Category Archives: New England

How a 25-year-old turned his ‘passion project’ into a global business with $30 million in sales

When recent college grads Luke Holden and Ben Conniff opened a hole-in-the-wall, 200-square-foot lobster shack in New York City’s East Village in the fall of 2009, they were wholly unprepared. The two had recently met through Craigslist and gave themselves a two-month time-frame to open their shack, which they dubbed “Luke’s Lobster.”,,, Holden did have an idea he was excited about: a lobster shack.,,, Holden saw a hole in the market. He called his dad, who had 50 years of experience as a Maine lobsterman, dealer and processor, and asked him to be a 50-50 investor in the first Luke’s Lobster shack. >click to read<13:43

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Seals were once nearly wiped out from the Gulf of Maine.

At any given time, approximately 600 seals splash, bathe and feed around a modest mass of rocks six miles off the coast of Maine, the northernmost of the Isles of Shoals. These seals, both gray and harbor species, have made a resurgence in local waters over the last two decades following the imperative enaction of federal protections. Prior to the 1970s, the species had essentially been extirpated in Maine and Massachusetts, after being hunted for their pelts, and killed as competition for fish, said Jennifer Seavey, executive director of Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island, a joint program between the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University. >click to read<09:38

NEFMC – Whiting Amendment 22: Five Hearings to Consider Limited Access Program for Small-Mesh Multispecies

The New England Fishery Management Council has scheduled five public hearings on Draft Amendment 22 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This amendment proposes to establish a limited access program for five stocks of small-mesh species: northern silver hake, southern silver hake, and offshore hake –collectively referred to as “whiting” –as well as northern red hake and southern red hake. The amendment contains three components: (1) limited access qualification criteria; (2) silver and offshore hake possession limit alternatives; and (3) permit “characteristics and conditions” that could apply if limited access is adopted. Although the Council voted in December 2017 to send Amendment 22 out to public hearing with “no action” as its preferred alternative,public input is highly encouraged on all options. Public Hearing Schedule, Gloucester, Tinton Falls, NJ, Montauk, Warwick, New Bedford  >click to read<17:08

R.I. squid fishermen fear wind power

Rhode Island fishermen say a patch of the Atlantic Ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard is among the best places around to catch squid. They are also the same waters in which a developer selected by Massachusetts plans to install up to 100 giant wind turbines that would supply clean, renewable energy to the state. Now, Rhode Island coastal regulators and the state’s fishing community are raising concerns that the offshore wind farm that Vineyard Wind wants to build in 250 square miles of federally-owned ocean may affect access to the squid grounds that are critical to the Point Judith fleet. >click to read<09:13

“It has to be tested” – Massachusetts Lobsterman to test ropeless buoy equipment

Sonar technology used is Australia for southern rock lobster commercial fishing will be tested in July, possibly in Cape Cod Bay, as a method to better protect “imperiled” Northern Right Whales from rope entanglements.,,, IFAW will pay $30,000 to provide the equipment, a trainer and onboard support for what is expected to be a test by one member of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association of the acoustic release equipment manufactured by Desert Star Systems, a company based in Marina, California, and founded by Marco Flagg. >click to read<18:23

Maine Lobster Boat Racing: NASCAR meets tractor pulls

To Patrick Hanley, it was the extra salt that did it. A 19-year-old lobsterman from Bass Harbor, Hanley ran about 6½ knots faster during the lobster boat races in Bass Harbor last weekend in his boat, the Haleigh Katlyn, than he had the year before. But, he lamented at dockside over a few beers, he could have done better.,,,  The vice president of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association, Travis Otis, said the races are “not always just about winning a small plastic trophy, but rather the connection with other people.” “I’ve always likened it to a mix between a NASCAR race and a family reunion, sprinkled with some good old fashioned tractor pulling just for pizzazz,” Otis said. >click to read<10:00

New Hampshire fishermen face declining prices

Local commercial fishermen say the price per pound they earn for their catch has dropped in recent years as their industry continues to struggle financially.Fishermen say they have been selling their fish at prices several cents per pound less than in years past, citing strict catch quotas, a decline in businesses that buy their fish and a rise in imported fish as causes for the drop in their earnings. Hampton fisherman David Geothel said prices for small American plaice, a species of flounder on which he relies in the face of strict cod catch limits, have dropped from $1.40 to $1.50 per pound in previous years to between 40 and 70 cents per pound now. >click to read< 21:55

Land ahoy! Fishermen challenge presidential designations of ocean monuments

This month, the Antiquities Act turned 112 years old. Originally conceived to protect Native American artifacts in the Southwest, the law has, like so many federal laws, been twisted over time by power-hungry government officials. Controversy over the law’s abuse is coming to a head in New England, where fishermen are locked out of a large section of their fishery by the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. After spending years working to recover fish stocks and promote more sustainable fishing methods, they rightly see this move as a betrayal that threatens their livelihoods.  Why is a 112-year-old law so controversial today? The answer lies in the aggressive reinterpretation of the law by presidents seeking to expand their power. >click to read<14:00

Marshfield lobsterman ‘living the dream’

Pregnant female: toss. Notch in the fin: toss. Jonah crab: toss. Legal lobster: Keep.  Shell smaller than 3¼ inches: toss. Shell hasn’t hardened after molting: toss. This is the sorting method lobsterman Steve Carver follows as he pulls in his lobster traps — 200 per day — in Green Harbor. He can have up to 20 lobsters in a trap and throw all of them back into the water to comply with fishing regulations. And that’s only part of what makes lobster fishing a brutal profession. “We redefine ‘tired,’” Carver, 46, of Marshfield, said on a recent Thursday out on the water. “It takes a certain kind of person. All in all, it’s just a lot of hard work. I don’t see how you could do it if you didn’t love it.” Photo gallery >click to read<10:04

S-K Fund: Salem profs win $296K for Cape Ann project to developing to mussel aqua-farm

Two Salem State University marine researchers will receive just over $296,000 in Saltonstall-Kennedy grant funds to expand their project aimed at developing offshore commercial shellfish aquaculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. The project by SSU marine biology professor Mark R. Fregeau and SSU colleague Edward Maney Jr. is the only North Shore-based project included among the 38 projects nationally that will receive a slice of the $9 million NOAA is doling out in the 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy funding cycle. >click to read<19:49

U.S. Commerce Department Announces Appointments to Regional Fishery Management Councils for 2018

The U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. Twenty-nine of the new and reappointed council members will serve three-year terms from August 11, 2018 through August 10, 2021. One appointed member is filling an at-large seat recently vacated on the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and this member will serve through August 10, 2020. >click to read<17:02

The cost of herring – Fishermen feeling bait price squeeze

“We made no money this spring,” said Bass Harbor fisherman Justin Sprague. The cost of operations for lobstering continues to increase while the boat price of lobster has hardly budged. The cost of herring, the preferred bait for most Maine lobsterman, has gone up especially sharply. “We don’t have any margin at this point,” Sprague said. “It’s frustrating, to say the least.” Bruce Colbeth manages the C.H. Rich lobster wharf in Bass Harbor. “By the time these guys pay for fuel, bait and stern men, there ain’t too much left for them,” he said. “I remember six years ago you could sell (herring) bait for $26 a bushel. Now it’s doubled.” >click to read<11:41

Maine DMR sets up lottery for new scallop licenses

This week, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) announced the final terms for two newly established lotteries for scallop fishing licenses. One lottery is for dragger licenses, the other for diver licenses. The catch, though, is that nobody knows for sure how many licenses, if any, will be available each year. DMR has been working for more than a year on a plan to bring new entrants into the scallop fishery. The lotteries announced this week are the culmination of extensive discussions last year among members of DMR’s Scallop Advisory Council with considerable input, often heated, from industry members. >click to read<09:09

Rachel Irene, Wild Wild West win at Bass Harbor boat races

Sun-baked racers looked as red as the cooked version of their daily catch once prizes were doled out at the 8th Annual Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races on Sunday. Cameron Crawford’s 1,000-plus horsepower Wild Wild West was the winner in the diesel free-for-all category and the overall “Fastest Lobster Boat” competition, but didn’t set a new diesel speed record. Greg Lewis’s Rachel Irene, a Mitchell Cove 35 with a 500-horsepower Cummins under the platform, earned the title of “Bass Harbor’s Fastest Lobster Boat.” >click to read<20:16

American oldest seaport, Gloucester needs new fishermen to keep Gloucester fishing into future !

There is a problem facing most of our fishing communities today in the U.S. Fish stocks are coming back, and most of our fishermen are gone. Our fishing communities need to get young people into the fishing industry. Here’s an example: NOTICE America’s oldest seaport needs new fishermen to keep the City of Gloucester fishing into the future! Whiting fishing begins July 15, 2018, and at age of 75, Sam Novello might have to go back whiting fishing again because lack of fishermen in today’s commercial fishing industry. (He’s looking for a crewman.) >click to read<09:15

Conservationist intends to sue five states over whale entanglements, including individual lobstermen

A noted North Atlantic right whale conservationist who is suing Massachusetts officials over the licensing of commercial lobster pot gear has said he intends to do the same thing in five other states starting with Maine. The Maine DNR is killing and injuring endangered whales and sea turtles in U.S. coastal waters from its licensing of lobster pot gear, and gill nets, said Richard “Max” Strahan of Whale Safe USA, which is based in Cambridge. >click to read<08:18

Letter: Consultation and collaboration with fishermen needed on whale situation

I have watched from the comfort of my home – this from Ottawa and DFO: “Robust, science-based, coherent measures to protect these highly endangered North Atlantic right whales; we’re really playing Russian roulette with the entire future of the Canadian fish and seafood industry,” Mr. LeBlanc (the fisheries minister) was quoted as saying. Very strong words, but wait a minute – don’t we live in Canada? What about our Charter of Rights and Freedoms? The right to participate in political activities and the right to a democratic government? Sterling Belliveau, Former Nova Scotia fisheries minister >click to read<13:28

For Maine lobstermen, conservation and success go hand in hand

It’s 7 a.m. on the Pull n’ Pray. The lobster boat rocks over large swells as the water sparkles in the June morning sun. The grating whirr of the hydraulic winch drowns out the hum of the boat’s motor as it lifts the first lobster trap of the day out of the water. Justin Papkee swings the trap up onto the side of his boat and quickly opens the latch. Suddenly there are lobsters flying through the air. Mr. Papkee’s blue rubber gloved hand is nearly a blur as he reaches again and again into the open trap, tossing the lobsters back into the water rapid-fire before pulling in the next trap. >click to read<12:28

No, lobsters aren’t actually immortal: The science behind their long lives

In 2017, a massive 22-pound lobster named Louie, estimated by some sources to be 132 years old at the time, was pardoned after spending 20 years at a seafood restaurant in Island Park, New York. He was later deposited in the nearby coastal waters, complete with a ceremonial send-off. This story was revived in a recent Twitter conversation about the longevity of the crustacean, which has only been a dining delicacy in the United States since the mid-19th century, suggested lobsters may be immortal (Technically, Twitter user @JUNIUS_64 theorized the lobsters “made a deal with the devil for conditional immortality and it backfired on them”). The sort of “immortality” of lobsters is linked to telomeres–a structure on the end of a chromosome–that is constantly repaired in lobsters. >click to read<15:58

U.S. House set to vote on key fisheries bill, HR-200, Tuesday

It’s called the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, or H.R. 200. It’s also referred to as the Modern Fish Act. Its author, Rep. Don Young, says the bill would update and improve the Magnuson Stevens Act, the primary law that guides federal fisheries regulators. “Reauthorizing the MSA will ensure a proper balance between the biological needs of fish stocks and the economic needs of fishermen and coastal communities,” Young said after the House Natural Resources Committee approved his bill in December. “MSA has not been reauthorized since 2006. It is long past time for this Congress to act and support our nation’s fisheries.” >click to read< Read the HR-200 Bill->click here< 08:39

Gloucester: Intershell’s new boat a sign fishing still to be done

A week before Gloucester gives itself over completely to the annual St. Peter’s Fiesta, the city’s fishing fleet and shoreside stakeholders had something tangible to celebrate in the effort to return the city to its fishing glory. Undaunted by gray skies and passing showers, nearly 50 people assembled Saturday at the Intershell facility on Harbor Cove to honor the christening and blessing of the newest vessel in the Gloucester fleet — Intershell’s wholly refitted, 55-foot surf clam boat, F/V Bing Bing. The all-metal vessel, though built in Moss Point, Mississippi, in 1977 as a sea clam boat, has evolved into an all-Gloucester boat through the 10-month re-fitting that included the work of dozens of local tradesmen, the facilities at Rose’s Marine and the entire Intershell team. >click to read<15:23

Closing out the seventh season, ‘Wicked Tuna’ celebrating 100th episode

The hit National Geographic reality series “Wicked Tuna” is going to close out its seventh season with its 100th episode Sunday night. When producers first came to Gloucester back in 2011, none of the captains realized what they were in for. Even Capt. Dave Marciano of Beverly, who fishes out of Gloucester, admitted then that he didn’t think anything would come of it. Fast forward seven years; “Wicked Tuna” has remained a steady hit for National Geographic, and now airs in 171 countries and 43 languages. >click to read<14:41

Lets get every Rep. in the House to Co-Sponsor “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act” S1322

Greetings from Gloucester! My name is Sam Parisi, and as some of you know, I have been concerned with the process of how S-K Funds, and distribution of the funds have been handled by NOAA.
I have asked our Senators to support Bill S1322 and I am happy to say thanks to Angela Sanfilppo, The Mayor of Gloucester, The Mass Lobster Association, the Gloucester Fisheries Commission and fisherman up and down the coast that have contacted Senator Markey who is on the committee, and is now with us in support of this important the bill, which will be going to the House.,, I ask all of you to contact your Congressmen and Senators in your area’s to tell them to vote in favor Senator Dan Sullivan’s bill, the “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act”, S1322. >click to read<18:01

This competition might be the most Maine way to welcome in summer

If you are looking for something to race, few vehicles are less suited to the task than lobster boats. Squat, squarish, loaded with tons of equipment, lobster boats are essentially floating platforms, working craft from which lobster traps are hauled up or dropped off, often in lousy weather. Yet about 70 such boats are expected to race a mile course just outside Bass Harbor on Sunday as part of the 2018 Maine Lobster Boat Racing season. The races are free and open to the public, according to Wayne Rich, a lobsterman and organizer of the Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Race. >click to read<11:50

The Life of a Fisherman, On the Small Screen: Gloucester’s Famous TV Stars

America’s oldest seaport, Gloucester, Massachusetts is 31 miles north of Boston. Settled in 1623 as an English colony, its charter predates both those of Salem and Boston (1626 and 1630, respectively).,, The lore of Gloucester’s brine also includes a colony of commercial fishermen. Some of those seafarers are featured on National Geographic’s hit television series Wicked Tuna. New Boston Post caught up with Dave Marciano, captain of the Hard Merchandise, for some behind-the-scenes dish about the show, to discuss why the popular series launches from Gloucester, and most importantly to understand how the endangered bluefin tuna population is protected from over-fishing. >click to read< 15:00

Sam Parisi – Why I will be listening to other candidates in the next election.

Greetings to those that read this. As a retired fisherman, I have tried to help those who still exist. As a third generation fisherman and a Democrat, I have helped both Senator Warren and Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. I have written them twice and asked for their input and support for a Fish Bill. I am sad to say neither one have answered my letters. I have donated my time and money and put up campaign signs for them and yet can not get them to respond to me. I am disappointed,,,, >click to read<13:59

Provincetown: The women behind the fishermen

Fishing has changed, but being the wife of a fisherman has not. The wives keep the books, paint buoys, and make sure permits are up to date. They give pep talks, and sometimes fish alongside their husbands when a crewman doesn’t show up. These women are the shore captains, the homemakers, and the mates on and off the boats. They encourage, support and value their husbands and the work they do. “Fishermen’s wives also support each other,” says Tasia Rego, whose husband, Mike, fishes off the Miss Lilly. “We are like families. We help each other. We understand the ups and downs of the business.” >click to read<11:24

“A Good Diehl for Fishing” – Warren’s Senate Republican challenger Diehl unveils plan to help fleet

Geoff Diehl, the Republican challenger to incumbent U. S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would retain Carlos Rafael’s forfeited groundfish permits in New Bedford and would push to repeal the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, according to his plan to help the fishing industry. Diehl, a state representative from Whitman, is set to release the plan, “A Good Diehl for Fishing,” at campaign stops Thursday in New Bedford, Scituate and Gloucester.,, The Diehl fishing plan also calls for reducing the regulatory burden on commercial fishermen and finding “a balance between the necessary protections to ensure ocean preservation, and continuing to support the growth of a healthy marine industry across the state.” >click to read<09:14

Massachusetts Environmental Police recreational vessel inspection nets criminal summonses

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, a Massachusetts Environmental Police Officer conducted a fisheries inspection of a recreational vessel at the boat ramp in Sandwich. The inspection of the vessel yielded 300 pounds of jumbo black sea bass, 73 pounds of large black sea bass, one short black sea bass, and 7 pounds of scup. The vessel operator presented the Officer with a New Hampshire commercial fishing permit and indicated he believed he could fish commercially in Massachusetts with said permit. The operator and his passengers were each issued criminal summonses for fishing commercially in Massachusetts without a Massachusetts commercial permit and possession over the legal limit of black sea bass. 15:37