Category Archives: New England

NEFMC will vote Sept. 30 on changing requirements for groundfish monitoring, fishermen have mixed responses

Commercial fisherman Randy Cushman walks on top of his boat where he measures fish in front of electronic monitoring cameras, pictured to the right. Cushman is among a handful of New England fishermen who use electronic monitoring instead of a traditional human observer to track what they catch and discard.  The New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) is scheduled to vote on changes to its groundfish management plan at a virtual meeting Sept. 30, culminating four years of research. “If we’re going to have accurate stock assessments, we need 100 percent coverage under this management system,” said Cushman. But, the prospect of increased monitoring concerns Terry Alexander, a fisherman who represents Maine on the NEFMC and operates his 62-foot boat out of Massachusetts. >click to read< 10:57

Senators Introduce Legislation to Establish Offshore Aquaculture Standards

Senators Wicker-R, Schatz -D and Rubio -R introduced legislation, the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 4723) in the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan AQUAA Act, which has companion legislation in the U.S. House, would support development of an offshore aquaculture industry in the U.S. to increase the production of sustainable seafood and establish new economic opportunities in federal waters. >click to read< 13:43

 First Nations, commercial fishermen demands end to B.C. salmon farms – A broad coalition of First Nations leaders, wilderness tourism operators, environmental NGOs and commercial and sport fishing organizations gathered in North Vancouver Sept. 22 demanding the federal government fulfill recommendations of the Cohen Commission to immediately remove open-net salmon farms from the Discovery Islands, and abolish all others from BC waters by 2025. >click to read<

Hot Air And The Offshore Wind Industry – Claims it will invigorate these state economies are thin gruel

Seven Atlantic Coast states—Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Virginia have enacted mandates to subsidize the development of thousands of megawatts of offshore wind turbines. In addition to making bold claims about environmental benefits, proponents promise the mandates will create new offshore wind manufacturing and service industries that will create jobs, and lots of them, along the eastern seaboard.,, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority claims that developing 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind will create 5,000 new jobs and $6.3 billion in infrastructure spending. Similar claims of economic grandeur have been made in New Jersey and Virginia. Not to be outdone, the American Wind Energy Association claims the offshore wind industry will create between 45,000 and 83,000 new jobs by 2030. >click to read< 12:05

As Wind Farm Proceeds, So Does Pushback – Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, which are developing the proposed South Fork Wind farm, filed a joint proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission,, Commercial fishermen are almost universally opposed to the wind farm, fearing an impact on their livelihood, >click to read< 13:47

Fishing group asks Baker to fight ‘crippling’ monitor measure

The Northeast Seafood Coalition is trying to enlist Gov. Charlie Baker in its campaign against the monitoring measure that it charges has the “strong potential” to financially cripple the state’s commercial groundfish industry. The Gloucester-based coalition sent Baker a letter last Friday laying out its case that Amendment 23, which will set future monitoring levels for sector-based, Northeast commercial groundfish vessels is highly flawed and should be withdrawn by the New England Fishery Management Council. >click to read< 12:47

A Lobsterman Slogs On Through the Pandemic

Mike Dawson (self-employed) Location: New Harbor, Maine Employees: 1 Status: Open, essential industry.  During the summer, “catch landings are probably down. But we can gain quite a lot in October, November, and December,” says Mike Dawson, a lobsterman who fishes off the coast of Maine. “August was kind of slow. Not an overabundance of lobster.” But Dawson this year is still grappling with the tepid demand and disruption caused by the pandemic. Lobster recently fetched $3.60 a pound for soft-shell, down from $4.05 a year ago. The occasional hard-shell lobster—which is rarer to catch at this point in the growing season for lobster—got $4 a pound, down about 25 cents a pound from a year ago. >click to read< 09:41

BETA expected to stall inland over Texas – Teddy to bring heavy rain, strong winds, destructive waves to Nova Scotia

Tropical Storm Beta is forecast to weaken and gradually lose tropical characteristics while spreading flooding rains further inland across the lower Mississippi Valley… >click to read< ,, Hurricane Teddy Public Advisory – Interests in Atlantic Canada should closely monitor the progress of Teddy. >click to read<

Hurricane Teddy’s impact on Massachusetts: Coastal flooding, large breaking waves as high as 24 feet and winds as strong as 55 mph in the forecast >click to read<  09:09

Teddy to bring ‘a nasty couple of days’ to P.E.I.

Teddy likely won’t be a hurricane when it gets to P.E.I., but its impact is likely to be felt Tuesday into Wednesday. “It’s going to be post-tropical when it gets here, but it’s going to be a nasty couple of days,,,  The rain is expected to start Tuesday morning, first in Kings County and working its way west. It will be breezy, with gusts up to 50 km, and those winds will get stronger as the day goes on. By afternoon winds could reach 50 km/h with gusts to 80. >click to read< 10:49

Seafood Trade Relief Program: Funding available for Maine lobster fishermen affected by China’s tariffs

Lobster fishermen have started applying for a portion of a $527 million relief program recently unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help offset losses incurred due to China’s new tariff policies. The Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) is paying 50 cents for every pound of lobster; in 2019, Maine landed roughly 100 million pounds. The Notice of Funds Availability notes President Donald Trump’s June 24 memorandum, “Protecting the United States Lobster Industry,” directs the USDA to consider appropriate action to provide assistance to eligible U.S. commercial fishermen whose business has been impacted by foreign government trade actions that have led to the loss of exports. >click to read< 08:11

Eric Trump tells Maine lobstermen: ‘We will never, ever let you down’

When Seth Dube was growing up in Camp Ellis, Saco’s gritty seaside community boasted a robust ground fishing fleet, but the draggers are mostly gone now, replaced by lobster boats like his. The sixth-generation fisherman blames government overregulation for that industry’s demise, and used to worry lobstering could be next. That was before President Trump became a friend of the Maine fisherman, Dube said – reopening marine monuments to fishing, delaying environmental rules that would have forced some lobstermen to install greener diesel engines, inking a trade deal allowing tariff-free lobster trade with Europe and giving lobstermen trade relief for lost China sales. >click to read< 11:19

Offshore Wind Will Deliver Few U.S. Jobs; Lack of Oversight Means Most Jobs Will Be Overseas

New developments have raised serious questions regarding the economic and job benefits from offshore wind energy projects in U.S. waters. Unsubstantiated claims of significant economic growth and investment have exaggerated the benefits of offshore wind energy, and diminished the economic and cultural importance of sustainable American wild-caught fisheries. A new study, conducted by Georgetown Economic Services (GES), finds that “[t]he claim that the huge investments in offshore wind would provide significant job and economic benefits in the U.S. has been grossly inflated.” The study also reaches an important conclusion: many of the jobs and benefits would actually go to the foreign-owned companies currently dominating the wind energy landscape, instead of creating local opportunities. >click to read< 15:45

Martin Olsen, a Commercial Fisherman

Martin O. Olsen, 82, of Fairhaven passed away Thursday, September 10, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford after a brief illness.  He was the husband of 58 years to Mary T. (Best) Olsen. Born in Wildwood, NJ, son of the late Andrew and Mary A. (Brunner) Olsen, he was a lifelong resident of Fairhaven and communicant of St. Joseph’s Church. Martin served in the Army towards the end of the Korean War and then worked as a commercial fisherman for 32 years most prominently on the Valkyrie and the Narragansett. He is survived by his loving wife, a son, two daughters, and four grand children,,,>click to read< 15:51

Seafood Trade Relief Program: USDA tweaks farm assistance program to fund fishermen hurt by U.S. China trade war

Jeremy Leighton is a dive fisherman based in Ketchikan. But it’s not just geoduck fishermen. Frances Leach heads up United Fishermen of Alaska, a fishing industry group. “China seems to be one of the biggest markets for a lot of our seafood products in Alaska. And not just buying them for consumption, but also processing. We send a lot of seafood over to China to be processed,” Leach said. Now, Leighton and thousands of other U.S. fishermen could be eligible for a new program designed to help fishermen hurt by the tariff on seafood. It’s an Agriculture Department initiative called the Seafood Trade Relief Program. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said it’s a new twist on an old trade war strategy. “There have been long standing U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that provide relief to farmers, when their products exported are hit with retaliatory tariffs,” Sullivan said. >click to read< 10:21

BP, Equinor Partner to Develop Offshore Wind Farms off New York, and Massachusetts

Two of Europe’s largest oil companies will develop offshore wind projects jointly in the U.S. in yet another example of energy giants migrating towards the development of renewables. Equinor of Norway, and has entered into an agreement to sell a 50% stake in two of its U.S offshore wind farm projects to Britain based BP for $1.1 Billion. Empire Wind, located just southeast of the Long Island coast, spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between 65 and 131 feet. Beacon Wind is located 20 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and covers 128,000 acres. >click to read< 15:40

Nordic Hosting Public Zoom Meeting Wednesday taking questions, Study Results for Land-Based Fish Farm

Nordic is currently preparing its permit applications for a land-based aquaculture facility on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County and has recently submitted the discharge permit applications to the Water Quality Control Board and the Coastal Commission. As part of these applications, a Dilution Study and a Marine Resources Impact study were conducted. Environmental protection is at the core of Nordic Aquafarms’ vision and Nordic is pleased to share the results from these studies. On Wednesday, September 9 at 6 p.m., Nordic will present study results, a general project overview and take questions from the audience,,, for details, and log in information, >click here< 13:57

Maine lobsterman who doesn’t have internet is a rising star on YouTube

Leroy Weed has seen it all. He’s seen lobsters in a rainbow of colors. He’s been onboard a boat that’s sunk (extra scary, because he says he can’t swim). He’s fallen through the ice in the dead of winter — twice. And yet, Weed, 79, says the ocean still holds plenty of surprises for him — even after 70 years out on the water, ever since he started hand-hauling traps with his father when he was 8 years old. Last summer, Weed put that expertise to use when he joined the staff of the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. This summer, with the touch tank closed due to the pandemic, the center wanted to make sure Weed still had a chance to connect with people who want to learn more about Maine’s coastal waters and working waterfronts. They approached Weed with a novel idea, to star in a weekly series of YouTube videos called “Ask Leroy!”, in which people call (224-58-LEROY) or email with questions, and Weed answers them. >Videos, click to read< 09:57

The two men accused of killing Franky the Pug are disputing the charges.

Justin Chipman and Nathan Burke were arrested on multiple charges after they allegedly broke into Phil Torrey’s home in 2018 and stole his hummer, taking his pug dog Franky along for the ride. At some point, Franky was shot and killed. His body was found, wrapped in plastic, on a Winter Harbor beach six days later. Chipman and Burke had once worked as sternmen on Torrey’s lobster boat. >click to read< 17:13

An Update from Commissioner Keliher Regarding CARES Act Funds

Over the past few days I have received several calls from harvesters and the press asking about the CARES Act relief money.  It seems that some are putting it out on social media that “The State is keeping the money” or “It’s only going to support aquaculture.”  One individual asked me, “How are we supposed to know what is happening when no one tells us anything?” That statement shows me that the webinars and conference calls we’ve had to rely on can’t replace in-person communications. Regarding the CARES Act money,,, >click to read< 12:46

Stephen C. Dexter – Being a self employed fisherman was the finest kind to him.

We sadly lost a valuable member of the community on the evening of August 24, 2020 when Stephen C. Dexter, 70, favorably known as “Critter”, passed away after a courageous four-year battle with cancer. Critter grew up in North Yarmouth, graduating from Greely High School in 1968. He was an easy-going and caring soul. His even-keeled nature had a way of drawing people to him. He was thought of as a beloved friend and father to many. Being a self-employed fisherman was the finest kind to him. Always up well before the sun, hard work was a part of his daily life. He started lobstering in the 1970s out of the Stripper 1. From there he went tuna fishing, dragging for scallops and shrimp, and then spent the majority of his fishing career lobstering off of Sequin Island out of the Kristin Leigh. >click to read< 09:19

‘Amazing’ halibut, one of the largest fish in the Gulf of Maine, are making a comeback

Halibut are one of the largest fish in the Gulf of Maine, second only to bluefin tuna, swordfish and large sharks. Historically they were a mainstay of the fishing industry along with cod. The National Marine Fishery Service began regulating the halibut fishery in the 1990s and there is a one fish per trip per boat limit on catch. This has been a boon to their rebound. This past spring while fishing for haddock my husband, David, caught four huge halibut. They ranged in size from 40 to 60 pounds. In the past, he has caught one or two a year which were large enough to be legal to keep. The current minimum size is 41 inches. My husband caught two halibut near Jeffrey’s ledge in the mid-1990s which weighed 120 to 140 pounds.,, but David has noticed a strange thing about halibut, they seem to swim in pairs.   >click to read< 15:29

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Novi Clammer/Quahogger, John Deere Diesel

To review specifications, information and 18 photos, >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<11:08

Nils E. Stolpe/FishnetUSA – NOAA Fisheries Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Well, first we have this reassuring (at least if you’re not that familiar with the capacity of NOAA Fisheries to get it really, really wrong!) statement that “NOAA Fisheries is actively monitoring and adjusting to the COVID-19 national health crisis”. Nothing to worry about, right? Well, not quite nothing. While I’ve seen nothing official, word on (at least some of the New Jersey) docks is that, in spite of the ongoing and very possibly worsening national Covid-19 health crisis, the mandatory on-board observers are back in force and demanding rides.,,  It seems like just about anything that might involve NOAA/NMFS employee exposure to Covid-19 has either been cancelled or public participation has been severely restricted or eliminated. >Click to read<17:12

Good Morning! We celebrate our eighth birthday today.

Good Morning! It’s our birthday today. We’ve calculated some statistics from the back side of the website, to give a little insight Into the past eight years. In the past eight years, we’ve had 8,186, 234 visits. Our best day ever, 72, 221! We’ve posted 27, 725 posts, which are trails to articles collected daily, inventoried, categorized, and shared around the globe. We have tried to provide an accurate snapshot of the industry, continuously updated, daily, for eight years, which is ninety six months, and an average of 289 posts per month, which comes up to 9.6 posts per day, as an average day. We have posted 839 pages, (example), this, and this, and this, submitted from fishermen, former fishermen and industry representatives from around the world. This is the page with our first four posts on our first day.  We have so many people to thank, including one gentleman that never forgets us, and Cousin Patty. We will pay you back someday! Thank you! Carol, and Bore-head 007. Time to set out for our first tow of the day! 08:15

Everything you’ve heard about ‘ropeless’ fishing gear is false.

Is so-called “ropeless” fishing gear the magic bullet for the perceived problem of marine mammal interactions in California’s crab fisheries? (what about the New England lobster fishery?) Several profit-driven environmental groups, including Oceana, would like the public and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to believe it is.,,, In truth, there have only been four mortalities attributed to CA commercial Dungeness crab gear since 2013, and none during the last two seasons.,,, Maine’s lobster fishery has never had a documented serious injury or mortality for any Right whale, and no entanglement since 2002, which makes this a non-problem. One of the problems with “ropeless” gear is that it’s a misleading term used by the profit-driven environmental groups to make it seem harmless. >click to read< 15:06

“We’re not sure what it means,” – Trump turns an eye on Canadian lobster, launches Trade Investigation

On Aug. 24, the United States International Trade Commission announced it will investigate the possible negative effects of the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) on American lobster exports. The investigation was requested by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The investigation will also examine tariff treatment of Canadian lobster in the United Kingdom, China and other countries. “We’re not sure what it means,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. “We’re studying it. The government of Canada is studying it. Now we’re talking to our colleagues in the U.S. and we’re trying to figure out how best to manage it from the Canadian side.” >click to read< 08:36

The Judge has ruled! NMFS must list the North Atlantic Right Whale entanglement facts on paper. Case Closed!

Judge Boasberg has ruled! A new accurate ESA  analysis has been ordered by next June. The National Marine Fisheries Service just needs to put the lobster entanglement facts on paper and it’s “Case Closed” Not only was there an unusual mortality event in the Gulf of St Lawrence.  The Right Whales stopped reproducing. Basically the whales moved up into the South West Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 2015 and took the crab fishermen by surprise and also they set up feeding on copious copepods at the mouth of the St Lawrence River where the Spring flood of nutrients kicks off phytoplankton blooms. Unfortunately this is directly under a shipping lane used solely by cruise ships who traveled at night starting at the end of April.,, by Jim O’Connell, >click to read< 20:26

Maine: Lobster boat sinks after hitting a ledge in Naskeag Harbor, Captain taken to hospital

A 36-foot lobster boat, Turn the Page, sank off Naskeag Point on the sunny, breezy afternoon of August 26, according to a Department of Marine Resources statement. The vessel, captained by 45-year-old Carl Gray of Sedgwick, hit a ledge in Naskeag Harbor, according to the statement. The boat continued on until it eventually ran aground near the boat launch around 1:30 p.m., DMR said. That was two hours after low tide,,, One fisherman took Gray to the hospital, while other fishermen managed to tie the Turn the Page to the public pier at Naskeag Point. >photo gallery, click to read< 12:42

USITC to launch lobster investigation – “Lobsters: Effects of the CETA Agreement on the U.S. Industry”

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Monday announced an investigation into possible negative effects of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on the U.S. lobster industry and the volume of U.S. exports of lobster. The investigation, “Lobsters: Effects of the Canada-EU Trade Agreement on the U.S. Industry,” was requested by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a letter on July 29. The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, said it will: Provide an overview of the U.S. and Canadian lobster industries,,, >click to read< 10:33

Search Results for CETA going back to 2012>click here<

USDA trade aid for lobster industry using coronavirus coffers

The Trump administration is committed to starting an aid program to help the struggling lobster industry, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday, but the funds to do so will come from the coronavirus stimulus package, not the aid used to bail out farmers after President Trump’s trade war with China. The lobster industry, like many others during the coronavirus outbreak, has seen losses as markets on cruise ships and restaurants evaporate.,, Trump has began paying considerable attention to Maine’s lobster industry starting this summer, traveling to Bangor in June to announce he would reverse protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. >click to read< 18:07

Opinion: Been a lot about the Observer Program out there lately. My question is, why are they needed?!!

When our boats come to unload their catch, NOAA people are there to report their landings, and if they caught too much haddock, cod or flounder, or other species that are not allowed, the owner could face a fine. Of course, Electronic monitoring is an alternative to that. This would show what they caught each and every tow, thus not needing an observer that many can’t afford, and second it should be a NOAA financial obligation, not placed on our fishermen. There are so few of them left. There is a lot to think about, but the bottom line is, it should be a financial obligation of the government to harvest the government required data. Thank You, Sam Parisi, Gloucester 19:15

Maine lobsterman to address Republican National Convention

Eighth-generation lobsterman Jason Joyce of Swan’s Island will address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as President Donald Trump prioritizes Maine and its most iconic industry in an election year. Joyce, 50, is the only Mainer with a speaking slot at the convention, according to a list provided by the Trump campaign on Sunday. He will speak on the second day of the four-day convention,, Joyce said his address would be pre-recorded from Washington, D.C., but that he couldn’t speak longer with a reporter because of a tight travel schedule. He is expected to speak in favor of Trump’s trade and fisheries policies. >click to read< 16:26