the occasional comment of concern for the dwindling state of, and wrongs in, our fishery made in the media by a few truth-seekers and truth-speakers, who do not have a vested interest in the resource or who are not government or union position dependent, no one else in the province ever comments on, raises issues in, the pursuit of correcting the abuse and mismanagement of our fishery. The only thing that can save the fishery from its death spiral is the people of the province. Read the rest here 08:26

Dear Editor: Crab fishermen continue to suffer- Patti Grant, El Granada

106200_webThe most recent crab testing still shows unsafe levels of domoic acid. For fishing to resume, levels need to be lower in the next three weekly tests; only then will the California Department of Fish and Game deem this seafood safe to eat. When that happens, commercial fishermen still won’t be able to fish because sport fishermen have always been given at least one week to fish before allowing the commercial boats to go out. The proposed mid-February opening date for commercial crabbing will now most likely be early March. Read the letter here 15:04

Letter: Fishermen grateful for Congressman Seth Moulton’s efforts

manatthewheelWe would like to publicly thank Congressman Seth Moulton for his support for fishing business in Gloucester. During the campaign, Congressman Moulton promised to advocate for sound policies for the fishing industry. In office for less than one month, he has delivered on that promise. Congressman Moulton’s strong and timely support of a sector-based solution offered by the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund was critical and well received. Ultimately, NOAA agreed to amend the Gulf of Maine cod for the remainder of this fishing year. Read the rest here 09:31

Letters to the Editor – Managing bycatch, Earl Southworth

alaska-halibut__frontBycatch from Seattle-based trawlers is killing Alaska’s fisheries and local fishing economy. In the early 1990s, my personal livelihood was negatively affected. Now, all Alaskan fishermen are starting to realize that they can keep fighting over the same, ever-shrinking slice of the pie, or they can band together and stand up to Seattle. Alaska fishermen seem to agree on something. In the past couple of weeks, the governor’s office has been hit by a flurry of resolutions and letters from Alaskans across all facets of Alaska’s fishing economy. Read the rest here 19:11

Letter to the Editor: Writer steamed about ‘commonly accepted methods’ for killing lobsters and other crustaceans

This is in response to the article in the Jan. 7 Life section titled “It doesn’t get much fresher: A novice TL cook faces a lobster challenge.” I read this article with utter disgust at the detail and almost giddiness that writer Mary Therese Biebel used in describing the boiling to death of a live creature. Plunging the lobster head-first into boiling water, it lurched backwards, recoiling from the heat and thrashing its tail against the metal pot while she held down the lid for the next 8 to 10 minutes. Sounds sadistic. Read the rest here 16:22

Welcome to Butt Hole Road – Please rethink shellfish farming in bays – Bob Maddex, Fenwick Island

For many of us who enjoy kayaking and other water sports on Little Assawoman Bay, the proposal by the State of Delaware to use oysters and clams to help clean up the bay seemed, at first, like a good idea. But now we have learned that the shellfish will be a part of an experiment involving a huge commercial operation,, Read the rest here 17:18

Letter: Token haddock gain can’t hide NOAA targets – Paul Cohan, Gloucester

pcohanThose fish are just hush money for the big boys, as well as a PR talking point to convince the general public that NOAA is really in our corner. As usual, New Bedford and Chatham remain unscathed despite a growing body of data which suggests a much higher degree of interaction between Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod stocks, which approaches interdependency. Read the rest here 09:35

Fishing crisis only follows NOAA’s failed policies – Paul Cohan, Gloucester

environmental-watchdog[1]Weren’t NOAA’s “catch shares” and “sector management” strategies supposed to have been the panacea for the fishery?  Weren’t they supposed to eliminate the widely acknowledged disparities between inshore and offshore, different gear types, big and little? Weren’t they supposed to eliminate the last vestiges of the failed Days At Sea management suite, with its associated trip limits, wasteful discards, and discriminatory spacial and temporal allocations? Read the rest here 13:49

Letter: Lobster contracts remain a mystery. Lloyd Kerry, Charlottetown

Editor:863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2 April showers bring Mayflowers; the fisherman’s mood sours. OK, I never said I was a poet, but I think the sentiment is true. All winter we’ve heard about meetings between the lobster fishers, the processors and the government, trying to solve the yearly price dilemma. The fishers aren’t making any money with the recent prices, and the processors say they aren’t making any. Read more here  17:00

Letter to the editor of Fishery Nation

Fishermen In Alaska Should Be Nervous As A Dartmouth College Girl About Community Fishing Associations Acting Like The New Nice Guy In Town. Yes the new nice guy in town is the Community Fishing Association  Read more here in the Art of the Rant 12:49

Reopen historic, lucrative Georges Bank scalloping grounds – Tim Healy

ROCKLAND — In a region where years of harsh, inflexible regulations have led to a dwindling fishing fleet and shrinking dockside revenues, the scallop fishery stands out as one of the few success stories, producing one of the most valuable and sought-after seafood products in the country. Read more here  11:48

Letter: Time for New England Fishery Management Council to open closed areas – Peter Hughes, Cape May, N.J.

gdt iconThe New England Fishery Management Council has before it several scientifically-backed proposals for updating area closures off the coast of Massachusetts. These closures have been off-limits to fishermen for almost 20 years, but updated science indicates they may not be best suited for balancing the needs of industry and conservation. Read [email protected]  01:04

Letter: Fishing regulations not sole culprit, – alcohol, substance abuse, and injuries

sct logoIn response to Auditi Guha’s article, “Life after sea: SouthCoast fishermen grapple with homelessness” in the Feb. 9, issue, I find it important to acknowledge homelessness among fishermen is not a one-dimensional issue Read [email protected] SCT  07:36

Letter: Welcome fishing aid no long-term answer – Sam Parisi, Gloucester

gdt iconThanks to Congressman John Tierney, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, Mayor Carolyn Kirk and others, we finally sent a strong message to Congress conveying that our fishermen need help. Now, let’s just see to it that these funds go to those who need it most — our fishermen. Read [email protected]  01:41

Your View: Groundfish fishery has struggled for generations

sct logoThe historical record makes it clear that the current New England groundfish fishery disaster is but one of many disasters that have threatened the industry over its 400-year history (“Our View: Complex fisheries need the best minds,” Dec. 22). The fishery has endured chronic crises since at least 1789, Read [email protected]  05:14

HEY JOHN BULLARD! Sam Novello has a message for you! – Whiting season needs to start earlier

gdt iconThe whiting resource is a healthy stock and overfishing is not occurring. Our economy and fishermen would benefit from an earlier opening — only 15 days earlier — of this fisheries. The reasons: Fishermen have no shrimp season this year. NOAA tells us there is no codfish to catch. What is going to happen to our shore fleet? I sent this note to NOAA and was told that it was not its decision, and to contact New England Fisheries Management Council. I did, and talked to Mr. Applegate, who is the head of Whiting Committee, and was told it would take until 2015 to address this matter. My thoughts are our fishing management really needs help. Our Northeast regional administrator, John Bullard, shared his views on Nov. 19 on challenges and opportunities in the fisheries. I believe John has the authority to open this area up; his challenge is to open this area — only 15 days earlier — and give fishermen an opportunity to fish it. [email protected]  11:12

Capt. Dave Marciano: Catch shares for tuna could end fishery

macianoThe end of the tuna fishery has begun. No one thought that giving one group of selected wealthy individuals their own special quota in the guise of conservation would lead to the demise of the groundfish fleet on Gloucester. But, yes, the greed-driven thugs got ideas as to how they could steal the resource for themselves. The weeks leading up to Christmas have historically been a very busy time for fishermen, but now, five years or so later, Gloucester Harbor is a dead stick. [email protected]  11:37

Letter: Stories show need to focus on NOAA science – Mike Dyer, Essex, Ma

gdt iconThe Nov. 21 Times included several illuminating items about the state of our fisheries. In his letter to the editor, Paul Cohan took NOAA regional administrator John Bullard out to the woodshed, shredding Bullard’s recent “My View” piece.  In the other, we learned that the New England Fisheries Management Council will not impose emergency restrictions on the big herring trawlers, against the protests of haddock fishermen, who say that the trawlers take too many haddock as bycatch. [email protected]  17:34

William A. Karp, Ph.D. Northeast Fisheries Science Center: Scientists, fishermen must work together

sct logoWith the same respect that I feel for those in New Bedford and elsewhere in New England who are under difficult and constraining groundfish quotas, I call upon the fishing industry and the academic community to work with us to overcome the negative politics and work together to improve our science and mutual understanding. [email protected] 07:52

Letter: Lingering questions over NOAA’s perpetrators – Marty Stillufsen , Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.

gdt iconI was on a first name basis with the late Times staff writer Richard Gaines, and I am writing to see if there are any answers to lingering questions surrounding issues he had covered within the fishing industry. Have Chuck Juliand (Northeast region attorney) and Dale Jones (head of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement) been promoted, given any new raises, reassigned — or fired? Furthermore, was special investigative master Judge Swartwood paid with Asset Forfeiture Funds or the operating budget of the National Marine Fisheries Service? [email protected] 04:08

Letter: Time for some fishing ‘civil disobedience’ – Stuart Diamond, Rockport, Ma (thank you, Stuart)

Here is a quote from Thoreau’s essay called “Civil Disobedience” which was originally titled “Resistance to Civil Government”: From the letter – The Gloucester fishermen are being tyrannized by John Bullard and the NOAA, robbed of their noble vocation by a bunch of bureaucratic bandicoots and losing their boats, homes and dignity as hard-working Americans. [email protected]  08:06