Category Archives: New England

Raising baby eels. “Why not keep that value at home?”

Sushi lovers will tell you that full-grown eels, called unagi, are pretty tasty. That’s why Sara Rademaker started raising baby eels a few years ago … in her basement near the coast of Maine. “It was like dingy stones, a dirt floor and a glorified large aquarium with a couple of tanks,” she says. “And also we had butchered a pig. So that was hanging. It was quite the scene … with like an exposed light bulb.” Each spring, Rademaker has watched as local fishers netted baby eels from Maine’s clean, cold rivers and sold them to unagi-loving Asian nations. Some years, those foreign importers pay thousands of dollars per pound, each one containing about 2,500 of the toothpick-thin, transparent wrigglers often referred to as “glass eels.” >click to read<18:52

Sam Parisi, The Headline – Lawmakers to Trump: Keep Marine Monument protections – My response

First, and foremost, I would like to thank, and publicly recognize the local politicians that didn’t sign onto this letter, and as they always do, support the remnants of the storied Gloucester fishing fleet, Bruce Tarr, and Anne Margaret Farrante, and Brad Hill. I applaud your courage. With that said, Just how much of our fishing grounds, and economic opportunity can we continue to lose? Do these lawmakers know anything about these grounds, other than the partisan talking points, and perceived conservation benefits presented by the supporters of the take over of, and creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument? >click to read<16:40

Falmouth and New Bedford Battle Across Buzzards Bay for Northeast Fisheries Science Center

A dispute across Buzzards Bay may break out between Falmouth and the City of New Bedford. The Falmouth Board of Selectmen has been working to keep the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole. Other elected officials in the area have also been lobbying for NOAA to keep the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole for weeks. >click to read<17:36

Habitat: River Herring, key to coastal health, slowly returning to rivers

A little fish on the East Coast that once provided vital protein for American colonists and bait for generations of New England lobstermen is slowly making a comeback after falling victim to lost habitat and environmental degradation. River herring once appeared headed to the endangered species list, but they’re now starting to turn up in rivers and streams at a rate that fishing regulators say is encouraging. The fish is a critical piece of the ecosystem in the eastern states, where it serves as food for birds and larger fish. >click to read<14:06

Ropes are latest flashpoint in tug of war over right whales

The lobster industry is willing to consider switching to weaker rope to protect the endangered right whale from deadly entanglements, but whale defenders say that doesn’t go far enough to help a species that can’t bear even one more death. A team of scientists, regulators, animal rights groups and fishermen met this week in Providence to review proposals,,, The team is advising the National Marine Fisheries Service on how to prevent whales from getting entangled in fishing gear as they migrate, feed and mate as they travel back and forth along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. >click to read<11:54

Lawmakers to Trump: Keep Marine Monument protections

More than a quarter of state lawmakers wrote to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, urging him not to roll back protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. None of Cape Ann’s representatives — Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and Reps. Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Brad Hill — were among the signers. Nine of the 38 current state senators and 46 of the 153 representatives signed the letter, which said the monument “does not occur in a major fishing ground” and opening it to commercial fishing would “not help remedy the nation’s seafood deficit.” >click to read<09:23

Engine shortage slows pace of boatbuilding

Seated behind the desk in his office, boatbuilder Stewart Workman seemed pretty relaxed for a businessman with a big problem that seems to be growing worse.,, Over the past couple of years, as more of the lobster fishery has moved into deeper waters far from land, Workman’s customers have been looking at the biggest boats he can build, but he is finding it difficult to satisfy their needs. The reason is simple. “There are no engines available that are big enough to safely operate our (biggest) boats offshore,” Workman said recently. Fishermen are the customers who are feeling the pinch. The new emission rule exempts non-commercial vessels. >click to read<19:48

NOAA Scientists Admit Finding In Recent Right Whale Report Just A Hypothesis

Federal fishery regulators are taking back their claim that newer lobster fishing gear is harmful to North Atlantic right whales.,, They found a 2015 rule requiring less traps with stronger fishing line is making entanglements of right whales worse. However, the agency said that statement is actually not based on science. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said the report is still flawed. >click to read<11:52

Whale protection, trawl limits entangle Zone C lobstermen

October is a peak month, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, for feistiness in Maine’s population of hornets and wasps. Lobstermen too, judging by last week’s meeting of the Zone C Lobster Management Council at Deer Isle-Stonington High School.,, While the trawl rule was at the forefront of last week’s debate, lurking just below the surface was a technical memorandum issued late last month by the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. >click to read<11:49

Working waterfront to be preserved in Boothbay Harbor

On Aug. 12, Deanne Tibbetts, a resident of Boothbay Harbor, invited a small group of area residents to meet and discuss concerns about the potential loss of working waterfront and, along with that, an important part of their local identity and their maritime heritage. Tibbetts is a descendant of many generations of fishermen from Southport. The purpose of this meeting was not to debate progress, change, economic development, or any specific plans for the east side of Boothbay Harbor but rather to insure that working waterfront and those people that depend on it and care about it have a seat at the table. >click to read<09:04

Finding help for addicted fishermen

It hurts to be a fisherman. Tyler Miranda found that out when he started working on a scallop boat at age 18. The son of a lobsterman and nephew of a scalloper, he was prepared for long days of heavy, repetitive work. But he didn’t anticipate how much his back would hurt after hours of shucking scallops, hauling buckets, and shoveling debris. Nor did he foresee the remedy his boatmates would offer: Percocets. >click to read<13:42

Fishing Groups Lose Legal Battle Over Marine Monument

The national monument that former President Barack Obama established in the Atlantic Ocean survived a court challenge Friday. When Obama created the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in 2016, he relied on a 1906 law passed in Roosevelt’s administration.,, A year later, the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association and four other groups filed suit to unravel the 5,000-square-mile designation,,, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg disagreed on Friday, dismissing their case.,, “I believe the public is being led astray in thinking the area in question is fragile and in need of more protection,” said Bonnie Brady, “It has always been protected while being commercially fished with federal sustainability and essential habitat regulations through the federal Magnuson Stevens Act and the regional fishery management councils.”>click to read<21:52

Deepwater Wind to be purchased by Danish energy giant Orsted

The agreement, announced by both companies Monday morning, would create a combined company with offshore wind leases and projects across the Eastern United States. Orsted, formerly known as DONG Energy (Danish Oil and Natural Gas), has offshore wind lease rights off the coast of Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey. But at least one group saw cause for concern. “These are foreign oil and gas companies that are coming to the U.S. and taking our fisheries away from us without any mitigation or negotiations,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, an industry group. “It’s ridiculous. You want to talk about a job killer. This is the biggest threat to the U.S. commercial fishing on the Eastern Seaboard.”>click to read<17:22

Measures to protect North Atlantic right whales have been effective, official says

Representatives of the fishing industry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada met in Moncton over the weekend to look at the impact protection measures were having on the North Atlantic right whale — and to help decide what should happen next year. The 2018 fishing season has been controversial, with fishermen in the Acadian Peninsula protesting the new federal measures that were put in place to protect the North Atlantic right whale. Some of those measures included closing several fisheries where whales were present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, speed restrictions for boats and increased surveillance. >click to read<15:34

Cape Cod: Expert says sharks, seals here to stay

Last year, George Burgess predicted that a fatal shark attack would occur on Cape Cod within five years. “It’s the combination of a large predator, and the things they eat, both gaining in population size and both coming back to lay claim to areas that historically were theirs 150 years ago,” Burgess, now retired after 40 years as a shark researcher and curator, was on the Cape last week to gather information for the shark attack file on the region’s two shark attacks this summer, including one that resulted in the death of 26-year-old boogie boarder Arthur Medici. Burgess stressed his concern over the loss of life and his sympathy for the victim and his family, but said the Cape has now turned a corner,,, >click to read<11:09

Columbus Day Trip With Captain Matthew Parisi of Gloucester

Looking back in time and remembering my dad Captain Matthew Parisi of Gloucester, I can never forget what he taught me as to where to fish each trip. But every Columbus Day he had special spots. Sometimes it would be like off Thatcher’s Island, Middle Bank or off the Cape in the shoal water. The herring would be around at that time of year to spawn and the haddock, cod and other ground fish would come to eat the spawn. One trip I remember was off Cape Cod,,, >click to read<09:42

Tedeschi says Keating underperforms for fishing industry

Republican Peter Tedeschi, the convenience store magnate and Republican candidate for congress in the Massachusetts 9th District, staged a small rally on the waterfront next to the fishing family sculpture Saturday and took aim at incumbent William Keating for what Tedeschi says are deficiencies in Democrat Keating’s job performance. About 20 supporters either arrived with him on a district-wide tour, or came out locally to hear him. He told The Standard-Times in an interview that mirrored his prepared comments, “I don’t believe that the fishermen down here and the fishing industry are getting adequate support from our current congressman. And that manifests itself in several ways.” >click to read<20:02

In Battle Over Whale, Judge Tears Up Agency Stonewalling

A federal judge opened the door Thursday for environmentalists to bolster claims over a lobster fishery they blame for the declining population of an endangered whale. Ordering the National Marine Fisheries Service to produce discovery, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the Endangered Species Act allows the agency’s challengers to use evidence outside the administrative record. “In order to accurately assess the alleged crisis of these cetaceans, the court will benefit from a record that reflects the actual, ongoing effects of the lobster fishery on the species,” the 16-page ruling says. The cetaceans at issue are called the North Atlantic right whale. There were roughly 455 right whales left as of 2016, and the Conservation Law Foundation says at least 18 of these have been killed since 2017. >click to read<16:28

Fishermen running for office: Poverty, opioid crisis are issues in all-Winter Harbor House race

In the District 136 House race Downeast, the candidates are both Winter Harbor natives. Both have served as selectmen, both have been lobstermen. Democrat Kylie Bragdon, “Winter Harbor born and bred,” grew up on the water and now fishes when she can but works as the principal of KidsPeace in Ellsworth.,, The Republican in that race is William “Billy Bob” Faulkingham. It is clear that this man cares about his family, his community and fishing. His campaign material describes him as “Father – Veteran – Fisherman,” in that order.,, District 134 (Deer Isle/Stonington) features a lobsterman too. Genevieve McDonald of Stonington runs F/V Hello Darlings II and is full of enthusiasm for serving in the Legislature, with the opportunity to work toward collaboration between managers, scientists and fishing communities. >click to read<15:30

In the lobster business, there’s always a deadline

As a lobster salesman, Matt Egan likes to joke that his dad is his worst customer. “He always wants lobsters — and never wants to pay for them.” While some salesmen market products or services such as cars, real estate, pharmaceuticals, or insurance, Egan’s commodity is alive and kicking. Egan, a salesman for Boston Lobster Company, could give a tutorial on how to sell a lobster — except that he has a cellphone constantly glued to his head as he brokers purchases with seafood dealers and lobstermen, and then sells the goods to hotel chains, restaurants, supermarkets, and local fish markets. Like a day trader, he buys low and sells high, but unlike a non-living commodity, lobsters have a shelf life. >click to read<12:28

Maine Gubernatorial candidates vow to back lobster industry in upcoming fight

All four candidates for governor pledged to defend Maine’s $434 million-a-year lobster industry a week before regulators consider new rules that could severely affect the industry. Specifically, the candidates addressed onerous right whale protections that environmental groups are seeking in court now from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, proposals such as moving from a rope-based industry to a ropeless fishery, seasonal closures of western Gulf of Maine lobster fishing in April, and cutting in half the number of traps or vertical lines that could entangle whales. Independent Alan Caron, Democrat Janet Mills, Republican Shawn Moody and independent Terry Hayes took turns answering some questions, dodging others and hailing the importance of Maine fisheries,,, >click to read<21:08

Judge tosses fishermen’s suit against Obama ocean monument

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit Friday from a group of fishing associations that challenged the creation of an underwater monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The fishing groups sued in federal court in Washington against creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted the Trump administration’s motion Friday to dismiss the suit. His ruling said the groups failed to adequately explain why the monument is too large. >click to read<15:14

Lobster industry blasts proposed regulations intended to protect whales

Maine officials and members of the state’s lobster industry are blasting a new federal report on the endangered right whale, claiming it uses old science to unfairly target the fishery for restrictions.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources, the agency that regulates the $434 million lobster fishery, and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, the trade group representing Maine’s 4,500 active commercial lobstermen, question the scientific merits of the report from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, which was issued in advance of next week’s meeting of a federal right whale protection advisory team. “They’re painting a big target on the back of the Maine lobster industry, but the picture isn’t based on the best available science,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said Thursday. >click to read<09:34

Trawl limit in Blue Hill Bay not an end to cross-zone fishing issue

A possible compromise with Zone B lobstermen over the boundary lines of a new five-trap trawl limit occupied a Zone C lobster council meeting October 1, the day the rule went into effect. The trawl limit covers a Zone B that is also fished by Zone C license holders, about six miles off Frenchboro around Mt. Desert Rock. A Zone B-proposed boundary line change would move the trawl-limit area from the west side to the east side of the rock.  Zone B council initiated the trawl limit rule change because they “were getting boxed out by trawls,” Maine Department of Resources Lobster Council Liaison Sarah Cotnoir said,,, >click to read<14:42

Canadian fishermen want cheaper lobster bait. Americans want to stop an invasive fish. And so, one man hatches a plan

Like whales breaching ocean swells, silver carp fly out from beneath the surface of waterways in Illinois. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent trying to keep the invasive fish – which procreate rapidly, crowding out other marine life – from spilling into the $7-billion Great Lakes fishery. And in an era of expeditious information-sharing, the “flying fish,” a form of Asian carp imported into the States decades ago, with hopes of using them to manage American ecosystems, have also caught the attention of gawking social-media spectators around the world. Three years ago, one of those spectators was a Nova Scotian named Patrick J. Swim. But instead of merely gawking, the self-described “lobsterpreneur” hatched a plan: >click to read<12:32

Solution to Lobster Shell Disease Remains Elusive, Blindness is also a growing concern

Despite more than 20 years of declining lobster populations in southern New England and extensive studies of the shell disease that is a major factor in their decline, scientists are still struggling to provide definitive answers to help restore hope to those working in the local lobster fishery. A new study of lobsters along the eastern Connecticut coast has found that the disease is linked to warming water temperatures, while progress is slow in efforts to identify probiotics to counteract the disease and to better understand why so many lobsters are blind. >click to read<11:37

Northern Shrimp: Maine fishermen demand better science before canceling another shrimp season

Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Thursday in Portland to review the most recent stock assessment and make recommendations on whether Maine will see a shrimp season next year for the first time since 2013.“Spawning stock biomass and total abundance remain low, with little sign of recovery,” Toni Kerns, an ASMFC fishery management plans coordinator, wrote in an email about the shrimp population in the Gulf of Maine.,, But Maine’s shrimp fishermen, facing a sixth consecutive barren season, are calling the survey process by the ASMFC a “sham” and say the entire process to measure the recovery of Maine shrimp should be overhauled. >click to read<08:37

Defenders of right whales pursue limits on aquaculture and fixed gear fisheries

Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,,Right whale defenders are now taking aim at aquaculture as they try to protect the highly endangered species from deadly fishing gear entanglements. Advocates usually focus on the lobster industry,,, Researchers from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.K.-based nonprofit that advocates for marine animals, want regulators to reduce surface-to-seabed lines in all Gulf of Maine fisheries, not just lobstering. They name aquaculture and gill net as rope-based fishing methods that are known to entrap, injure and kill both humpback and right whales. They say it’s not fair for regulators, who are meeting next week, to seek rope reduction from lobstermen while issuing permits for other fisheries that use similar rope. >click to read<20:40

US fishermen lose quota in new fishing pact with Canada

American fishermen are losing thousands of pounds of valuable fishing quota under a new catch share agreement with Canada. Fishermen from the U.S. and Canada seek haddock, cod and flounder on Georges Bank, which is a critical fishing ground east of New England, The two countries craft a catch share agreement every year. Under the latest agreement, the U.S.’s eastern Georges Bank cod quota is falling by more than 25 per cent to about 415,000 pounds and the eastern Georges Bank haddock quota is falling by about 4 per cent to about 33 million pounds. The loss in quota will present a hardship for New England fishermen, who are already coping with low cod quotas and the collapse of the cod stock, said Terry Alexander,,, >click to read<16:40

NH delegation requests Hampton Harbor emergency dredging while Depoe Bay Mayor ready to do jail time for dredging

The congressional delegation from New Hampshire is requesting that emergency dredging of Hampton Harbor be included in the Army Corps of Engineers’ work plan for the 2019 fiscal year. The plan must be submitted to Congress no later than Nov. 20. Sand shoals in the harbor are causing serious issues for those who navigate the waters for work and recreation. The channel is currently only 20 to 30 feet wide in some places and at least two boats have gotten stuck on the shoals this season. >click to read< Declaring her intent to save the town’s harbor from an onslaught of muddy silt, Mayor Barbara Leff said she would do anything — including jail time — to dig the harbor out of trouble following a futile plea for help to federal officials. “We’ve done all the political things we can to get the harbor dredged,”, >click to read<10:49