Category Archives: New England

Stonington fishermen to hold open house on Saturday at Gambardella’s Wholesale Seafood at the Town Dock

The town’s commercial fishermen will hold an open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at the Gambardella’s Wholesale Seafood location at the Town Dock. The event is being billed as an opportunity for residents to meet fishermen, local retailers and restaurants and find out what types of seafood are for sale locally this time of year and how the fish are processed and prepared for the local market. There will be an opportunity for people to go aboard a working fishing boat and learn how it operates as well as meet fishermen, ask them questions and learn what issues are concerning to them. >click to read<17:32

This strange, lobster-fueled border dispute off Maine has been simmering long before Trump

The conflict was recently cast into international focus after reports that U.S. Border Patrol agents were stopping Canadian fishermen in the area, causing a modest uproar in the Great White North. It was likely the first time many Americans had even heard of Machias Seal Island, if the story broke through at all. Once dubbed the “Coldest War,” the quiet dispute over the tiny, meadow-topped island and its surrounding waters has been simmering for more than two centuries, consisting of puffins, lobster, and a few legendarily provincial Mainers. And this dispute has been festering since the Revolutionary War. >click to read<09:47

BASE Seafood Auction set to unveil revolutionary software to buoy groundfish industry

In his dimly lit second floor office surrounded by artifacts of the past, from antique license plates to model fishing vessels to family photos, Richie Canastra resurrected memories of the fish auction. “You know many people said I was crazy? I was young,” Canastra, the co-owner of the Buyers and Sellers Exchange (BASE). Canastra and his brother Ray, started the Whaling City Auction in 1994 when the city-owned auction ended. The display style auction  crafted by the brothers caused friction within the industry. It promoted a buyer beware attitude, which forced buyers to pay what they bid, unlike the old system, when buyers often altered their bid after they won by questioning the quality of the landing. >click to read<09:01

Reps. Poliquin and Pingree co-sponsor amendment to HR-200

In an effort to cut unnecessary federal fees for lobstermen, dealers and processors, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-2nd Dist.) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-1st Dist.) joined forces across the political aisle to amend a fisheries bill that is currently before the U.S. Senate. The bill, H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, passed the U.S. House 222-193 on July 11. The amendment, offered by Poliquin and co-sponsored by Pingree, directs NOAA to conduct a study of all fees imposed on all sectors of the lobster industry. >click to read<14:03

Testing ropeless fishing gear

A test of ropeless fishing gear could protect the livelihoods of lobster fishermen and lives of North Atlantic right whales. Industry is totally against this, Lobsterman David Casoni announced from his Margaret M fishing boat tied up at the dock of the Sandwich Marina, Gear manufacturer Marco Flagg had stepped aboard holding his cylinder attached to a mesh bag filled with rope and floats. But, Casoni said, the states 1200 commercial lobstermen could be interested in the equipment under certain conditions. >click to read<08:54

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

New Bedford: NOAA lifts groundfish ban – Approval in place immediately

Nearly eight months to the day after NOAA closed groundfishing for Carlos Rafael vessels, the agency lifted the ban on Thurday that had put 80 fishermen out of work. NOAA announced the approval for lease-only operations plan for Sector IX and allocated quota for Sector VII. “Continuing to withhold this amount of quota from the fishery significantly hampers the ability of the fishery as a whole to operate,” NOAA said in the 17 page document. >click to read<10:59

NOAA Fisheries sent this bulletin at 07/19/2018 11:16 AM EDT-NOAA Fisheries Approves Lease-Only Operations Plan for Sector 9, Amendment to Sector 7 Operations Plan, and Quota Allocations for Sectors 7 and 9 – >click to read<11:39

62nd Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing – Veterans hit the seas for annual fishing trip

The boats set off from the Quincy Yacht Club in Houghs Neck on Wednesday morning. Local lobstermen and charter fishermen donated their boats and their time to take the veterans on a three-hour fishing trip around Quincy Bay and Boston Harbor. When the veterans returned around 1:30 p.m. with about 20 flounder in tow, they were greeted with a Thanksgiving-style lunch and entertainment, including a DJ. The fish they caught will be donated. This year marked the 62nd year for the fishing tradition and a particularly special year for organizer Michael Cheney, who has been involved with the event for 41 years. This year, Cheney’s father, 94-year-old Tom Cheney, was the guest of honor. Lots of photo’s! >click to read<09:19

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

Lucrative seaweed pits Canadian company against Maine homeowners in court battle

Cheryl Sawtelle grabs her binoculars – one of three pairs scattered on her living room couch – and peers at the water below her house on Cobscook Bay. “Look, they’re out there again,” she says. “We’ve lost. I’m telling you, it’s too late.” The objects of her distress are two wide skiffs, practically motionless on the buttery surface. In the boats, Kenny Sulkowski and Eric Newell are sweating as they tug at 10-foot rakes to cut and pull heavy seaweed aboard. They clamber atop a growing mound of the rubbery green weed as they work. To Sawtelle, the presence of the men is a dire sign that landowners along the nation’s most northeastern coastline are losing their battle over who owns the seaweed. It’s a peculiarly Maine battle. >click to read<15:05

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

Deepwater Wind Offers Offshore Information, Fishermen Want Compensation

The Providence-based company recently announced a program to inform fishermen of where and when construction and other work occurs at the site of three wind facilities and their electric cables. The offshore wind developer hired liaisons to offer dockside information to fishermen at main fishing ports such as New Bedford, Mass., Point Judith, and Montauk, N.Y. Daily activity will be posted online about surveys, construction, and maintenance work. The updates will also be broadcast twice daily on boating radio channels, according to Deepwater Wind. Bonnie Brady, president of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the outreach by Deepwater Wind is window dressing. Deepwater Wind is “not doing anything at all. it’s a big, giant schmooze,” she said.,, Richard Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, said he speaks with fishermen daily in Point Judith and he’s hearing the fishing stocks are down around the Block Island Wind Farm. >click to read<19:53

Coast Guard medevacs sick fisherman 6 miles off Nantucket

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircrew medevaced a 40-year-old man experiencing abdominal pain Tuesday six miles southwest of Nantucket. The captain of the fishing vessel Provider notified Coast Guard watchstanders shortly after 2 p.m. of the sick crew member.  An Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was conducting prescheduled training in the area at the time and diverted to assist. The aircrew hoisted the fisherman to the helicopter and flew him back to Air Station Cape Cod where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel.  -USCG-19:29

Island Fishermen’s Wives Association Knife distribution effort aims to keep lobstermen safe

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial fishing is consistently ranked as the most deadly occupation in U.S. industry. Sadly, that comes as no surprise to anyone who lives along the coast of Maine, especially the women who are members of the Island Fishermen’s Wives. For lobstermen, one of the greatest risks is becoming entangled in the line that connects lobster traps to their marker buoys and being pulled overboard. >click to read<19:01

Maine: Pending bait shortage poses another threat to New England lobster industry

Regulators want to cap this year’s herring landings at last year’s levels, or 50,000 metric tons, and slash next year’s quota of the most popular lobster bait from 110,000 to 30,000 metric tons. They want to do this to offset record low numbers of newborn herring that are entering the fishery to replace those that are caught, eaten by other predators or die from natural causes. The 2019 quota could fall even lower if regulators adopt a separate proposal to leave more herring in the sea to feed the fish, birds and marine mammals that eat them, including Gulf of Maine species such as cunner, cod, seals, whales, puffins and terns. The New England Fishery Management Council could decide the issue as early as September. Eco-based Management. >click to read<10:51

The cost of offshore wind power: worse than we thought

A few days ago, the BBC’s Roger Harrabin mentioned a new suggestion that instead of cutting up redundant oil rigs, we should simply sink them to the bottom of the sea, where they would become artificial reefs that would encourage a flourishing of marine flora and fauna. Observant readers of his Twitter feed were of course quick to point out that this was exactly what BP had proposed for their Brent Spar platform nearly twenty years ago. At the time there was an outpouring from environmentalists, who accused the oil giant of deliberately polluting the seas.,, a recently published a paper on the potential decommissioning costs of all those offshore wind turbines that they are so keen on installing.,, costs for 34 turbines could reach £100 million ($131,654,735.40) >click to read<09:44

Smuggling the “Codfather” Profits: Bristol County Sheriff Captain Convicted

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was convicted today by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. Jamie Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2018. The jury acquitted the defendant of one count of bulk cash smuggling. >click to read<22:30

Aggressive Crabs From Nova Scotia Migrating to Maine Waters

If you thought the green crabs in Maine were bad, wait until you meet the ones from Nova Scotia. A more aggressive form of the invasive species has been migrating south and is living in Maine waters. The Canadian crabs could make the green crab problem in New England even worse. “They don’t really belong in the Ecosystem here,” said Professor Markus Frederich, who teaches marine science at the University of New England. “They don’t have enough predators, therefore they come in large numbers, and they are amazingly resilient from all kinds of stressors.” >click to read<19:12

First U.S. Offshore Wind Developer Acts on Fishing Gear

U.S. offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind has adopted a first-of-its-kind procedure designed to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from its activities. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm is America’s first offshore wind farm, and the company is currently in active development on utility-scale wind farms to serve Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The procedure was developed in close coordination with the commercial fishing industry and is based off extensive feedback from fishermen in ports up and down the Atlantic coast. Deepwater Wind believes that keeping fishermen informed is the key to preventing damage to fishing gear. >click to read<18:19

Dear Congressman Moulton, about that Bill? HR-200?

I have been a supporter of yours from day one. I donated money, made your signs, found sign locations, even had my family and some of my friends support you. And they did! I was surprised and disappointed to find out through our, yours and my local newspaper, that you had voted against Congressman Don Youngs Bill, HR – 200. As you know Seth, I have informed you of the issues our fisherman are facing such as untrusted and sometimes disputed science used by NOAA, the North East Canyon and Seamounts National Marine Monument off Cape Cod that our fishing boats depended on for whiting fishing, as fishermen from other ports are also shut out from their fisheries. Congressman, it seems as though you are not actually listening to your constituents. Sam Parisi >click to read<16:57

Black sea bass surge off R.I.

Scientists tell us that some fish will be winners and others losers as oceans warm. In Rhode Island, count lobster, silver hake and winter flounder among the losers, their numbers plummeting as climate change drives water temperatures higher. On the list of winners so far are squid, summer flounder, butterfish. And black sea bass. The population of the dusky-colored fish with striking blue accents has historically been strongest off the mid-Atlantic Coast, but over the past decade or so its numbers have spiked off New England and it is becoming a more important catch for the region’s fishermen. How they are managed will have important implications not only for those fish but for lobsters and other key species in the ocean ecosystem. >click to read<12:30

The MSA and Don Young’s partisan dilemma

“We must remain committed to the bipartisan, bicameral tradition of fisheries management,” Rep. Don Young wrote last Sunday, “and my legislation accomplishes just that.” He was referring to the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act. But when the House passed it on Wednesday, only nine Democrats voted in favor of it. Which explains why, in the same opinion piece, Young complained about “the hyper-partisan mentality” his “Democratic colleagues subscribe to.” Like the breakup of a marriage, there are two sides to this story. The reason why Young is arguing from both might be that he was caught in the middle. >click to read<09:00

HR-200 – Gloucester fishermen ‘desperate’ for federal bill to ease catch limits

A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week is being cheered by fishermen in Gloucester who are hoping for a lifeline for the struggling industry. “It’s desperate. We are in a desperate situation. We need a change,” said Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. “It’s a good start.” The new law would allow more flexibility for fish populations to be rebuilt, and give more authority to the regional fishery management councils, which may be more in touch with the local industry.,,, Fishermen in Gloucester say the industry is in danger of disappearing without changes. “We’re down to about 60 fishermen, and every day it gets worse,” Sam Parisi said. >click to read<13:14

Moulton votes no on H.R. 200

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton voted against the House bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act on Wednesday because the bill undermines efforts to improve the science used to generate stock assessments and pits fishing stakeholders against each other, the congressman said in a statement Friday.,,, “Over the past three years and through numerous conversations with fishermen, scientists and environmental groups, one thing has been made abundantly clear: We need to improve the science behind our federal stock assessments,” Moulton stated. “The reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens undermines our efforts. We need everyone on the same page. We all want sustainable fisheries for today and future generations and we shouldn’t have to pit one group of fishermen against another to achieve that.”>click to read<09:04

Seafood Processing: How robots can help local fisheries

New England is known for being an excellent source of lobster and other seafood. But while fishing is done locally, much of the processing is outsourced to other countries.,,, Northeastern University professor Taskin Padir is hoping to change that. He was selected to lead a new project to bring collaborative robots developed at the university into processing plants at America’s busiest fishing port, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The goal, he said, is to increase production and efficiency, keep workers safe, and stimulate local job growth. Called Collaborative Robotics to Foster Innovation in Seafood Handling, or the FISH project, this is one of 14 robotics-related challenges recently announced Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM). <click to read<17:09

Supporting Stonington Fishermen, Courtney Stands Alone from Connecticut Delegation backing HR-200

Representative Joe Courtney was the lone member of the Connecticut delegation to vote in favor of a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a 1976 law that governs marine fisheries management in U.S. waters. The bill was opposed by all but a handful of Democrats,,,  The bill also includes a measure he sought to allow for commercial fishing boats to be used by the government when it surveys northeastern waters to establish what fish are prevalent. Currently, the trawling is done by a vessel owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is unreliable. >click to read<11:36

The secret life of lobster (trade): Could we be in hot water?

In a paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers, including lead author Joshua Stoll of the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, map the global trade routes for lobster and quantify the effect they have on obscuring the relation between those who catch the valuable crustacean and those who ultimately eat it. The team’s findings indicate that in today’s hyper-connected world, a growing number of nations are acting as “middlemen” in the supply chain. This makes it increasingly difficult to trace where seafood goes and difficult to anticipate changes in market demand. >click to read<10:30

“We have Fishermen in my District Fighting to Survive.” Rep. Zeldin House floor speech in support of Long Island fishermen

H.R. 200 includes Rep. Zeldin’s amendment to permit striped bass fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Montauk, New York, and Block Island, Rhode Island, allowing local control over the fishery. 22:03

House kills Rhode Island’s push to join mid-Atlantic fishery council

The House on Wednesday rejected a push from Rep. Jim Langevin to let his state join the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which regulates several species of fish that are caught mostly by fishermen from Langevin’s home state of Rhode Island. The amendment would have added two seats on the 21-seat council for the state of Rhode Island. But after explaining why his state should join the group, the House rejected Langevin’s amendment in a voice vote, and Langevin, a Democrat, didn’t demand a recorded vote. Langevin also pointed out a precedent on the issue in North Carolina, which was added to the council in 1996 for similar reasons. >click to read<12:14

House of Representatives – Debate and Passage of HR-200

July 11, 2018 House Session The House meets with debate scheduled on a fisheries management bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. >click to watch<20:52

House votes to overhaul fishery management law – “I’m proud to say that my bill protects our commercial and recreational fisheries’ interests and allow councils to do their jobs in a more streamlined and effective manner,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the bill’s sponsor, said on the House floor. >click to read<21:41