Category Archives: New England

My Turn: Ben Landry: Have honest discussion on fishing

In his July 7 column (“Opinions on changes toquota are divided”), Capt. Dave Monti makes multiple inaccurate claims about the biology and management of menhaden — claims that someone who advises menhaden regulators at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should know do not conform to the latest menhaden science. Mr. Monti mischaracterizes the health of the Atlantic menhaden stock when he says it is “on the rebound, due to the first-ever catch quota put into place in 2012.” As an ASMFC advisor, Mr. Monti should know that the 2012 catch quota was based on a stock assessment, later determined to be faulty, that showed menhaden was being overfished. That later-disproven science led the commission to unnecessarily slash menhaden catch rates by 20 percent, hurting those who make their living in the fishery. click here to read the rest, it gets better! 19:24

Shrinking northern shrimp catch sparks worry for one of Eastern Canada’s most important fisheries

The northern shrimp population in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has dropped by 50 per cent in the past 10 years, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Commercial fishermen brought in roughly 30 per cent fewer shrimp between 2015 and 2016. While the exact portrait of what is happening with shrimp stocks may be complex, the warming temperatures of the Gulf of St. Lawrence have been fingered as a potential problem for northern shrimp, a cold-water-loving shrimp species found in the northwest Atlantic. Another factor is the increasing number of redfish, also known as the ocean perch, a species that prefers warmer temperatures. Redfish compete with the shrimp for food when they are young, and feed on them when they are older. click here to read the story 11:08

140,000 live Canadian lobster sold to China in 24 hours

Chinese buyers snapped up more than 140,000 live Canadian lobsters within 24 hours last week through a Beijing-based online retailer, and the demand can only grow, says a New Brunswick supplier. The live lobsters came from a variety of sources for the sale July 14 on jd.com, one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world. According to a news release from the company, the surge in lobster purchases was part of a sale promoting fresh food from Canada, which also included cherries and blueberries among the offerings. click here to read the story 10:30

FISHY BUSINESS: There are plenty of fish in the sea

“The ocean has been over-fished, there are only a few more years of fish out there; and then they will all be gone.” “There simply are not any more fish in the sea, they have all been taken!” “The Northeast fishing industry is dead, they have fished themselves out of business.“ These are all common statements one might hear about commercial fishing in the Northeast, although each represents a misunderstanding of the situation. In fact, today these statements are just plain wrong. The Northeast ground fishing industry is in real trouble and has been for some time, which is true. The trouble is not the result of lack of fish. As Fishy Business often points out, the real culprits are poor fishery management by the federal government, incomplete fish stock assessments and bad science. click here to read the story 21:14

Senators Murkowski and King Renew Call to Ratify Law of the Sea Treaty to Help Chart Future of the Arctic

Two key senators have renewed a more than 30-year-old United States call to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty in order to have a seat at the table involving the Arctic’s future. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday by not ratifying the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea the United States is locked out of international enforcement of what it considers its outer continental shelf for possible development and protection, the seabed and fisheries.  Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), also a member of the committee, called the Senate’s failure to ratify the pact “a huge self-inflicted wound,” speaking Wednesday at the Center for International and Strategic Studies. The failure to ratify based on arguments of loss of American sovereignty if approved means “right now we’re not in the game” in deciding broad maritime issues.  click here to read the story 13:24

2 men arrested on drug charges aboard fishing boat in Buzzards Bay

Two men were arrested Wednesday on drug charges while aboard a fishing vessel in Buzzards Bay as a result of a port security operation with New Bedford Police Maritime Special Response Team, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the New Bedford Police Port Security Unit.,,, The two men were charged after members of the security operation boarded the fishing vessel Blue Ocean, which is homeported in Virginia. The vessel was headed outbound from the Port of New Bedford, police said. click here to read the story 12:39

Today’s Whale News. 8th right whale found dead, 1 more entangled, whale rescues resume, young Humback detangled of Cali.

An eighth North Atlantic right whale has been found dead and another is entangled in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Marine Animal Response Society said in a Facebook post.
All eight deaths have occurred in the gulf since the beginning of June, which experts are calling an “unprecedented event.” click here to read the story

U.S. officials are lifting a ban on some whale disentanglement efforts after briefly banning the practice that last week led to the death of a Canadian fisherman. But the ban will stay in effect for right whales, “whose unpredictable behavior is particularly challenging during rescue attempts,” Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, said Tuesday. click here to read the story

A crew of 20-25 people spent eight hours Tuesday freeing a juvenile humpback whale that had been entangled in fishing gear off the coast of Crescent City since Thursday. click here to read the story 11:30

 

Deputy sheriff convicted of ‘Codfather’ cash smuggling

A former Bay State sheriff’s deputy has been convicted in a cash-smuggling scheme connected to a New Bedford fishing mogul known as “The Codfather” during which he took thousands in profits from overfishing and deposited them into a Portuguese bank. Antonio Freitas, 47, of Taunton, a Bristol County sheriff’s deputy and a longtime Immigration and Customs Enforcement task-force officer, was convicted yesterday by a jury in U.S. District Court in Boston of one count of bulk cash smuggling and one count of structuring the export of U.S. currency. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 12 click here to read the story 08:07

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Young Bros. Lobster/Tuna, Detroit 6-V-92, North Lights – 8 KW Genset

Vessel is turn key and in excellent condition. Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 14:06

Rare blue and cream colored lobster caught off New Hampshire coast

Lobstermen catch thousands of the crustaceans every year, but every now and again a gem is found among the masses. On Monday, Rye, N.H., lobsterman Greg Ward caught a hard-shelled blue and cream colored lobster around 1 p.m. near the New Hampshire-Maine border. He originally thought he caught a rare albino lobster, but said he had rarely caught blue lobsters in his 32 years of commercial lobster fishing. “This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue,” Ward said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Usually, the stronger lobsters are usually the reddish brown color but this one still had a hard shell.” click here to read the story 10:51

Fire in the fo’c’sle: Heavy smoke but no injuries on scallop boat in New Bedford

The bunk room of the scallop boat Double Diamond caught fire on Leonard’s Wharf Tuesday afternoon, probably from welding, firefighters said. No one was injured. Smoke was coming from the vessel’s interior when New Bedford firefighters arrived, according to District Chief Steven Beaulieu, the incident commander.  “There was heavy smoke pouring out of the back hatch, just below the pilot house,” he told The Standard-Times. “We had heavy smoke pouring from the forward vent on the fo’c’sle. The guys advanced lines. We had talked to the workers. They were working forward doing welding operations, and something must have started.” The fire was reported around 2 p.m. Maurice Lemieux of Dartmouth owns the 84-foot scalloper; click here to read the story 21:52

Oversight Hearing “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act” Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:00 PM

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing titled “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.”  Witnesses are Mr. Jeff Kaelin, Government Relations, Lund’s Fisheries, Inc. Cape May, New Jersey. Mr. Sean Martin, President, Hawaii Longline Association, Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Nick Wiley, Executive Director,  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Charles Witek, Recreational Angler and Outdoor Writer, West Babylon, New York. click here at 14:00 Wednesday to watch the proceeding.  If you need further information, please contact Calvin Frauenfelder, Clerk, Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans at (202) 225-8331.

Hearing Memorandum detailsclick here  19:35

Denny Hamlin freaked out by 22-lb live lobster after winning New Hampshire NASCAR race

Like many NASCAR tracks, New Hampshire Motor Speedway has a distinct tradition where it rewards winning drivers with a prize representative of that particular region. Similar to how the trophy at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California includes a surfboard, or Texas Motor Speedway a cowboy boot. What awaited the winner of Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire was a 22-pound live lobster. A prize race-winner Denny Hamlin wanted no part of as he fled when crew chief Mike Wheeler tried to hand Loudon the Lobster to him in victory lane. Hamlin did overcome his fear briefly to take a few photographs with the crustacean. click here to read the story 12:04

Temporary closure of a fishery can help whales and fishermen, biologist says

As right whale researchers shift their focus to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, they welcome a decision by the federal government to close a snow crab fishery early after seven whales and a whale rescuer died. Sean Brillant, a senior conservation biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Federation based in Halifax, said he recently proposed a similar strategy to protect right whales that would restrict fishing during the summer in the Grand Manan Basin in the Bay of Fundy and the Roseway Basin on the Scotian Shelf. Brillant said said fishermen’s landings have reportedly declined in recent years, so the impact on them would be minimal. click here to read the story 08:13

‘Don’t call me Bubba’: How former NFL player Jarvis Green learned shrimping from scratch

Almost two years after retiring from the NFL, Jarvis Green found himself back in training camp. Shrimp training camp. The former Patriots defensive end was learning the ins and outs of the shrimping business. But even as his now ex-wife and others kidded him by calling him “Bubba” — an allusion to Mykelti Williamson’s Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue character from the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” — Green said he was more like Forrest than Bubba. “I always say, ‘Don’t call me Bubba,’” Green recently told Omnisport. “Remember in ‘Forrest Gump,’ somebody owed somebody a favor and Forrest kept the favor. Same thing with me. “I’m not Bubba. I’m Tom Hanks, because I’m the guy who didn’t know anything about shrimp.” Green, who spent nine years in the NFL and won a pair of Super Bowls with the Patriots, now has a flourishing shrimp business called Oceans 97 — a reference to his jersey number. click here to read the story 14:32

Sea to Table – Meghan Lapp to speak in Stonington July 27

On July 27 we will be hosting a presentation by Meghan Lapp, a fishing industry spokesperson and activist from Narragansett, R.I.  She will have an interactive discussion with some audience members, including Mike Gambardella of Gambardella Fish Wholesale, and some of the fishermen, on problems faced by the industry and how people can support the industry regionally and locally.  She will also explain why most of our seafood is imported while the waters off our shores are teaming with fish.  There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions at the end of her talk. The presentation will be held at the LaGrua Center on Water Street in Stonington borough and starts at 7 PM.  Admission is free.  Please come out and show your support for our local fishermen! Click here for more information 12:02

12-year-old Mainer becomes local tuna fishing legend

Myles Wotton, 12, of Bristol has been watching his father, Donald, older brothers, Mitchell and Merritt, and other area fishermen bring in tuna since he was a toddler in his mother Rebecca’s arms. The Wotton dock in New Harbor buzzes with excitement when they receive word the boat is returning with a prized catch. Family members anxiously wait to catch a glimpse of newly landed tuna. Myles has listened to their tales of hauling in the big fish of their adventures and misadventures all his young life. When he was about to turn 12 in July of last year, he begged his father to take him tuna fishing for his birthday. click here to read the story 18:50

Maine’s river herring making dramatic comeback

River herring – in the midst of a dramatic comeback in Maine’s rivers with the recent removal of dams that blocked their spawning runs for decades – had a banner spring run this year, with millions of fish traveling up the Kennebec and Penobscot and the best run in decades recorded on the St. Croix. This was despite heavy rains this spring that created extra challenges for the fish. The recovery of the small schooling fish is having dramatic secondary effects, as they represent a perfect food source for everything from bald eagles to Atlantic cod, and researchers anticipate future benefits as the herring’s numbers grow in the coming decade. click here to read the story 10:10

No Fish Today

The fishing industry in Connecticut in under assault from foreign fish imports. Owner of wholesale fish in Stonington/East Haven Mike Gambardella writes, somewhat frantically, that consumers don’t realize that the import seafood market is at 96 percent: “Our fishermen are throwing wild-caught healthy, chemical free, dead fish overboard daily.” The regulatory apparatus in the United States is simply crushing local fishing industries,,, Former U.S. Representative Rob Simmons, now First Selectman of Stonington, has joined the struggle to remove deathly federal regulations from New England fishermen. But other members of Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional delegation, including the state’s two publicity seeking U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal – now busying themselves seeking to impeach Trump —  have done little but console Gambardella and others with the usual political bromides click here to read the story 18:05

The Closeteer: Launch in Newbury honors a worthy craft

Six-year-old Coral Withe leaning against Centennial II on the Fourth of July said, “This is beautiful.” Assembled family and friends, gathered for the launching of builder Dan Noyes’ copy of a famous sailing dory, agreed. Last year, Dan and the old Closeteer visited the first Centennial at Cape Ann’s lovely museum near City Hall in Gloucester. In 1776, patriotic fisherman Alfred Johnson built and then sailed her across the Atlantic to the country we had broken away from a century before. Dan carefully took the measurements off Johnson’s still intact 20-foot dory while the Closeteer roamed the museum, admiring other boats and fishing schooner models of note, and especially Fitz Henry Lane’s well-known paintings of Gloucester harbor in the days of sail. A year passed as Dan’s new Centennial II, still not yet named, took shape in his small boat shop. Finally, almost finished, she was launched at high tide the morning of July 4, 2017, 241 years after our nation’s independence had been so bravely declared. click here to read the story 09:13

Court documents suggest Carlos Rafael may sell all permits

Documents filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday suggest that Carlos Rafael’s time as the New Bedford’s “codfather” may be coming to an end. As part of a motion requesting a sentencing delay, Rafael’s attorney sought “additional time to resolve a critical component” in the case, specifically, “the possibility of a global settlement, which may involve Mr. Rafael exiting the commercial fishing business.”The request suggests not only the 13 permits subject to forfeiture, but all of Rafael’s fishing permits may wind up with someone else before the sentencing. click here to read the story 21:23

Navy War Games Planned for East Coast and Gulf Waters – Public comment is open until Aug. 29

The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast. In New England, the areas where the weapons and sonar may be deployed encompass the entire coastline, as well as Navy pier-side locations, port transit channels, civilian ports, bays, harbors, airports and inland waterways. “The Navy must train the way we fight,” according to a promotional video for what is called “Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III.” An environmental impact study of the war games was released June 30. Public comment is open until Aug. 29. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19 from 4-8 p.m. at Hotel Providence. Comments can be submitted online and in writing, or through a voice recorder at the hearing. The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises haven’t yet been released. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing. click here to read the story 18:41

Elver eel lottery system for permits is a go in Maine

Maine is implementing a new lottery system for licenses to fish for baby eels, which are worth more than $1,000 per pound on the worldwide sushi market. Baby eels, called elvers, are a major fishery in Maine, where fishermen sell them to dealers so they can be sent to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity and used as food. But industry members and lawmakers have said the fishery needs a way to bring new people into the business because many elver fishermen are nearing retirement and there is no way to get a license. The Legislature approved a permit lottery system last month. click here to read the story 13:26

A fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam

We’re probably going well off the beaten path on this one, but I wanted to draw your attention to a lawsuit which has been percolating in the system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year. It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details. click here to read the story 11:45

Say Thank You to Jim and Bobby Ruhle for their Hard Work with NEAMAP!

As many of you in the Northeast fishing community know, NEAMAP is an extremely important survey for our fisheries but couldn’t be done without Jim and Bobby Ruhle and the F/V Darana R. This year, after suffering a major fire, Jim and Bobby worked incredibly hard to get the boat repaired and ready to go for the spring survey. It was a big struggle, but they did it for all of us and our fisheries. This letter ( see text below) is a chance to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication during this difficult time. Please sign and pass along to any and all in the Northeast fishing community, including fishermen, fishing vessels, shoreside support businesses, dealers, docks and marinas, fishing associations, etc.! When we get enough signatures, we will present it to Jim and Bobby- hopefully so that they have it on board for the fall survey! If you are a fisherman and also own a vessel, please put your name and the name of your vessel! click here to sign the letter 17:07

Fisherman David Goethel takes case to US Supreme Court

After losing a lawsuit alleging a federal agency has imposed unfair regulations, Hampton fisherman David Goethel is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Cause of Action Institute, which is representing Goethel and a group of other fishermen pro bono, filed a petition to be taken up by the Supreme Court Tuesday. The suit was originally filed in U.S. District Court against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce in 2015. It alleges NOAA unfairly requires commercial groundfishermen to fund at-sea monitors to join them on fishing trips and observe their compliance with regulations.  click here to read the story 15:52

In the chilly coastal waters off Cutler, America’s oldest border skirmish continues apace.

Machias Seal Island lies 10 miles off the Maine coast, a lonely outcrop of rock and scrub in a 277-square-mile swath of ocean known to mariners and mapmakers as the “gray zone,” a rich fishing ground that the U.S. and Canada both claim to own. The Yankee and Canuck fishermen who share these disputed waters — and who ostensibly follow their home country’s rules — haven’t always gotten along, and tensions tend to rise and fall with the market value of their catch. A couple of years back, with lobsters prices skyrocketing and more people fishing the gray zone than ever before, lobstermen from both sides accused each other of cutting lines, stealing gear, and making death threats. A 61-year-old American fisherman warned a Canadian patrol boat that he was readying to ram it.,,, A quick history lesson click here to read the story 11:27

South Shore lobstermen donated their boats to Harvey’s Salt Water Fishing Club’s 61st Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing

It’s the heart of the catching season and local lobstermen use everyday to the fullest – pulling in traps and spending days on the water to provide for families waiting at home. On Wednesday, however, they took a day off and donated their time and boats to local disabled veterans. “The vets deserve some kind of recognition,” said Bill Doherty, a lobsterman from Weymouth. “It’s nice to get them out and they’re always appreciative. A bunch of people come together to make this happen.” Doherty was one of about 15 who donated their lobster or fishing boats to Harvey’s Salt Water Fishing Club’s Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing – where volunteers taking roughly 150 local vets out on the water for the day. No matter their disabilities, volunteers help the veterans spend an afternoon fishing, boating and relaxing with each other. click here to read the story 19:22

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator Announces Retirement

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard today formally announced he will retire on January 5, 2018. Bullard, who took the top job in the agency’s Gloucester-based office in 2012, will leave a legacy of improved relationships with the regulated community, the research community, environmentalists, local, state, and federal officials and agency partners, including the New England and the Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. click here to read the story 15:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ Guimond Lobster/Gillnet, 585HP Cummins

Specifications, information and 8 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:33