Category Archives: New England

Cushing captain to admit guilt in deaths of crew members

Christopher A. Hutchinson, 30, is scheduled to enter guilty pleas to two counts of manslaughter at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26. In exchange, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has agreed to recommend a sentence of 48 months in prison with credit for time he has served while awaiting trial. That prison sentence would be followed by three years of supervised release. The charges carried a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. He has been held since March 2017. Hutchinson is charged with two counts of seaman’s manslaughter for the deaths of Tom Hammond, 27, of Rockland, and 15-year-old Tyler Sawyer, who lived in St. George and Waldoboro. They were crew members aboard Hutchinson’s lobsterboat, No Limits, which sank Nov. 1, 2014. >click to read<18:28

Long Island turbine siting – ‘You’re impacting the whole resource’

Fishermen and city officials raised the alarm Tuesday about potential wind turbines in prime fishing and scalloping grounds south of Long Island. About 55 people attended a meeting with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to discuss the agency’s evaluation of possible offshore wind locations within a 2,300-square-mile portion of the New York Bight, between Long Island and New Jersey. Scalloper Eric Hansen said 40 to 50 percent of the scalloping grounds fished by New Bedford scallopers is within the area the federal government is considering leasing to wind developers, and if fishing there becomes dangerous, people will fish harder in the remaining places. “You’re impacting the whole resource,” he said. >click to read<13:35

Discovery of immature lobsters in deep Down East waters may be good news for industry

The discovery of baby lobsters in the deep waters off eastern Maine could be good news for the future of the U.S.’s most valuable fishery. Since 1989, scientists led by University of Maine professor Richard Wahle have looked for baby lobsters at 100 shallow-water test sites from Rhode Island to New Brunswick to monitor the health of this fishery. The number of babies found in the samples started to decline about a decade ago, leading scientists to worry that a population bust may be looming. “We couldn’t find the settlers,” Wahle said Monday. “Increasingly, we found they weren’t showing up where we had always found them.” >click to read<07:42

The Visionaries of Evolution: The Future of Fish Farming May Be Indoors

If it catches on, indoor aquaculture could play a critical role in meeting the needs of a swelling human population, Nordic CEO Erik Heim says. He believes it could do so without the pollution and other potential threats to wild fish that can accompany traditional aquaculture—although the indoor approach does face environmental challenges of its own. “There’s always some risk, but the risk of the land-based system is a small percentage of the risk of an outdoor system,” says Michael Timmons, an environmental engineer at Cornell University who has studied aquaculture for more than 20 years and is not involved in the Nordic project. >click to read<16:54

Man killed in Massachusetts shark attack, first since 1936

A man who was swimming near a beach off the coast of Massachusetts was killed Saturday when he was attacked by a shark, officials say, making it the state’s first fatal shark attack in more than 80 years. The incident happened at about 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday when the man, believed to be in his mid-20s, was swimming near Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, a town on Cape Cod.
The victim suffered serious injuries and CPR was performed at the beach, but he was later pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital. >link<15:46

A lobster named Roscoe was exposed to marijuana smoke – “Hot box” lobsters touted

In an experiment to test the affect of cannabis on lobsters, Roscoe the lobster was placed for a few minutes in a covered box with about two inches of water at the bottom. Marijuana smoke was then blown into the water at the bottom of the box. Gill’s hypothesis is that the treatment sedates the animals and could make their deaths less traumatic. “I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” said Gill, who has owned Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound for seven years. Alrighty then! >click to read<11:37

Maine’s rebuilt scallop fishery looks to year of more growth

Maine is known for producing scallops that are somewhat bigger than other East Coast states, and some are plucked from the icy waters by hand during winter. Others are harvested by boats with fishing gear. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has said strict management of the harvest has allowed the scallops to rebuild from collapse in the mid-2000s. The state is looking to continue that trend this year with a season that keeps fishermen restricted to tight limits on the number of pounds they can harvest. Fishermen are also limited in the number of days they can fish, and the state is looking to trim a few days. >click to read<10:19

Dear Senator Warren, I will be exploring my options

Dear Senator Warren, I am a lifelong Democrat, have been Party Chairman in Gloucester, Ma., and have supported you in the past. I find myself very disappointed, Senator, as I continue my quest of supporting the remaining fishermen of Gloucester, the Gloucester Fishermens Wives Association, Captain Sam Novello, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, and others in the industry. In the last three months, I have sent numerous emails, called your Washington office, your Boston office, and left messages for you, and no one has bothered to call, or answer back! I have become discouraged that I can’t count on you, so what am I supposed to do? >click to read< by Sam Parisi 23:43

Maine lobsterman sentenced for trying to ram skiff with 2 men aboard

A Vinalhaven man will serve 45 days in jail for attempting to ram his lobster boat into another boat that was carrying two men. Carl B. Gross, 32, received his sentence this week following a deferred sentencing agreement. As part of the agreement, Gross pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct and operating watercraft to endanger, according to court documents. >click to read<21:20

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative Brings New Shell Lobster from Trap to Table in Chicago

he Maine Lobster industry is well into the 2018 peak season, when lobsters shed their shells and a brand new, softer shell emerges. The result is Maine New Shell Lobster, a sweeter, more delicate meat – known as Maine’s best kept secret. Following the industry’s first-ever live broadcast, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) brought Maine New Shell Lobster to Chicago, just ahead of the official National Lobster Day on Sept. 25. >click to read<14:59

Many US lobster companies coping well with tariff impact

As the trade war between the United States and China continues, with indications that it may escalate even further, most U.S.-based lobster companies have seen their exports to China fall dramatically. Despite the decrease, many companies say the market for lobster is still strong enough to keep the impact to their companies at a minimum. Some companies that never invested heavily into Chinese exports said 2018 has been a better-than-average year. >click to read<12:36

“Recipe For Disaster” – Filmmaker documents ravages of green crabs

More than a year ago, Gloucester filmmaker Nubar Alexanian laid out his airtight case against the rapacious European green crabs for Bruce Tarr and the incredulous state lawmaker had a suitable response: “There’s a horror movie happening in my district and I didn’t even know about it,” Tarr told Alexanian. As Alexanian’s new documentary short film, “Recipe For Disaster,” makes clear, the call is coming from inside the Great Marsh, which stretches from Gloucester to the New Hampshire border. “In the film, we say there are millions and millions of the green crabs here already,” Alexanian said. “Now I would say it’s billions and billions.” Watch the video trailer. >click to read<17:44

Is a soft-shell green crab industry viable in New England? NOAA Fisheries awards Manomet $267,440 to investigate

Manomet has been awarded a grant of $267,440 by the NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program to expand work to develop a lucrative green crab fishery in New England and provide a new source of economic opportunity for fishers and coastal communities. The grant will be used to implement long-term green crab population monitoring, explore new pathways to developing the soft-shell green crab fishery, increase marketing and outreach efforts, and begin to determine the economic viability of a soft-shell fishery. >click to read<16:12

New Bedford revives push to seize Northeast Fisheries Center

Appealing to the new management team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, elected officials from New Bedford are newly appealing to relocate the Northeast Fisheries Science Center from Woods Hole to New Bedford, arguing the change will help the federal government to more effectively engage with members of an active fishing community. In a letter Tuesday to Acting Administrator Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, officials cited media reports suggesting that NOAA had ruled out every possible location for the center except Woods Hole in Falmouth. In asking for reconsideration, they also demanded the federal government release its “business case analysis” of potential locations in the Northeast. >click to read<20:46

Five Wild Days Aboard a New England Squid Boat

Corey Harris wasn’t concerned about the storm. The captain of Rhonda Denise, a 77-foot commercial trawler, he’d been stuck in port all week, as two nor’easters, in early March, slammed the New England coast back-to-back. Now a third brewed offshore. But Harris saw an opportunity. “We’ll thread the needle between the storms,” he told me over the phone. We’d catch as much squid as possible, then haul ass back to port before the next system hit. Bring seasickness medicine, he added. “It’ll be rough—but worth it.”>click to read<15:51

Charter boat gets stuck on sandbar in Seabrook

Captain Bob’s Lobster Tours and Fishing Charters had to cancel an outing Saturday when the 42-foot Miss Ava Lee got stuck on a sandbar. Capt. Jeanne Bailey said Capt. Bob Tonkin was expected to be stranded for at least six hours as the tide came in. He kept himself busy by cleaning the bottom of the vessel. Sand shoaling in Hampton Harbor has been causing serious issues for those who navigate the waters for work and recreation. The area was last dredged in 2012 and the channel is currently only 20 feet wide in some places. There has been federal legislation filed to get both Hampton Harbor and Portsmouth Harbor dredged, but until then, Bailey is hoping for better markers in Seabrook. >click to read<13:48

The View From Swamptown: Donald W. Wilcox Sr. was a true man of Narragansett Bay

Don Wilcox was born to spend his days out on the waters of Narragansett Bay. Its harbors and coves were as familiar to him as the streets and lanes are to a postman on his beat. If someone were to tell me that his blood flowed saltier than yours or mine, well, I’d have no trouble believing it. I expect he was never happier than when he was hauling in a full dredge loaded with mussels, seagulls squawking and swinging through the air above him, starfish and spider crabs scurrying around between his feet. That was his world. That was his life. Claimed by two different seaside villages, Wilcox – Apponaug’s most prominent boatbuilder, and Wickford’s king mussel man – was at ease and at home in both places, pleased as punch to be living both lives. >click to read<09:09

Canadian lobster exporters feel ripple effect of U.S.-China trade war

The United States-China trade war is creating choppy seas for Canada’s lobster exporters. It has led to the dumping of Maine lobster — now priced out of China — in other Asian markets and Europe, said Jack Liu, president of North American operations for Zoneco, a large Chinese seafood company with a Nova Scotia operation. Dumping is when a country or company exports a product in a foreign market at a price that is lower than the price in the exporter’s domestic market. “All of a sudden they lost the Chinese market due to the 25 per cent tariff and what are they going to do? They are going to dump those amount of lobster into other parts of the world market. We have seen that,” said Liu. >click to read<19:08

Bid to reduce right whale deaths ‘extremely effective,’ Canadian officials say

A year after the population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales suffered devastating losses, Canadian officials say measures taken this season to protect the species have worked. With the summer fishing season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence drawing to a close, the federal Fisheries Department confirmed Friday that not one whale has died as a result of a ship strike or fishing gear entanglement — the main causes for most of the deaths last season. In all, 17 right whales died last year — 12 of them in Canadian waters,,, The federal government responded with a series of protection measures, which included speed restrictions for boats, increased surveillance and a series of closures of fishing areas where right whales were spotted. >click to read<11:36

Wahle named director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine

University of Maine marine sciences research professor Richard Wahle has been named director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, effective Sept. 1. He succeeds Robert Bayer, who has directed the institute since 1995 and is retiring from UMaine this year. Wahle joined UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences in 2009. He is based at the University’s Darling Marine Center, where he will continue to teach and conduct research. In 1989, Wahle founded the American Lobster Settlement Index, a program that now monitors the number of juvenile lobsters that settle to the seafloor at over 80 sampling sites from Rhode Island to Atlantic Canada. The index sheds light on the ocean processes that deliver lobster larvae to their rocky coastal nurseries, and serves as a predictor of trends in recruitment to the fishery. >click to read<10:36

Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op celebrates 40 years

In 1978, Bruce Fernald and Dave Thomas went to consult with an attorney about starting a fishermen’s cooperative and left the attorney’s office with a contract. “We had a purchase and sale agreement and away we went,” said Thomas. They were purchasing an existing lobster buying business, one that had been operated by Lee Ham for nearly two decades. Ham put the dock up for sale just as Thomas, Fernald and other fishermen from the island were contemplating creating a member-owned cooperative. The co-op began with about 25 members, Thomas said, and the first couple of years of the operation were bumpy. >click to read<11:35

Sam Parisi: Some acknowledgments and concerns

As a third generation fisherman, I am very concerned as to where our oldest industry, the fishing industry is headed. My concern is for the younger generation that is not interested in making fishing their occupation, and a next generation of young people from fishing families where fathers are telling them to do something else because our government has imposed so many restrictions that have robbed them of opportunity, while reducing local fishing fleets to a bare minimum. If we don’t do something we will not have any of our kids going fishing, so what then? Who will take the helm? >click to read< 20:19

2 Accused Of Stealing, Killing Maine Dog, Possibly As Revenge – The People are Pissed!

Two men in Maine who are accused of kidnapping and killing a 6-year-old pug mix named Franky whose owner thinks his dog’s death may have been retribution after the pug got into a fight with a dog owned by one of the men. Franky disappeared from the tiny seaside town of Winter Harbor in late August and his owner, Phillip Torrey, alerted police that he thought his dog had been stolen by two friends who had worked the stern crew on his lobster fishing boat, according to news reports. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department issued arrest warrants for the two men — Nathan A. Burke, 37, of Hancock, and Justin T. Chipman, 22, of Winter Harbor — on Sept. 1. >click to read<12:11

Close call for crewmember of the F/V Glutton

The emergency radio call came at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday, when Capt. Beau Gribbin of the F/V Glutton reported that one of his crew had fallen overboard and needed immediate medical attention. William Bowen, 24, had gotten caught in lobster gear and pulled 60 to 70 feet underwater for at least three to four minutes, Gribbin confirmed on Tuesday. “We were almost to the end of setting traps with only three left and he got tangled up and ripped overboard,” he said. “It does happen. Usually the guy gets knocked overboard and surfaces pretty quickly, but in this case Will was stuck.”  >click to read<

A lobster wholesaler is suing one of its part owners, alleging he embezzled nearly $1.5 million from the business.

Sea Salt, which operates as a wholesaler and a restaurant on Route 1 in Saco, alleges that the part owner, Matthew Bellerose of Scarborough, set up a sham customer with another man and then sent the phony client thousands of dollars worth of lobsters without billing the customer. The lobsters were then resold, the lawsuit says. The suit says Bellerose and Vincent J. Mastropasqua of Portland, who also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, set up a company called “East End Transport” and established a fictitious customer of Sea Salt named “Mastro’s.” Both businesses listed their addresses as a UPS store in Scarborough. Mastropasqua is a part-time UPS employee. >click to read< “08:12

How New England’s Jonah Crab Turned From Garbage To Delicacy

Ten years ago, the Jonah crab was basically garbage: a bycatch that would turn up in lobster traps and, usually, be tossed back into the cold New England water. That’s all beginning to change.
The Jonah crab is a medium-sized crab, ranging from brownish to reddish to greyish, boasting big claws tipped with black. During the winter, when most of the year’s crabs are caught along the Atlantic coast from Maine down to Rhode Island, it has an exceedingly hard shell, requiring a hammer or a saw to open. It’s mostly served as a plate of the large claws, with someone else taking care of scoring and cracking them open for the customer. >click to read<15:47

Premium Brands notches up yet another acquisition with Ready Seafood

Canadian food producer Premium Brands Holdings is adding yet another company to its extensive list of acquisitions this year with the purchase of US-based processor Ready Seafood Co. Premium Brands said in a statement today (4 September) it has signed a “definitive agreement” to acquire Ready Seafood located in Portland, Maine. The company was founded in 2004 by brothers John and Brendan Ready and has annual sales of around US$100m. Ready Seafood processes, distributes and markets lobsters for the US market from its three production facilities in Maine. >click to read<18:47

Cape Ann Seafood Exchange plans to reopen Tuesday

The Cape Ann Seafood Exchange expects to resume landing fish Tuesday, almost two weeks after the U.S. Labor Department effectively shuttered the business by seizing its bank accounts because of unpaid court-ordered damages. Kristian Kristensen, the owner of the fish auction on 27 Harbor Loop, said Thursday night that he had received final paper work from Labor Department officials that unfroze his business and personal bank accounts. “Now we can start putting things back in order, pay some people and hopefully start landing fish again on Tuesday, the day after the holiday,” Kristensen said. “That’s the plan.” >click to read<15:54

Will Congress reel in regulations on America’s fishermen?

Sep. 03, 2018 – 5:09 – Fishing industry says the U.S. government is crushing them with regulations. >click here to play video< 12:03

Coast Guard, local fire department medevac fisherman off Provincetown

Coast Guard crews along with the Provincetown Fire Department medically evacuated a fisherman Saturday morning after he fell overboard approximately two miles off the coast of Provincetown. The captain of the scallop boat Glutton notified the Coast Guard at approximately 7:15 a.m. that one of his crew, a 24-year-old man, had fallen overboard and became entangled in fishing gear. The fisherman freed himself, resurfaced and was recovered by the Glutton crew. (photo credit Building Provincetown) >click to read<11:37