Category Archives: New England

R.I. commercial fishing landed $93.9M in 2016

Approximately 82.5 million pounds of seafood were commercially landed in Rhode Island in 2016, an increase of 9.1 percent year over year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries of the United States 2016 report Monday. The year’s haul in the Ocean State was worth a combined $93.9 million, an increase of 14.7 percent… Rhode Island caught 22.5 million pounds of squid in 2016, 16 percent of the national supply and second most in the country to California. click here to read the story 07:21

How Nantucket Came to Be the Whaling Capital of the World

Today Nantucket Island is a fashionable summer resort: a place of T-shirt shops and trendy boutiques. It’s also a place of picture-perfect beaches where even at the height of summer you can stake out a wide swath of sand to call your own. Part of what makes the island unique is its place on the map. More than 25 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and only 14 miles long, Nantucket is, as Herman Melville wrote in Moby-Dick, “away off shore.” But what makes Nantucket truly different is its past. For a relatively brief period during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, this lonely crescent of sand at the edge of the Atlantic was the whaling capital of the world and one of the wealthiest communities in America. click here to read the story 14:46

On This Day – November 4, 1991 – Swordfishing Boat Missing, Overdue

The Coast Guard continued searching today for a fishing boat due back in Gloucester last Friday from a trip to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, Canada.  The 70-foot Andrea Gail was supposed to have returned to port by Saturday with its crew of six fishermen. Several Gloucester fishermen were said to be aboard the vessel, but Coast Guard officials were withholding crew members’ names this morning pending notification of their families. The vessel has not been heard from since Thursday when it was reported to be 180 miles east-northeast of Canada’s Sable Island.  The missing vessel was reported to be encountering 30-foot seas and 50 to 80-know winds kicked up by the northeaster that devastated coastal New England last week. click here to read the story 08:13

Cape Cod fishermen have high hopes for halibut

On the U.S. side of the border Atlantic halibut are listed under the Endangered Species Act and fishermen are limited to one fish per trip. Less than a half a day’s steam to the east, the same fish is the poster child for sustainable fishery management and generates between $100 million and $200 million a year for Canadian fishermen. It’s a divergence shrouded in mystery as deep as the ocean on either side of the Hague Line, the boundary that separates the two nations out to the 200 mile limit of their exclusive economic zones. The target date to rebuild the U.S. Atlantic halibut stock to healthy levels is 2056, nearly 40 years in the future. click here to read the story 07:49

NEFMC Undertakes Independent Review to Assess Past Performance and Solicit Suggestions for Improvement

The New England Fishery Management Council is undergoing an independent review to: (1) assess past performance; (2) gather feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the Council process and operations; and (3) identify potential areas for improvements. Stakeholder input is critical to this review. The Council is encouraging commercial and recreational fishermen, industry leaders, fishery managers, members of non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to participate in the effort. ONLINE SURVEY – Port meetings from Maine to New Jersey click here to read the information 21:30

New England, Mid-Atlantic States Lead Nation in Volume and Value of Several Key Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released the Fisheries of the U. S. 2016 report, and once again New Bedford, Mass. was the leading U.S. port by value and American lobsters were the nation’s most valuable landed species. Alaska led all states in the value and volume of commercial landings, with 5.6 billion pounds valued at $1.6 billion. Maine and Massachusetts ranked second and third in the value of landings at $633.6 million and $552.1 million, respectively. American lobsters were the nation’s top-valued species landed, with crabs second and scallops third. Alaska pollock ranked first in volume of landings, followed by menhaden and Pacific cod.  click here to read the story 17:39

Feds intend to appeal forfeiture deal in Codfather case

Federal prosecutors are not going quietly in their quest to exact far more assets from convicted fishing mogul Carlos Rafael. The U.S. Attorney’s office on Wednesday filed a motion of its intent to appeal the court-ordered plan to seize only four of Rafael’s vessels and their accompanying 34 permits instead of the 13 vessels and accompanying permits sought in the forfeiture plan developed by prosecutors. click here to read the story 16:09

NOAA: American Fisheries Remain a Strong Economic Driver

Commercial and recreational fisheries remain a strong contributor to the United States economy, according to the annual Fisheries of the United States report released today by NOAA.
Saltwater recreational fishing remains one of America’s favorite pastimes and a key contributor to the national economy,,, Also in 2016, U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.6 billion pounds of seafood (down 1.5 percent from 2015) valued at $5.3 billion (up 2.1 percent from 2015). The highest value commercial species were lobster ($723 million),,, click here to read the report   click here for infographics 15:27

Tally’s hauls big tuna from the woods

What would you do if you came across a 400-pound tuna in the woods? Perhaps a better question: What in the world was a dead tuna doing in the woods in the vicinity of Revere Street? Those are just some of the questions the Massachusetts Environmental Police and NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement are trying to answer in their investigation of who dumped the headless giant tuna in the woods. “I can’t really discuss it because it’s an ongoing investigation,” said Maj. Patrick Moran of the Environmental Police. Ditto for NOAA Fisheries’ law enforcement folks click here to read the story 18:30

Weather ‘bomb’ slams New England, knocking out power to more than 1 million

More than 1.3 million residents of the Northeast U.S. were in the dark on Monday morning after an unusually fierce coastal storm rapidly intensified and slammed into New York State overnight. The storm knocked out power to more people across the region than any other storm since Hurricane Sandy hit exactly 5 years ago. Winds gusted higher than hurricane force from eastern Long Island to Maine, with a peak wind gust of 93 miles per hour recorded in Mashpee, Massachusetts. click here to read the story 18:13

Death of Maine fisherman found in his burned home being investigated as homicide

The death of a Whitneyville man found dead inside his burned home on Saturday is being investigated as a homicide. Maine State Police have identified the dead man as Wayne Foss, 48. Foss was a commercial fisherman who lived with his wife and son in the mobile home that burned, although his family was not home at the time of the fire, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a news release Monday. click here to read the story 17:08

Don Cuddy: At the fish auction, you need a translator

A sow jig hake, a lemon sole Georges or a pee wee channel anyone? Now that is some real New Bedford fish auction talk. Allow me to translate. A hake is one of our underutilized but tasty New England fish species. A sow hake is a fish that weighs in at ten pounds or more while a ‘jig’ is a variety of bottom fishing employing a lead weight with a hook attached that is jerked up and down, by hand or mechanically, to attract and snag bottom dwelling fish. And a 12-inch flounder caught in the Great South Channel is known in the trade as a pee wee channel. Sow jig hake recently fetched $3.15 per pound at the display auction in New Bedford,, click here to read the story 16:27

Sheriff’s captain accused of helping ‘Codfather’ smuggle cash

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. Jamie Melo, 45, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was indicted on one count each of bulk cash smuggling, structuring and conspiracy. In August 2017, Melo was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint. click here to read the story 10:46

Kristen Monsell: Before Banning Canadian Snow Crab, Test for Wolbachia

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Joachim Murray lived life with seawater in his veins

My great-uncle, Capt. Joachim Murray, was described in “Doreys and Doreymen” by Otto Kelland (of “Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary’s” fame) “as one of these young men from Newfoundland, who through sheer courage and perseverance, in an amazingly short time, raised themselves from doreymen to captain on board fishing vessels out of Gloucester, Massachusetts.” Joachim was the elder brother of my grandfather, Maurice Murray, of Marquise at Argentia. He migrated to Gloucester from Argentia in the latter part of the 19th century. Joachim married Esther Williams of Bay Bulls and they settled into a private life with their young daughter, Louise, at 20 Leighton Ct., Gloucester. On Jan. 29th, 1897, the Gloucester schooner Helen G. Wells arrived in Boston, its flag at half-mast. Its captain, William N. Wells, had been swept overboard in a gale and lost at sea. click here to read the story 14:23

Parents of reality show star, overdose victim Adam Moser, invited by Trump to opioid speech

East Kingston’s Jim and Jeanne Moser stood in front of President Donald Trump in the White House’s East Room Thursday with a photo of their son Adam. Trump reached out, placing his hand on Adam’s face. The Mosers traveled to Washington for Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a nationwide public health emergency.,, Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Moser died from an apparent fentanyl overdose in Portsmouth in September 2015. click here to read the story 08:36

Judge denies feds’ motion for Carlos Rafael to forfeit more vessels, permits

Judge William Young didn’t waste any time denying the United States’ motion for reconsideration in the case of Carlos Rafael. The government filed the reconsideration on Wednesday, the same day Young filed his judgement. The government sought Young to reconsider the forfeitability of Rafael’s vessels and permits. Young ordered four vessels and the accompanying permits to be forfeited on Oct. 11. U.S. Marshals seized the vessels the Lady Patricia, Olivia & Rafaela and the Southern Crusader II on Oct. 18. The reconsideration stated, “the court may correct a sentence that resulted from arithmetical, technical or other clerical error” within 14 days. click here to read the story 19:13

Cape fishermen push for action on habitat protection

Part of managing fisheries is identifying and protecting that habitat. But the ocean is a big place and a difficult environment to do analysis. Politically, it’s also fractious terrain as fishermen worry about the balance between conservation and being shut out of traditional and productive fishing grounds. And so, it took 14 years for the New England Fishery Management to craft regulations protecting fish habitat, passing Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 in June of 2015. But after over two years of review by the council and the National Marine Fisheries Service, it still hasn’t been implemented,,, click here to read the story 11:19

Maine lobster landings, price draw concern

Fishermen have reported catching far fewer lobsters this season than last year’s record-setting numbers. But the scarcity does not seem to have translated into much upward pressure on prices. While harvesters and dealers hold boat price information close to the vest, unofficial reports indicate that boat prices have actually dropped to $2.50 per pound or worse.,, Islesford lobsterman Bruce Fernald, part of the Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-Op, said his catch is down about 20 percent this year. click here to read the story 09:19

Eat local seafood to celebrate National Seafood Month

If I could only eat seafood, I would be quite happy. I’ve tried everything from jellyfish to cuttlefish, in addition to all the varieties of actual fish. So, I like the month of October, as it is National Seafood Month. National Seafood Month is a celebration of all kinds of delights that we harvest from the sea. It simultaneously celebrates the health of our oceans, a necessity to provide harvestable products, as well as our connection to our oceans through those who harvest its food and bring it to market and to our tables. click here to read the story 10:06

After witness recants, jury acquits lobsterman of ordering sinking of competitor’s boat

A Knox County jury deliberated for more than an hour Tuesday before clearing a Tenants Harbor lobsterman accused of paying his former sternman to sink a competitor’s boat. The jury found Alan B. Norwood Jr., 48, not guilty of felony aggravated criminal mischief in connection to the Sept. 1, 2016 sinking of the 36-foot lobster boat Oracle, owned by Joshua Hupper, off St. George. Norwood testified Tuesday on his behalf and told jurors he never asked his then sternman Vincent Hilt to sink the boat and denied paying him $500 for the sinking. click here to read the story 16:57

Educating the public – A lobster cruise: The luckiest catch in Maine

Captain Tom Martin turns the handle that draws up the lobster trap sitting on the ocean floor 45 feet below the surface to see what he can see. It’s a guessing game every time: Will it be big enough — but not too big — to keep? Will it be a pregnant female, which he can’t keep?  “It’s easy to get hooked on it,” Martin says. “I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I still enjoy going out to pick up the traps and seeing what’s inside. It’s like playing a slot machine — you never know what’s going come up in the trap.” Martin, the owner of Lucky Catch Cruises of out of Portland Maine,   video, click here to read the story 13:54

NOAA Approves State Water Exemptions for Scallop Fisheries in Maine and Massachusetts

The State Waters Scallop Exemption Program allows federal permit holders to fish in the state waters scallop fishery on a more equitable basis where federal and state laws are inconsistent. The Program specifies that a state with a scallop fishery may be eligible for state waters exemptions from specific regulations if it has a scallop conservation program that does not jeopardize the objectives of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. click here to read the press release 12:41

Another North Atlantic right whale found dead on Cape Cod

Yet another North Atlantic right whale carcass has been discovered, the sixteenth confirmed death of the endangered species this year. The International Fund for Animal Welfare says the carcass was found on Nashawena Island, south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The animal welfare organization says the carcass was “very decomposed,” but it is working alongside the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine the cause of death. click here to read the story 09:47

Cape Groups say Stop wiping out herring close to shore

Herring loom large in the history of Cape Cod — it’s no coincidence that pretty much all of our towns have a “Herring River,” nor that one of the first public positions created in Colonial days was “herring warden,” charged with overseeing one of the community’s most important economic resources… In an effort to preserve the species, we have stopped people from scooping up so much as a single herring from our runs. Yet millions of river herring are killed just offshore and denied the chance to reproduce. It makes no sense.This is only one reason the Association to Preserve Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance have come together to call on federal regulators to create a buffer zone around the Cape to stop midwater herring trawling in our waters. click here to read the story 21:59:

North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium – scientists say Right whales could be 20 years away from certain extinction

Scientists at an annual meeting for North Atlantic right whales estimate the species has a little over two decades left to survive unless changes are made immediately. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium’s annual meeting was held in Halifax on Sunday, and all of the scientists spoke with a sense of urgency about the fate of these whales. This summer, at least 15 right whales died in Canadian and U.S. waters and scientists at the conference stressed that human activity is the primary cause of death for all right whales. click here to read the story 11:21

Zombait! Maine inventor’s device puts the wiggle back in dead bait fish

The product, appropriately named Zombait, is a hinged tube with a battery-powered motor inside that can be stuffed down the throat of dead bait to make it wiggle back and forth, simulating the swimming motion of a live fish. The idea is to trick big fish into thinking they’re going after live prey. Zombait is the brain child of entrepreneur and veteran tuna fisherman Rink Varian, who lives in Phippsburg. Varian dreamed up the idea for a lure that reanimates dead bait during a slow day of bluefin tuna fishing, which he attributed to a lack of live mackerel on his boat. He wondered if there might be a way to bring those dead mackerel “back to life.” click here to read the story 08:26

Little hope in latest evaluations of codfish – NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information

The completed operational assessments to help determine 2018-2020 groundfish quotas do not appear to be any more optimistic about the state of Gulf of Maine cod than those that effectively shuttered the fishery in the fall of 2014. The New England Fishery Management Council’s science and statistical committee is set to meet Monday and Tuesday in Boston to review the assessments for 19 groundfish species and finalize its catch recommendations to the full council.   click here to read the story 07:31

NEFMC SSC Meeting, October 23-24, 2017, Live Streaming Information –  Meeting materials (click here) Online access to the meeting (click here)

Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge in Halifax – Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic’

The focus of this year’s annual meeting of North Atlantic right whale researchers has been altered in light of 15 of the critically endangered marine mammals being found dead this year in waters off eastern Canada and the U.S. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said the goal of this year’s meeting is to explain the science behind the “mortality crisis” to members of government who will be there. The consortium also said the purpose of this year’s meeting is to form an international working group to look at the big picture when it comes to right whales, instead of managing problems region by region. click here to read the story

Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic – Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge today in Nova Scotia to save right whales. Among the commercial lobstermen at the right whale symposium today is John Haviland, of the South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association,,, click here to read the story 09:12

NEFMC commitee votes to protect corals in Gulf of Maine

Federal regulars have decided to protect two areas in the Gulf of Maine that are home to slow-growing corals. The protected areas encompass almost 40 square miles and are called Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock. The areas would still be open to lobster fishing but not to bottom trawling. A committee of the New England Fishery Management Council voted on the protections on Thursday. click here to read the story 14:43