Category Archives: New England

Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries has enacted two right whale emergency regulations

The Division of Marine Fisheries has enacted two emergency regulations to protect vulnerable aggregations of endangered northern right whales in Cape Cod Bay. These regulations, effective immediately, are designed to reduce the risk of collisions with vessels and entanglements.  Extension of Trap Gear Closure The existing February 1 – April 30 Large Whale Trap Gear Closure is being extended through Sunday, May 6 for a portion of Cape Cod Bay. >click to read<22:34

NEFMC Discusses Offshore Wind, Clam Dredge FW, Skates, Groundfish, Herring, IFM, and More at Mid-April Meeting

The New England Fishery Management Council met April 17-19 in Mystic, CT and discussed a wide range of issues that touched on everything from industry-funded monitoring to offshore wind, Clam Dredge Framework, Skate Wing Fishery, Northeast Multispecies -Groundfish, Atlantic Herring –River Herring/Shad, The New England Council paid tribute to two retiring Council members –Mark Alexander of Connecticut, left, who served on the Council for 10 years, and Mark Gibson of Rhode Island, >click to read<15:16

Plans to line the shore of Rhode Island with wind turbines threaten fishermen livelihoods

When Greg Mataronas steams out of Narragansett Bay as early as 3 a.m., he is headed for grounds he knew as an eight-year-old.,,  there is a new force threatening Mataronas’ ability to provide for his wife and children: offshore wind energy.,,, “All of our concerns fall on deaf ears,” Lapp said. “I personally have been meeting with BOEM for three years.” Lapp added that she gave “confidential business information” from over 20 fishing vessels to BOEM to demonstrate that there was heavy fishing activity on one particular lease site, but she said BOEM issued the lease regardless. >click to read<10:29

As Lobster prices soar, Marshfield lobstermen stay docked

Boats piled high with buoys and lobster traps sat moored in Green Harbor on Tuesday. Normally, the 65-degree day would be perfect for fishing, but it’s been nearly three months since the 45 commercial fishing boats in Marshfield have caught any lobster and the harbor buzzed with fishermen eager to get back in the water. Lobster traps are banned from 3,000 nautical miles of waters in Cape Cod Bay and parts of Massachusetts Bay between Feb. 1 and May 1 to decrease the likelihood of endangered North Atlantic Right whales from entangling themselves in lobster lines. The ban takes about 300 lobster boats offline,,,>click to read<08:34

Maine: Promising scallop aquaculture initiative gets $600K boost

The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research awarded a $300,000 grant to CEI to investigate the economic viability of a Japanese scallop production technique that has been shown to grow scallops faster as well as produce larger yields of meat. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, announced Monday that FFAR, a nonprofit corporation established by the 2014 Farm Bill, awarded the $300,000 research grant to Hugh Cowperthwait of CEI, which is matching the award to double its impact. >click to read<13:10

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring.

It’s no shell game: As the price per pound has skyrocketed over the last few months, the costs of lobster dishes on restaurant menus across the city have been off the charts as chefs have been looking to claw back some of the margins. A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring, up from about $8 a pound last year.,, Federal permits mean that only 25 percent of Maine’s fleet can go out to the,, In Massachusetts, fishermen are getting $9 to $11 a pound off the boat right now, said Beth Casoni,>click to read<22:51

Commercial Fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone – What was being caught and where back to 1950

What is the status of commercial fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the waters from 3 to 200 miles off our coastline? Generally speaking – something that the “bureaucrats in charge” have developed a great deal of facility in doing – it’s pretty good. Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started getting serious about tracking commercial landings (or at making those landings readily accessible) in 1950, the total weight of our domestic landings has increased from 4.9 billion to 9.8 billion pounds. The value of those landings, when corrected for inflation, has increased from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion, almost as good. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA >click to read<17:03

East Coast offshore drilling just got dumber

Seismic testing for potential offshore oil or gas — long opposed by Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling and City Council — just got dumber. Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce, has been bird-dogging opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing. “Government documents and firsthand accounts of munitions and radioactive waste being dumped off the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts to Florida came to our attention only recently,” Knapp said. On Friday, Knapp sent out a news release with this warning: >click to read<16:26

N.H. seafood program starts sixth season

Monkfish. Jonah crabs. Dogfish shark. Dabs. As New Hampshire Community Seafood starts its sixth year of operation, the species being served may not always be familiar. But the idea of a local CSA seafood is becoming almost routine. NHCS, a cooperative that buys directly from commercial fishing operations based on the state’s seacoast, began the season Thursday with the first of weekly seafood deliveries at 21 locations in New Hampshire – including Cole Gardens in Concord, Brookford Farm in Canterbury and the Contoocook Farmers Market – plus Kittery, Maine, and Dracut, Mass. >click to read<10:56

2018 lobster boat race calendar is released

Icy weather notwithstanding, the release last week of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association calendar poster is an absolute sign that summer is just around the corner. The poster features a striking photo of big, diesel-powered boats thundering up Moosabec Reach during last year’s Jonesport/Beals Island Lobster Boat Races with Winter Harbor fisherman Billy Bob Faulkingaham’s 51 front and center, leading the Class M pack. This year’s calendar includes 11 events, with the season bookended by June 16 racing in Boothbay Harbor and an Aug. 19 finale in Portland. >click to read<

Maine Maritime Museum to celebrate relaunching of historic fishing schooner

Maine Maritime Museum in Bath plans to celebrate the full restoration of the 1906 schooner Mary E, the oldest Bath-built vessel still sailing, by hosting a public recommissioning ceremony as the vessel is launched into the Kennebec River on June 9. Built in Bath in 1906 and restored in 1965 on the grounds of what is now Maine Maritime Museum, Mary E is a two-masted clipper schooner and the oldest surviving Maine-built fishing schooner. The museum purchased Mary E in early 2017. >click to read<18:42

Fishermen air concerns about Vineyard Wind

Looking to create a sea change in energy production in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity” with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. A key provision of the legislation mandated that utilities solicit long-term contracts with offshore wind farm developers, with the goal of adding 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2027. Fast-forward to Tuesday night, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, where federal and state officials, along with representatives from Vineyard Wind, gathered for a “scoping session” to hear how Islanders feel about having the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States – 106 turbines, 700 feet tall, spaced about a mile apart, covering 167,000 acres>click to read<15:47

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

Trump administration defends Obama’s Atlantic monument – Requests Judge dismiss Fishermen’s lawsuit

The Trump administration on Tuesday defended an underwater monument established by former President Barack Obama to protect marine life in the Atlantic Ocean and asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from fishermen trying to eliminate it. The fishing groups sued in federal court in Washington, challenging the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument by the Democratic former president in 2016. It’s a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life, such as right whales. >click to read< 13:22

Green Insanity: Offshore Wind Project Cost Mind-Boggling $10K Per KW

Off of the shore of Block Island on the Rhode Island coast, five wind turbines are operating and supplying power to the island. It took years of state and federal policymaking, environmental impact assessments, and town hall meetings for the 30-megawatt wind farm to come to fruition due to its cost and degradation of vistas. It cost $300 million—$10,000 per kilowatt—about 10 times more than the cost of a new natural gas combined cycle unit. Further, it is 55 percent more costly than what the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects a first-of-a-kind offshore wind unit to cost—$6,454 per kilowatt. >click to read<09:22

Fishermen fear fallout from proposed wind farm project

Comments surrounding Vineyard Wind’s offshore wind projects filled the Waypoint Convention Room on Monday night and they came from a diverse group ranging from climate change deniers to environmentalists. But the main discussion revolved around jobs. Fishermen strongly criticized the process with one saying he feared Europeans would commandeer all the jobs associated with offshore winds. >click to read<08:43

Series of Public Hearings on Offshore Wind Starts in New Bedford – >click to read<10:02

Gregory Mayhew has passed away

Gregory Mayhew, 72, died peacefully at his home in West Tisbury on Wednesday evening, April 11, enveloped by the love of his family. Greg battled chronic illness for many years, although this was rarely apparent, due to his ready smile and upbeat nature. Gregory was born Sept. 19, 1945, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was the third of Benjamin C. Mayhew Jr. and Eileen (Sullivan) Mayhew’s five children.,, Fishing was in Greg’s blood from birth, and was a family affair. >click to read<16:30

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Mystic, Ct. April 17 — 19, 2018

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting in Mystic, CT Hilton Hotel, 20 Coogan Boulevard, April 17 — 19, 2018.  To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live 11:09

Opinion: Ryan K. Zinke – American energy dominance means Mass. wind

from the op-ed – As we look to the future, wind energy — particularly offshore wind — will play a greater role in sustaining American energy dominance. Offshore wind uniquely leverages the natural resources off of our East Coast, bringing jobs and meeting the region’s demand for renewable energy. Ramping up wind development and building new power grid systems also coincides well with Trump’s goal of enhancing and modernizing our American infrastructure. While we continue our commitment to the coal miners and other energy workers who built our nation, we also support wind as a valued component of a diverse and flexible energy policy. >click to read<07:22

Don Cuddy: Why I’m returning for my ninth Boston Marathon

My first Boston marathon was in 1992. I’d sailed my boat to New England from San Diego, arriving in the fall of 1990 and running Boston ranked very high on the list of things I wished to accomplish. I was 39 and to obtain a  number, the BAA required me to run a sub-3:15 qualifier, So 1991 became all about running. I targeted the Marine Corps marathon in D.C. that November for my qualifying race.  Alas, my inexperience proved costly. I ran too fast, too early and finished in 3:19. >click to read< God Speed, Lad!

New England Fishery Management Council to hear Sector IX’s post-Rafael plans

The New England Fishery Management Council will be updated on the groundfish crisis involving several New Bedford-based fishing sectors when it convenes for three days of meetings next week in Mystic, Connecticut. The groundfish presentation by staff from the Gloucester-based Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be the centerpiece of the groundfish report on Wednesday and is designed to provide “an overview of (Northeast Fishing) Sector IX’s steps to address its shortcomings, as well as a summary of Sector IX’s operations plan,” according to the agenda for the meetings. >click to read<19:26

New Bedford City Council Votes for Fishing Crisis Summit; Gomes Calls Out Senators

Concerns of local fisherman have been voiced in recent weeks about the restrictions put on the industry relative to the conviction of “Codfather” Carlos Rafael and the subsequent closing of Sector IX to commercial fishing, which has seen the docking of multiple ground fishing boats and hindered business on the port. On Thursday night, the City Council unanimously passed a motion that will request Mayor Jon Mitchell, Congressman Bill Keating, Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and the local State Legislative Delegation to form and hold an emergency summit in New Bedford to address the concerns of the fishing industry. >click to read<10:05

Offshore Wind States Beware

Off of the shore of Block Island on the Rhode Island coast, five wind turbines are operating and supplying power to the island. It took years of state and federal policymaking, environmental impact assessments, and town hall meetings for the 30-megawatt wind farm to come to fruition due to its cost and degradation of vistas. It cost $300 million—$10,000 per kilowatt—about 10 times more than the cost of a new natural gas combined cycle unit. Further, it is 55 percent more costly than what the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects a first-of-a-kind offshore wind unit to cost—$6,454 per kilowatt. In terms of generation costs, EIA expects a new offshore wind farm to be 3 times more expensive than an onshore wind farm. And now, fishermen >click to read<08:16

Barry Richard: Warren and Markey are AWOL from Fishing Issues

A restless waterfront is demanding the attention of elected officials on the state and federal levels, but so far there has been little but lip service. This week, Governor Charlie Baker promised to listen to the concerns of the local fishing industry, as plans proceed for an offshore wind farm that could have grave consequences for the industry if not done right. Industry reps are concerned about the impact such development could have on fish stocks. They also worry that the budding wind industry could crowd them out along the waterfront and pose safety risks,, 10 minute radio call in.>click to read<20:24

Can anyone save the North Atlantic right whale? A group of South Shore lobstermen say they know what the answer is

By the time Mike Lane shoves off the Cohasset docks, it’s past 8 a.m. — practically lunch time for a lobsterman. But it’s early spring, and the South Shore fisheries are mostly closed, so Lane is keeping a somewhat relaxed schedule. Lobsters tend to hole up for the season several miles farther offshore, and Lane would like to be there, fishing his 800 traps. That area also happens to be a feeding area for North Atlantic right whales — one of our planet’s most endangered species. And so, four years ago, the federal government closed these grounds for much of the winter and spring. That means all Lane can do right now is set a few traps in a small area just outside Cohasset Harbor. >click to read<11:37

Lobster shell disease nudges up slightly off of Maine

A disease that disfigures lobsters has ticked up slightly in Maine in the last couple of years, but authorities and scientists say it’s not time to sound the alarm. The disease, often called epizootic shell disease, is a bacterial infection that makes lobsters impossible to sell as food, eating away at their shells and sometimes killing them. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said researchers found the disease in about 1 percent of lobsters last year. >click to read<16:41

Proposed wind farms off of New London worry local fishermen

Last week, Ørsted and Eversource announced a joint venture and has submitted a bid to build Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, in response to the state’s request for proposals for offshore wind energy generation. The approximately 200-megawatt project – Constitution Wind – would be the first of its kind to serve the state of Connecticut and would be located in federal waters 65 miles off shore. “That’s the traditional fishing ground where they’re talking about now,” said Stonington Fisherman Bob Guzzo. >click to read<18:56

2018 Mass. DMF fishing regulations go into effect April 20

The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has enacted new regulations, which were informed in part by this winter’s public hearings. The regulations were reviewed and approved by the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission at its March 15 meeting, and go into effect on April 20. The most substantive change is an adjustment to the open commercial fishing days for black sea bass. The new open commercial fishing days are Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.,, The commercial black sea bass season will begin on Tuesday, July 10.,, During the inshore small-mesh trawl squid fishery, April 23–June 9, trawlers will be allowed to retain a 50-pound bycatch limit of black sea bass. >click to read<18:00

Elver run looks good, prices up over last year

Since the start of the elver season on March 22, the spring run has been picking up and landings are looking good. The Ellsworth American reported that dealers paid an average price of $2,747 per pound the first week of the harvest for elvers, which are bought by eel farmers in Asia. Elvers are by far Maine’s most valuable fishery per pound, but the catch is limited by a quota, so in terms of sales revenues it’s one of the least valuable in the state. According to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, elver landings among non-native harvesters reported as of 6 p.m. on April 7 totaled 581.7 pounds out of an overall quota of 7,566.3 pounds. >click to read<15:29

Greasing the Skids: Bay State Wind Plans More Than $2 Million in Environmental Research Grants

Bay State Wind, which is working to bring clean, renewable and affordable energy to Massachusetts, today announced plans to provide more than $2 million in grants for research and programs to protect New England’s fisheries and whale populations. The grants include $1 million for a Bay State Wind Marine Science Grant Program for directed fisheries resources research on the Bay State Wind lease area. Funded projects will focus on addressing specific questions and concerns raised by the fishing industry. In addition, the Woods Hole Oceanography Institute would receive a $500,000 multi-year grant for the development of advanced whale detection systems, and the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research Project and the Lobster Foundation of Massachusetts would each receive $250,000 to prevent gear entanglement of the North Atlantic Right Whale. >click to read<11:27