Category Archives: New England

Lobster boats converge on Rockland

Rockland — Although there was a stiff breeze and a few rain drops, a posse of area lobster boats met up in Rockland Harbor for the annual Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association’s second event of the season June 16. This year’s fastest boat was Cameron Crawford’s Wild Wild West, which suffered a broken steering arm in last year’s competition. Race results released June 24 are as follows, with a bunch of great photos! By Beth A. Birmingham >click to read<13:26

Seawall fails at Portsmouth fish pier

Officials have blocked off a 40-foot section of the seawall at the Portsmouth Commercial Fish Pier on Peirce Island after it recently failed. The failure poses a problem for fishermen looking to unload their catch and fuel their boats in Portsmouth. Port of New Hampshire Director Geno Marconi said the fastenings that “hold the seawall to the anchors that are in the ground have failed.” “It is pulling away from the anchoring system,” Marconi said Monday. “The ultimate danger is the entire wall fails.” >click to read<12:48

Cape Cod Is In CRISIS!

Because of our menacing great white shark and the seal overpopulation dilemma, Cape Cod is in the middle of an ecological, public safety, and economic crisis. The exploding seal population is a consequence of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This legislation caused the rapidly growing seal overpopulation, and their attraction of great white sharks which feed upon them, and ferociously attack humans. We once had a thriving fishing industry, kept healthy in part by a bounty system of predator control. That ended in 1972 with the passage of the MMPA,,, >click to read<11:27

Commercial Striped Bass Season Opens, Amid Concerns About Fishery

By the end of the day Monday, the first day of the commercial striped bass season, the Menemsha Fish House had brought in 297 filleted pounds of the elusive — and profitable — fish. Otto Osmers, a commercial fisherman and fishmonger at the Fish House, said it was an about average commercial day in terms of pounds of fish landed. And he acknowledged that the season begins amid concern among fishermen and regulators over declining stocks. >click to read<10:05

Vineyard Wind Finalizes Turbine Array to Boost Mitigation for Fishermen and Historic Preservation on Nantucket and Vineyard

Vineyard Wind announced today that it has adjusted the final turbine array for the United States’ first large-scale offshore wind facility by changing the location of three 9.5 megawatt (MW) turbines; the total project size remains unchanged at approximately 800 megawatts (MW). The design change eliminates three turbines located near the Nantucket Historic District and Chappaquiddick, which comprises the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard. >click to read<09:35

This is the ninty second year of St. Peter Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts! June 25-30, 2019

Back in 1927, Captain Salvatore Favazza had a life size statue of Saint Peter, and located the statue in the Italian District. Soon after, the women would say prayers there, as they stood by the statue. In 1931 they started the Saint Peters Fiesta. I can recall in 1952 ,I was ten years old and lived in the heart of were the fest was held. Back then there were no rides or games. But they did have a donkey ride and they had seine boat races and the Greasy pole contest .The fisherman would take the four days off and participate in the events. On Friday they had a block dance. On Saturday and Sunday they had the seine boat races and the Greasy pole. On Sunday the would have a mass and the bishop would preside ,and than the parade!!! It is a great time of the year to visit Gloucester! So,,,, if you’re in the area come and see for your self how welcomed you’ll become! Thanks, and hope to see you there! Sam Parisi, Gloucester, Mass. 08:32

Attorneys continue municipal law debate in case against Nordic Aquafarms

As the lawsuit against Nordic Aquafarms, Inc., the City of Belfast, and other parties-in-interest continues the slow procession through the legal system, the amount of evidence submitted for the case has grown to require two two-inch binders, holding stipulation exhibits 1-36, which include emails, public notices, and City of Belfast Answers to Interrogatories, etc. The binders are in addition to a legal file also nearly an inch thick filled with court dates, motions, objections, and other legal documents.  The suit, brought by Eleanor Daniels and Donna Broderick, has been one of many issues Nordic has encountered on its quest to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in the small coastal city. >click to read<12:27

Maine Aqua Ventus floating wind farm gets green light

Maine Gov. Janet Mills gave the go-ahead for a floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Maine. “With the innovative work being done at University of Maine, our state has the potential to lead the world in floating offshore wind development,” Mills said. “This long-overdue bill will move us in that direction.” >click to read<10:10

This discovery could be the key to managing New England’s cod population

Although the species is managed as a single population, cod in the Gulf of Maine can be divided into two genetically-distinct groups. And according to a new study, understanding the unique behavior and lifecycles of these two groups may be the key to creating a better management strategy. “The current stock assessments for Gulf of Maine cod assume that the population is one single, homogeneous unit,” Dean says. “All stock assessment models have to make gross oversimplifications. But sometimes those simplifications can create inaccuracies.” click to read<21:39

The Working Waterfront: State may provide grant to Spruce Head Co-op

The Spruce Head Fishermen’s Co-op is in line to get another state grant aimed at preserving working waterfronts. The Land for Maine’s Future Board announced Friday, June 21 in a news release that it has selected six projects that it says will help protect and sustain Maine’s working waterfront.,,, Through the Working Waterfront Access Protection Program, funds have been set-aside to purchase development rights, through a legally binding agreement between the state and working waterfront owners, which will ensure that the property remains available to support commercial fishing or aquaculture activities. The other projects selected by the Board in its June 21 announcement are: >click to read<20:28

Lobstermen fed up, facing drastic rules to protect whales, say president should help

More than 100 fishermen attended a meeting with Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher June 20 at Camden Hills Regional High School. Lobstermen said they have already changed to weaker, breakable lines and sinking line in an effort to pacify government regulator’s who say the whales can become entangled in the ropes and die. “The end game is to have us not fish,” one lobsterman said at the meeting. >click to read<10:00

Are the House of Representatives Anti Real Sience? Golden’s effort to withhold whale protection money fails

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 345-84 to kill the amendment to the U.S. Department of Commerce spending bill. The proposed budget rider was also supported by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District.,,, California Rep. Jared Huffman, a fellow Democrat who is the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources’s wildlife committee, spoke against the amendment, arguing the tool used to build the right whale protection plan was built on the best available scientific information. “Defunding it undermines consensus-based, conservation decision-making process,” Huffman testified. “It would set a dangerous precedent … and have impacts on other industries, fisheries and the North Atlantic right whale.” >click to read<12:18  How the House of Representatives voted. >click to read<

On This Day, 1952: CRASH SINKS BOAT; HERO CAPTAIN LOST; Skipper Leaps Into Sea Lest He Crowd Dory After Trawler, Tanker Collide

CRASH SINKS BOAT; HERO CAPTAIN LOST; Skipper Leaps Into Sea Lest He Crowd Dory After Trawler, Tanker Collide — 12 Saved – Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. June 21, 1952, Saturday BOSTON, June 21 — The 100-foot Gloucester fishing trawler Albatross and the 10,000-ton tanker Esso Chattanooga collided early today off Provincetown, Mass. The captain of the trawler was lost… The captain’s wife reported he had joked about taking his vessel out on Friday the 13th… >click to read<08:40

Whole Foods’ seafood plant closing, impacting 60 employees

The mayor of Gloucester, Massachusetts, U.S.A., is “disappointed” that Whole Foods Market is suddenly closing its seafood processing facility in the city.The Austin, Texas-based retailer notified the city via a letter to Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken that its North Atlantic Region will be permanently closing its Pigeon Cove Seafood facility in Gloucester, effective 15 August. “I am disappointed at the decision made by Whole Foods Market to close its Pigeon Cove Seafood Facility. >click to read<19:56

MSA reauthorization still stalled with 2018 House bill expired

More than a decade has passed since the last reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was signed into law, but the latest effort has stalled in Congress. The act, originally passed in 1974, is the nation’s landmark legislation on federal fisheries policy. In the intervening years, Congress has passed a number of reauthorizations, most recently in 2006, tweaking language and adding provisions. The House passed HR 200, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, in July 2018. However, it never progressed through the Senate and thus expired at the end of the 115th Congress. >click to read<11:13

The best available science? – Backing lobstermen, Rep. Golden seeks to withhold funds for right whale protections

“The federal government is asking Maine lobstermen to make huge sacrifices without clear evidence that those sacrifices will have any positive impact on right whales,” Golden wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I’ve joined lobstermen to voice our concerns and now it’s time for action. Golden said it is important to help the right whale, but he joined the Maine lobster industry and Maine’s fishing managers in a common refrain: the federal government has no conclusive proof that right whales are getting hurt or killed by entanglement in Maine lobster gear. >click to read> 09:46

Maine Governor Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy

Stalled efforts to test a floating wind farm off the Maine coast got back on track Wednesday after Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation directing the Public Utilities Commission to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind wind project in the United States.,,, Mills also announced two collaborative efforts to put the state back in the game for offshore wind energy research.,,, Mills also announced that she will create the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative. The state-based program will identify opportunities for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine,,, will promote compatibility between potential future uses and existing uses, such as Maine’s commercial fishing and maritime industries. >click to read<08:27

Mills signs $8 billion budget, bills including Green New Deal, plastic bag ban – >click to read<

The Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races are happening this Sunday!

Nearly $15,000 worth of prizes will be given away at the Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races this Sunday, June 23, with bait topping the list again. More than 100 buckets of pigs’ hide bait has been donated for the event. The town’s ninth annual races will begin right around 10 a.m., according to organizer Wayne ‘Cooly’ Rich. “Just about everybody’s going to get one of those — maybe two,” he said. Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the harbormaster’s office on the town wharf in Bernard and will end at 9 a.m. A pancake breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. on the town wharf. “click to read<12:51

Belfast Conflict Waves A ‘Red Flag’ For Dutch Firm Looking To Add A Third Fish Farm In Maine

The Dutch entrepreneur who would like to build a land-based yellowtail fish farm somewhere in Maine said that the relentless opposition that some have shown to Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed Belfast salmon farm has made him proceed here with caution. Ohad Maiman of Kingfish Zeeland said in a phone interview last week that company officials believe they have found two viable sites on the Maine coast after reviewing 22. But he does not want to identify those communities yet in hopes of avoiding the same kind of response that Nordic, a Norwegian-based company that is working to build a $500 million facility, has grappled with since announcing its plans in January 2018. >click to read<11:13

Multi-organization effort believes Cashes Ledge deserves to be permanently protected

The team’s efforts of four years ago, including holding roundtables and giving talks across the region, were undertaken in hopes Cashes Ledge would be awarded a monument designation. The effort failed, but it did play a part in the creation, three years ago, of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Lamb, who now works with the Witman Lab and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on various marine issues, believes Cashes Ledge deserves the same protection, especially since the Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming bodies of salt water in the world.  >click to read<09:37

A Fishery Management Proposal

Its frustrating to watch fish regulators on the various fishery management councils continuously cut back on fishermen allocations with no regard for how they will make up for the “scientific” decision that takes revenue from them. I have reached out to various politicians to create a Farm Bill for fishermen, which would be a huge undertaking for the Congress, and in the current political climate, it seems like an impossible task, even though it is needed. In the meantime, the mismanagement continues, and people are pushed closer to exit the industry, which is unacceptable. What I am proposing is to correct this and mitigate the damage caused by the cutback is legislation. This is what I would like to see. Sam Parisi >click to read<12:16

2019 Northeast Groundfish Stock Assessment Plans Under Review This Week – Listen Live

In 2019, 14 Northeast groundfish stock assessments will be reviewed and updated. Scientists will use existing models and data sources to evaluate stock health.,, On Thursday, June 20 the Assessment Oversight Panel will review and approve assessment plans for each stock. After this meeting, scientists will spend the summer conducting the assessments. The results will be presented Sept 9-11, 2019 to a panel of peer reviewers. Meeting Webinar >click to read<11:34

Eric Schwaab Comes Aboard as New Head of EDF’s Oceans Program

“Eric was critical to the success we achieved during my time as NOAA Administrator,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University and former EDF Board Trustee. “His unflappable get-it-done approach makes him notably effective working with a range of stakeholders from fishermen to global leaders.” As head of NMFS, Schwaab led the transformation of U.S. fisheries management including widespread adoption of science-based catch limits and catch shares. EDF was a leading advocate for these reforms, which have driven a dramatic recovery of fish populations and increased catch and profits for fishermen. >click tp read<10:02

Skrobie’s last hurrah on the harbor

William Dixon Skrobacz made his last trip on a boat on Friday. For once, he didn’t have much to say. But if he did, he probably would have wondered — profanely — from within his remembrance urn how all of his friends could have forgotten to bring along a few Miller High Lifes to lubricate the leaving. A little something, as it were, for the effort. Late Friday afternoon, three lobster boats — Mark Ring’s Stanley Thomas, Joe Mondello’s Tully IV and Pete Mondello’s Allison-Carol — ferried about a dozen family and friends to a spot off Half Moon Beach, where, under a perfect sky and on a calm sea, they released Skrobie’s ashes into Gloucester Harbor. >click to read<08:43

Lobster Boat Races come to Rockland

Lobstermen in Rockland weren’t hauling any traps today, but that doesn’t mean their boats weren’t in action. Summer in Maine is actually multiple seasons rolled into one. The Rockland boat races happened to be on the fifth birthday of Owen Hotchkiss, so his dad Blake brought him down from Brewer, for a loud, Fathers Day/ Birthday afternoon. “A lot of noise, which is great though,” said Hotchkiss.” Love the engines, how fast they’re going. He really likes it too. You know, I grew up on the coast near Blue Hill, so we’ve been around boats all our life, so this is really important.” >click to read<19:08

Hundreds swarm Boothbay Harbor for Maine’s first lobster boat races of 2019

As Maine as lobster rolls, blueberries and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy, the 2019 lobster boat racing season began Saturday in Boothbay Harbor. Under sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s, sailboats, motor boats and even a sardine carrier tied up in the harbor by 10 a.m. to watch working and recreational lobster boats rev their engines and skim across the sea’s surface in a series of heats to prove whose engine was most powerful. >click to read<08:59

34th annual Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Races – Drag racing on the water, photo’s, >click to view!<08:12, 6/17

Lobster boat racing season is here, officially dedicated to Galen Alley

The Maine lobster boat racing season gets underway this weekend, but however the season goes, it just won’t be the same. Racing begins Saturday, June 15, in Boothbay Harbor and moves up to Penobscot Bay on Sunday, June 16, but two of the most iconic figures in Maine lobster boat racing — Galen Alley and his race boat Foolish Pleasure — will be missing. >click to read<11:48

2011 Stonington Lobster Boat Races (Foolish Pleasure) Fastest Boat Afloat – >click to watch<

 Remembering Galen Alley of FOOLISH PLEASURE – JONESPORT – There are a number of names that come to mind when a discussion takes place on who had a major influence on Maine lobster boat racing over the years. Names such as Gus Alley; Benny Beal; Calvin Beal, Jr.; Isaac Beal; Merle Beal; Jim Clemons; Glen Crawford; Richard Duffy; Sid Eaton; Andrew Gove; Bill Hallinan; Corliss and Glenn Holland; Andy Johnson; Steve Johnson; Freddy Lenfesty; Alfred Osgood; Jim Preston; Lewis Stuart; and the Young Brothers (Arvin, Arvid and Colby) to name a few. In recent years one name that has been talked about the most is Galen Alley. >click to read<(must read!)

Deer Isle lobstermen offer whale rule alternative

For Maine lobstermen, 2019 is likely to bring a summer of discontent. Fuel prices are high. Cuts in herring fishing quotas — with further cuts likely — mean that bait is likely to be extremely scarce, and whatever’s available extremely expensive as the season develops. And that’s the good news. What really has lobstermen worked up is the demand by federal regulators that they reduce the risk of death or injury to endangered right whales in the Gulf of Maine by 60 percent.,, Deer Isle lobsterman Julie Eaton had a number of suggestions for DMR,, “Was any thought given to the glut of gear that’s going to develop and to the safety of the fishermen?” >click to read<11:29

What About Carlos Rafael, His Permits and His Boats? [OPINION]

There has been little public talk about “The Codfather” and his fishing empire since he was sentenced to federal prison for crimes related to fishing. In September of 2017, Judge William Young sentenced Carlos “The Codfather” Rafael to 46 months in federal prison. Additionally, Judge Young fined him $200,000 and three years supervised probation after his release from prison.,,, hearing rumors that two big players have emerged as the buyers of the boats and the all-important federal permits. One buyer wants the groundfish operation and one wants the scallop operation. There is concern locally that “Wall Street money” is coming in to buy up the local operations. >click to read<08:21

‘Wicked Tuna’ captains re-up for 9th season

The hit National Geographic series “Wicked Tuna” has been renewed for a ninth season, and the finale of season eight airs this Sunday, June 16, at 9 p.m. in an extended 90-minute episode “The Final Tail.” “Wicked Tuna,” which is filmed on location in Gloucester and the surrounding waters, airs internationally on National Geographic in 171 countries and in 43 languages.  The producers have found that this television series has hooked millions of viewers not only from the region but from around the world. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken knows the city benefits from this wave of notoriety. “It’s great for the city as it continues to put us on the map,” she said. >click to read<22:03