Category Archives: New England

Offshore wind project raises questions for lobstermen

A Gulf of Maine offshore wind power initiative Maine Governor Janet Mills rolled out late last year has raised concern in the lobster fishing community,,, Mills has said the Governor’s Energy Office should “work closely with Maine’s commercial fishing industry,,, The Maine Lobstermen’s Association agrees collaboration is necessary. Maine is also taking part in a federally led task force on offshore wind with New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Named the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Regional, >click to read< 19:45

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind.

In the selection of Gina Raimondo as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the offshore wind industry would get a champion in Washington. What influence she could bring to bear for the emerging energy sector remains to be seen, but if confirmed to her new position in the Biden cabinet, Raimondo would oversee federal fisheries regulators who have raised some of the concerns about potential negative impacts of erecting what could be many hundreds of wind turbines in the ocean waters off southern New England. >click to read<09:45

Term limits bumping four members from NEFMC

The New England Fishery Management Council will assume a decidedly different composition later this year when four councilors with almost 40 years combined tenure exit because of term limits. On Aug. 10, the terms of Chairman John Quinn of Massachusetts, Matthew McKenzie of Connecticut, Chairman John Quinn of Massachusetts, Matthew McKenzie of Connecticut, Vincent Balzano and Terry Alexander, both of Maine, are set to expire. >click to read< 17:50

Stocks head for weekly loss as economy’s coronavirus pain deepens – Seafood industry hit hard

A federal report says the coronavirus pandemic has taken away about a third of the commercial fishing industry’s revenue. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says revenues from catch brought to the docks by commercial fishermen fell 29% over the course of the first seven months of the year. The report says revenues declined every month from March to July, including a 45% decrease in July. The NOAA report says the seafood industry at large has been hit hard by restaurant closures, social distancing protocols and the need for safety measures. >click to read< 09:15

Capt. Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford has passed away

Captain Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford died January 12, 2021 peacefully at home. He was the husband of Claudette E. (Verville) Swain. Born in New Bedford, son of the late Robert J. and Helen F. (Goss) Swain, he lived in New Bedford all of his life. He was formerly employed as a fisherman for many years retiring as captain of F/V Ambassador. Doug had a great relationship with his crew and the owner Geir Tonnessen. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Doug received the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars. >click to read< 10:40

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 88′ Master Marine Steel Scalloper, Cat 3412, Kort nozzle, 2 Detroit gensets

To review specifications, and information, and 16 photos, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<11:39

Lifejackets for Lobstermen Project works to get PFDs on every fisherman

From 2000-2016, the Centers for Disease Control charted 204 commercial fishing fatalities from falls overboard. None of the fishermen recovered were wearing a lifejacket, and 108 of the fishermen’s bodies were never found, according to a report of the Lifejacket Project, which was launched to identify solutions and increase fishermen’s interest in wearing lifejackets. In its recently published, 20-page summary report, the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing chronicles stories from the Lifejackets for Lobstermen Project and provides examples of the fishing community’s interest and engagement with the project. >click to read< 05:46

Public Information Sessions for Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Proposed Rule Begin Tonight

To give the public an opportunity to learn about the proposed rule and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, we are holding 4 public information sessions. The information sessions run from 6:30-9 pm,,, We will be opening the sessions at 6 pm for troubleshooting, so please log on early. The sessions are focused on the proposed requirements for particular areas, though you may attend any session, and ask questions about any area. Tuesday, January 12: Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, LMA3, Wednesday, January 13: Outer Cape Massachusetts, LMA1 Massachusetts and LMA1 New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 19: Maine, southern focus ,Wednesday, January 20: Maine, northern focus. >click to read, and for links< 12:15

Qualified Applicants Sought for the New England Fishery Management Council

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking qualified individuals for nomination to the upcoming open seat on the New England Fishery Management Council. Candidates, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, must be knowledgeable and experienced in ways related to fishery resources of New England. Qualified female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Nomination application kits will be made available upon request and are due to DMF by the end of the day on Friday, February 5, 2021. >click to read< 13:19

New Bedford: The Codfather should get a Trump Pardon

Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael and all the good he’s done will most likely agree with me that he’s worthy of a presidential pardon. He was convicted on federal charges that he bilked fishing regulations to increase his profits. Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael understands the thousands of local families who depended on the capital and labor that his fleet created, sustaining generations of fishermen, workers’ salaries, the fish house jobholders, lumpers, ice-packers, fuel suppliers,,, by Phil Paleologos, >click to read< 08:22

What happened to Nicholas Fudge, also known as “Duffy” on Wicked Tuna? 

Reality TV shows are known to make fans fall in love with the stars. It is common for fans to get to know the celebs as real people as they go along with them in their adventures. Therefore, when one of them dies mysteriously, the loss is felt deeply. The death of Duffy left all his fans shaken and in grief. Of course, fans wanted to know what happened to their favourite fisherman. >click to read< 15:41

Deadline to Apply for Seafood Trade Relief Program Coming Up

“U.S. fishermen affected by retaliatory tariffs need to file an application for this program by Friday, Jan. 15,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “We still have funding available, and these direct payments will help them recover from the effects of retaliatory tariffs on their ability to make a living.” STRP is available for the following types of seafood: Atka mackerel, Crab (Dungeness, King, Snow, Southern Tanner, Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herrings, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna, Turbot. To apply, visit farmers.gov/seafood or call 877-508-8364. >click to read< 12:20

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his commerce secretary

The Biden transition team announced the president-elect’s choice of Raimondo for this key economic position Thursday night. The agency has a critical role in everything from technology policy to climate change to promoting American industry. Beyond that, the statement said she has “worked to quickly bring the state economy back from the depths” of the pandemic; “expanded clean energy jobs and put Rhode Island on a path to achieving 100% renewable energy.” >click to read< 10:40

New Jersey Offshore wind developer is hosting a webinar for recreational fishermen this coming Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting is to get feedback from recreational fishermen. The group has brought on for-hire vessel operator Captain Adam Nowalsky as the recreational fisheries representative and liaison. >click to read<

Report: Lifejackets for Lobstermen a success

The folks from the Lifejackets for Lobstermen campaign had a challenging mission: spread the word to more than 500 lobstermen of the life-saving benefits of wearing personal flotation devices while fishing. And they weren’t sure how they’d be received by the lobstering community that largely has resisted wearing lifejackets and other safety devices because they were uncomfortable, impeded their work or were regarded as too expensive. “When we first hit the road, we weren’t sure what to expect,”,, “From Day One, the lobstermen were very open to talking with us and trying on the different styles of lifejackets.” photos, a pdf report, >click to read< 08:47

F/V Emmy Rose owner claims no responsibility for sinking of vessel

The Portland fishing vessel Emmy Rose sank in November, and according to a new limitation action in federal court, the owners of the boat say they shouldn’t be held responsible. A lawyer for Boat Aaron & Melissa, Inc. is asking the court to exonerate or limit the company’s liability. Four fishermen were lost, including three from Maine. Video, >click to read< 07:48

Proposal to help young fishermen becomes law

The bill, co-authored in the House by Rep. Seth Moulton and signed into law Tuesday by President Donald Trump, addresses the succession void that many traditional fisheries are experiencing as the pipeline of entry-level crew and prospective captains has dried up. The new law provides $2 million in funding to distribute grants of up to $200,000 to support and enhance local and regional training, education and technology development for entry-level commercial fishermen. >click to read< 17:14

Gulf of Maine: Fishermen Worry About Rapid Pace Of Wind Development

In late November, the Mills administration announced that the state would seek a federal lease for up to 12 floating wind turbines off southern Maine that could produce enough energy for more than 70,000 homes. “We think there’s a real opportunity for Maine to be a leader in the country on floating offshore wind,” says Dan Burgess, (you’re full of crap, kid!) who leads the governor’s energy office. But if Gov. Mills wants to be in the driver’s seat, fishermen say she should take her foot off the gas, and step on the brakes. >click to read< 07:45

Modernizing a Fishing Vessel for Optimal Performance

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) is supporting O’Hara Corporation as they modernize their 204′ factory trawler, Alaska Spirit. The vessel has been successfully fishing Alaska’s Bering Sea since 1989 when it was converted from an offshore supply vessel to a head and gut factory trawler. O’Hara has committed to a complete vessel overhaul to improve habitability, efficiency and optimize vessel performance. The multi-year project kicked off in 2017,,,The modernization work completed thus far has occurred during normal down time, meaning no seasons have been missed during the process. >click to read< 12:46

North Atlantic Right Whales – Proposed Pot/Trap Fisheries Regulations – Available for Public Comment

Today, we released our proposed modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to further reduce the impacts of entanglement in fishing gear on right whales in U.S. waters. The proposed modifications focus on the Northeast Jonah crab and lobster trap/pot fisheries, which deploy about 93 percent of the buoy lines fished in areas where right whales occur. In 2021, the team will be asked to recommend risk reduction measures for other Atlantic trap/pot and gillnet fisheries. We also released the associated Draft Environmental Impact Statement. >click to read< 12:02

Coronavirus: Coast Guard offers extension on credentials, medical certificates, and course approvals

Coast Guard officials have announced an extension of merchant marine credential endorsements, medical certificates and course approvals to meet challenges caused by the global novel coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the Coast Guard advised that due to these changes there may be a backlog in the processing of credentials and course approvals, especially near the end of the extension dates.,, Under the Coast Guard’s current statutory authority, the expiration dates of merchant mariner credentials may be extended for no more than one year. >click to read< 14:34

Louis A. Spencer of South Dartmouth Ma., Commercial Fisherman, Businessman, Innovator, has passed away

Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Louis and Ruth (Bernard) Spencer, he lived most of his life in Dartmouth and on the waterfront of New Bedford.  Louis came from a long line of whalemen and commercial fisherman based out of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and New Bedford. He also fished on various Spencer family draggers and quahog skiffs with his father in high school as well as through college. After graduation, Louis used his love of the sea and his mechanical abilities to secure a job working as chief engineer on several offshore crab processing vessels,,, In the late 90’s he cofounded his own company, Advanced Marine Technologies with his brother-in-law,,, Lou was well known on the New Bedford waterfront and loved by everyone.  His employees were especially fond of him and his generosity and kindness.  He was the President of the company up until his death. >click to read< 13:05

A lobsterman races the calendar in a COVID-disrupted season

Steven Holler walked off the back of his rumbling lobster boat, the November Gale, and stood on the pier. It was October, just six weeks before the end of the season, six weeks for Holler to make the money he needed to get through the winter. Even in ordinary years, fall was a money-making sprint,,, But this year was exceptional, thrown into chaos by the pandemic. Restaurants had closed and lobster prices plummeted. Some predicted doom for the industry. Holler could have opted to sit out the season, collecting unemployment and COVID relief checks. In fact he had stayed home in the spring. But, he was restless. He didn’t like the idea of sitting at home. So in June, Holler gambled and gave up government assistance in order to put his boat back in the water. >click to read< 09:39

Coronavirus has hit commercial fishing hard

With restaurants and supply chains disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, two-fifths of commercial fishers from Maine to North Carolina did not go fishing earlier this year, a new study shows. The study, which covers March to June and included 258 fishers, also examined data on fish landings and found that the catch for some species, such as squid and scallops, decreased compared with previous years. The catch for other species, such as black sea bass and haddock, was on par with or higher than previous years, suggesting that many fishermen fished as much as they had been before the pandemic, while earning less income. “They may have kept fishing to pay their bills or crew, or to maintain their livelihoods or their quotas until markets rebound,” >click to read< 13:32

DFO has a new plan for northern cod stocks. It doesn’t include more fishing

The rebuilding plan, made public with little fanfare on Dec. 21 after years in development, outlines the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s objectives to boost fish numbers and the management techniques it intends to use to measure any progress starting in 2021. Northern cod numbers have ticked upwards since the 1992 moratorium brought harvesting and processing to a screeching halt. A small stewardship fishery now exists, with 1,865 licence holders allotted a maximum harvest of around 12,000 tonnes of cod in 2020. But 28 years later, stocks remain well below pre-moratorium levels, and in DFO terminology, remain squarely in a “critical zone.” >click to read< 11:15

Obituary: Michael Tarasevich III, of South Kingstown, passed away unexpectedly

Born in Glen Cove, New York, he was the son of Michael  Tarasevich, Jr. and the late Margaret (Peg) M. (Monahan) Tarasevich. He attended the University of Rhode Island earning his Bachelor of Science in Geology. After college Mike started working as a commercial fisherman and eventually became the captain and owner of the commercial vessel F/V Black Sheep.  He spent 20 years working out of Point Judith, as well as Newport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Michael’s name to The Point Judith Fisherman Memorial Foundation. >click to read< 08:24

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 38′ Flowers Lobster Boat, 450HP Cummins

To review specifications, and information, and 10 photos, December 2020 – New engine gear, shatt cutlass bearing, prop, new deck, new rope locker and lobster tanks, all new Imron hull coating, new fuel tank, new hatches, >click here<, To see all the boats in this series >click here<12:15

Proposed Modifications revealed to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

Today, we released our proposed modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to further reduce the impacts of entanglement in fishing gear on right whales in U.S. waters.,,, In 2021, the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team will be asked to recommend risk reduction measures for other Atlantic trap/pot and gillnet fisheries. We opened a public comment period on both of these documents. >click to read<  Statement from Commissioner Keliher on Today’s Proposed Whale Regulation Announcement by NOAA>click to read< 10:58

Commercial Fisherman Larry H. Robbins has passed away

Larry Harold Robbins, 45, left this world too soon Dec. 21, 2020. Your wings were ready, but our hearts were not; Heaven has gained an amazing soul and we love you big, big. He spent his entire life fishing, scalloping and spent this previous summer on a lobster boat with his son, Larry, who he loved more than life itself and took such great pride in him. Larry was able to share his love for the sea with Little Larry, which is now instilled in him. Larry has spent his adult life on many different boats, from Maine to Alaska, which was his love of life at sea. >click to read< 08:02

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

As the New Year is on the horizon, please consider implementation of a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of a U.S. Fish Bill. I mentioned it in a letter to the editor, Letter: Can a fish bill, like Farm Bill, aid fishermen? on January 9, 2015, and have continued posting about, hoping the idea will gain industry wide support. I have tried to get our local politicians to help me draft a U.S Fish Bill, which would serve the U.S Fishing Industry, like the U.S. Farm Bill does for the agriculture industry. >click to read< Sam Parisi, Gloucester 09:11