Category Archives: New England

Gulf of Maine lobster boom over as population starts to decline

The Gulf of Maine lobster population will shrink 40 to 62 percent over the next 30 years because of rising ocean temperatures, according to a new study released Monday. As the water temperature rises – the northwest Atlantic ocean is warming at three times the global average rate – the number of lobster eggs that survive their first year of life will decrease, and the number of small-bodied lobster predators that eat those that remain will increase. Those effects will cause the lobster population to fall through 2050, according to a study by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, University of Maine and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. >click here to read< 19:49

Suit by animal protection groups follows deaths of 17 right whales in Canadian and U.S. waters last year

Conservation and animal-protection groups have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service in the United States, alleging it failed to protect right whales from entanglement in commercial fishing gear. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., late last week, alleges the federal management of the U.S. lobster fishery violates the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The lawsuit seeks to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to do a sufficient examination of the fishery’s impact on North Atlantic right whales and adopt additional measures to prevent entanglements. >click here to read< 18:55

Feeling the Heat in the NW Atlantic

Rising temperatures along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean will force American lobsters (H. americanus) farther offshore and into more northern waters, according to a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Climate models project that bottom temperatures in the Atlantic along the U.S. East Coast may rise by up to 4.3 °C (7.7 °F) by the end of the century. “That’s a significant change, and lobsters are particularly sensitive to warming water temperatures,” says WHOI researcher Jennie Rheuban,, >click here to read< 15:30

Rye Harbor will never be the same without Kohlhase

David Kohlhase Jr. grew up fishing out of Rye Harbor, “had that salt in his veins”, and was “one of those guys everyone loves to be around”, said his friend and fishing partner Tyler McLaughlin. Kohlhase, 18, died early Wednesday morning from injuries suffered in a snow tubing accident at Sunday River in Maine. McLaughlin said he will dedicating his next season of Wicked Tuna to him. >click here to read< 15:54

Rhode Island starts mandatory wild shellfishing education and certification program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has introduced a mandatory education and certification program for commercial harvesters of wild shellfish. A DEM press release describes the new program as one that will enhance the safety of shellfish sold to consumers. “The goal of the program is to ensure that shellfish harvesters deliver a safe product to shellfish dealers and, in turn, to shellfish consumers,” the written statement reads. All commercial wild shellfishing license-holders will have to comply with the new certification, beginning this year. >click here to read< 14:44 

Scare-mongering Big Brother on America’s fishing boats hurts those who know the industry best

The plague on the commercial fishing industry isn’t “overfishing,” as environmental extremists and government officials claim. The real threats to Northeastern groundfishermen are self-perpetuating bureaucrats, armed with outdated junk science, who’ve manufactured a crisis that endangers a way of life older than the colonies themselves. Hardworking crews and captains have the deepest stake in responsible fisheries management — it’s their past, present, and future — but federal paper-pushers monitor them ruthlessly like registered sex offenders. >click here to read<09:47

Don Cuddy: Local crab fisherman finds a niche market with slime eels

Slime eel, it’s what’s for dinner.  Well perhaps not on menus around here but in South Korea ‘ggomjangeo’ is extremely popular and, barbecued, is sold on the street like hot dogs. With scant recognition a fishery for these scavenging bottom dwellers has been prosecuted in New England for the past 40 years. Hagfish, as they are also known, are primitive deep-sea creatures and reputedly the only living creature with a skull but no vertebrae, although, given recent events, there may be some elected officials who could potentially rival that claim. Atlantic Red Crab company founder Jon Williams has been fishing these eels since 1999.,, >click here to read< 20:02 

Science Pushed to Back Burner, as Swiss Outlaw Live Lobster Boiling

Some find it strange, while others, simply fascinating. And others still put it on their dinner menu because they’re drawn to its preparation in a macabre sort of way. But the government of Switzerland believes the practice of throwing a live lobster in a pot of boiling water is unnecessary, and most of all, cruel.,, And this heartfelt legislative decision – presumably not on humanitarian, but lobsterian, grounds – was made Jan. 10. In short, the Swiss simply feared that these tasty, sea creatures experienced agonizing pain during those final, heated moments of their lives. There’s only one problem with that: it’s impossible, since there’s no scientific evidence to support the position. >click here to read< 10:09

Judge excludes drug test on Maine fishing boat captain facing manslaughter charges

A federal judge has restricted the federal government’s ability to use results of a blood test taken from a Cushing fishing boat captain accused of causing the deaths of two crew members when his lobster boat sank during a November 2014 gale. U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby issued his ruling Wednesday, Jan. 17 in the case of 29-year-old Christopher A. Hutchinson. >click here to read< 16:57

Lawsuit filed to save North Atlantic Right Whales from death in fishing gear

Today’s lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleges that federal management of the American lobster fishery violates the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The lawsuit seeks to force the agency to sufficiently examine the fishery’s impacts on North Atlantic right whales and adopt additional measures to prevent more entanglements in the future. The lobster fishery is the most active fixed-gear fishery in the northeastern United States. >click here to read< 12:08 

The government is what created Carlos Rafael

Bill Straus saw the writing on the wall years ago. In 2009 -eight years before Carlos Rafael went to prison – the representative of Bristol’s 10th District spoke out during the establishment of the current catch-share system in the Northeast fishery. And even with Rafael behind bars, Straus says the threat of another Codfather emerging is ever present. “The risk is still there,” Straus said. “And that’s why what comes out of the different remedies is so important. >click here to read< 22:52

Homer halibut fishermen facing more competition from the East Coast

The International Halibut Commission, or the IPHC, will kick off its annual meeting in Portland Monday. The international regulatory body is expected to slash the total allowable catch of halibut on the West Coast by 24 percent due to declining stocks. With potentially less Pacific halibut on the market, prices are likely to increase, but a new direct competitor on the East Coast may hamper the market’s ability to compensate for lower halibut stocks in Alaska. >click here to read< 16:33

Michelle Malkin Investigates – Fishing Wars | Drowning in Regulations

Commercial fishing boats in New England are going under at an alarming rate, and hard-working families are being demonized by a multimillion-dollar environmental industry whose only product to sell is fear. In this episode, Michelle Malkin travels to the Northeast to hear the stories of people in the fishing industry who are drowning in government regulations. >Watch the full version, click here< 13:25

Big Brother on America’s Fishing Boats

Salt water. Seagulls. Striped bass. My fondest childhood memories come from fishing with my dad on the creaky piers and slick jetties of the Jersey shore. The Atlantic Ocean is in my blood. So when fishing families in New England reached out to me for help spreading word about their economic and regulatory struggles, I immediately heeded their call. Now, these “forgotten men and women” of America hope the Trump administration will listen. And act. >click here to read< 08:37

300 jobs lost in first month of NOAA’s Sector XI groundfishing ban

Nearly two months have passed since NOAA imposed a groundfishing an on Carlos Rafael’s fleet.  Those within the Port of New Bedford estimate it’s put upward of 80 fishermen out of work. That number merely only scratches the surface according to a study done by SMAST professor Dan Georgianna. Within the first 30 days of the ban, Georgianna estimates that across the Northeast 300 jobs were lost, with an income loss of about $5.7 million.  When including the retail loss the number surges to $12 million. >click here to read<19:26

World’s largest sea turtle could come off ‘endangered’ list

An arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has received a petition from a fishing group asking that the Northwest Atlantic Ocean’s leatherback sea turtles be listed as “threatened,” but not endangered, under the Endangered Species Act.,,, NOAA officials have said the agency has reviewed the petition from New Jersey-based Blue Water Fishermen’s Association and found “substantial scientific and commercial information” that the move might be warranted. The agency now has about eight months to make a decision about the status of the turtles. >click here to read< 13:56

Maine Lobstermen reject big changes in harvester reporting rules

Ask any lobsterman about the details of where and how he catches his bugs — what kind of bait he uses, how deep he sets his gear, how many traps on a trawl, how long those traps soak between hauls — and you’re likely to get a fisheye, if not a poke in the nose, in response. Still, that’s the kind of information the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission wants to collect from lobstermen and Jonah crab fishermen working in the Gulf of Maine and, no surprise, the idea is unpopular. >click here to read<08:59

Maine opposing push to require all lobstermen to report catch data – >click here to read<

2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program Public Meetings Scheduled Nationwide

Public meetings will take place across the country using an open-house format, so participants can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time. At the meetings, participants can ask questions, share information, talk with our team members one-on-one, and learn more about the National OCS Program. We also encourage participants to submit written comments to inform BOEM of specific issues, impacting factors, environmental resources, alternatives to the proposed action, and mitigation measures to consider in its analyses. For those unable to attend one of the scheduled meetings, BOEM is offering a Virtual Meeting Room where participants can visit the same stations available at the open house meetings. There they are able to review and download the same handouts and posters offered at the meetings and provide comments. >click for times, dates, and locations<15:36

Kelp farm proposed for Long Island Sound

Atlantic Clam Farms of Connecticut is looking to harvest a native species of sea kelp in Long Island Sound. The company, which cultivates hundreds of acres of Greenwich waters for shellfishing, wants to begin its kelp farm in Payea Reach — southeast of Great Captains Island and southwest of Island Beach — and offer the seaweed for human consumption and other commercial uses after an awaited approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.,, If the kelp farm is approved, set up at the four-acre area would begin on or after Nov. 1 each calendar year, >click here to read<20:55

Nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes Trump administration drilling proposal

The Trump administration’s proposal to open vast portions of US coastline to oil drilling was met with ferocious opposition from a number of the coastal governors it would affect. At least one governor, Florida’s Rick Scott, a Republican, asked for and received a waiver from the administration. That move by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew accusations of favoritism, which have been denied. But the fact remains that nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes drilling off their coast or, in one case, has concerns. >click here to read<11:12 

Why the Trump offshore drilling plan is another Canada-U.S. complication

As much as half a million kilograms of haddock caught on the rich fishing grounds of Georges Bank this weekend will be landed in ports in southwestern Nova Scotia, as the winter fishery gets underway after a storm-delayed start to 2018.,,, Canada and the U.S. jointly manage fisheries on Georges Bank through various trans-boundary committees that agree on quotas, resource sharing and stock health. >click here to read<

Maine Department of Marine Resources Launches Online Elver License Lottery Application

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources is pleased to announce the launch of the online Elver License Lottery application, which is available to residents of Maine. Available at www.maine.gov/elverlottery, the system allows applicants to submit their name for a chance to win an elver license. The online application was created by the Department of Marine Resources, in partnership with the state’s digital government portal provider, InforME. The rising market prices of these young eels have gained the attention of existing commercial fisherman and anyone interested in applying for these coveted licenses. >click here to read<09:29

SouthCoast fishermen call NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael ‘overkill’

New Bedford- Current and former area fishermen balked at NOAA’s reach in its civil action against Carlos Rafael. “It’s total overkill,” said Stephen Lozinak, captain of fishing vessel Marsheen Venture and who has been fishing for more than five decades. “The whole thing is overkill. All it’s doing is hurting the workers in the city of New Bedford.” >click here to read <21:01

NOAA Names Michael Pentony new Regional Administrator of Greater Atlantic Region

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced that Mr. Michael Pentony is the new Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He will assume his new duties on January 22, 2018. Mr. Pentony has been with the agency since 2002, serving in a series of positions including as the Assistant Regional Administrator for the Sustainable Fisheries Division since 2014. He succeeds retiring Regional Administrator John Bullard who had been in the position since 2012. >click here to read< 15:04

US cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Consider this cold comfort: A quick study of the brutal American cold snap found that the Arctic blast really wasn’t global warming but a freak of nature. Frigid weather like the two-week cold spell that began around Christmas is 15 times rarer than it was a century ago, according to a team of international scientists who does real-time analyses to see if extreme weather events are natural or more likely to happen because of climate change. >click here to read< 12:46

Lobstermen speak out against proposal to have Maine’s entire fleet report data

Maine doesn’t require all of its lobstermen to share their fishing data, and they say reporting even 10 percent of the country’s largest lobster fishery is enough to give state and federal regulators statistically valid data. That’s the argument advanced by lobstermen, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the state Department of Marine Resources against a proposal for 100 percent reporting, at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. >click here to read< 11:09

A unique educational experience, designed for fishermen, by fishermen

The Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) offers fishermen, and others with a stake in healthy fisheries, an opportunity to learn the basics of fisheries science and how the fishery management process works. It provides an inside look at the fisheries science and management processes, demystifies the acronyms and vocabulary, and equips fishermen with the tools to engage in shaping regulatory action and participating in collaborative science. MREP is offering two upcoming workshops that are organized and moderated by members of the local fishing community: >click here to read< 09:11

Oceantech company offers benefits for lobster industry

When Premier Stephen McNeil toured the Volta Labs startup house in Halifax last month, one company that seemed to catch his eye was SeaSmart, a new oceantech company based in Mahone Bay. Led by CEO Mark Lowe, the SeaSmart team has developed “smart lobster traps” that contain sensors to tell whether lobsters have entered the trap. The system tells fishermen, while they are still on dry land, whether there is enough product in their traps to justify going out to sea to harvest them. >click here to read<23:00

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits

NOAA seeks $900M, all permits from Codfather in civil action – On Wednesday, the federal agency responsible for managing the nation’s fisheries issued the charging documents against Rafael, his seafood company, Carlos Seafood Inc., and 28 other businesses entities related to the New Bedford fishing mogul — including two unnamed scallop captains from his fleet. >click to read the story< 20:28

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits – new allegations involve misreporting in the scallop fishery >click to read the story<

Boothbay Harbor Shipyard sold to Andy Tyska and Bristol Marine

Andy Tyska, president of Rhode Island-based Bristol Marine, has announced the acquisition of Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. Located at the head of Boothbay Harbor, the shipyard joins Bristol Marine’s two other locations of working waterfront–including boat yards in Bristol, Rhode Island, and Somerset, Massachusetts. A vital part of Maine’s shipbuilding tradition, Boothbay Harbor Shipyard has accommodated a wide range of vessels since its founding in the later 1800s — including tall ships and super yachts, tugboats and Navy vessels, sailing yachts and work boats. click here to read the story 13:46