Category Archives: New England

How New England’s Jonah Crab Turned From Garbage To Delicacy

Ten years ago, the Jonah crab was basically garbage: a bycatch that would turn up in lobster traps and, usually, be tossed back into the cold New England water. That’s all beginning to change.
The Jonah crab is a medium-sized crab, ranging from brownish to reddish to greyish, boasting big claws tipped with black. During the winter, when most of the year’s crabs are caught along the Atlantic coast from Maine down to Rhode Island, it has an exceedingly hard shell, requiring a hammer or a saw to open. It’s mostly served as a plate of the large claws, with someone else taking care of scoring and cracking them open for the customer. >click to read<15:47

Premium Brands notches up yet another acquisition with Ready Seafood

Canadian food producer Premium Brands Holdings is adding yet another company to its extensive list of acquisitions this year with the purchase of US-based processor Ready Seafood Co. Premium Brands said in a statement today (4 September) it has signed a “definitive agreement” to acquire Ready Seafood located in Portland, Maine. The company was founded in 2004 by brothers John and Brendan Ready and has annual sales of around US$100m. Ready Seafood processes, distributes and markets lobsters for the US market from its three production facilities in Maine. >click to read<18:47

Cape Ann Seafood Exchange plans to reopen Tuesday

The Cape Ann Seafood Exchange expects to resume landing fish Tuesday, almost two weeks after the U.S. Labor Department effectively shuttered the business by seizing its bank accounts because of unpaid court-ordered damages. Kristian Kristensen, the owner of the fish auction on 27 Harbor Loop, said Thursday night that he had received final paper work from Labor Department officials that unfroze his business and personal bank accounts. “Now we can start putting things back in order, pay some people and hopefully start landing fish again on Tuesday, the day after the holiday,” Kristensen said. “That’s the plan.” >click to read<15:54

Will Congress reel in regulations on America’s fishermen?

Sep. 03, 2018 – 5:09 – Fishing industry says the U.S. government is crushing them with regulations. >click here to play video< 12:03

Coast Guard, local fire department medevac fisherman off Provincetown

Coast Guard crews along with the Provincetown Fire Department medically evacuated a fisherman Saturday morning after he fell overboard approximately two miles off the coast of Provincetown. The captain of the scallop boat Glutton notified the Coast Guard at approximately 7:15 a.m. that one of his crew, a 24-year-old man, had fallen overboard and became entangled in fishing gear. The fisherman freed himself, resurfaced and was recovered by the Glutton crew. (photo credit Building Provincetown) >click to read<11:37

Faith Leaders Bless Block Island Wind Farm, Call For More Offshore Wind

On Monday, more than 110 people of faith from New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Maryland stood silently as Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Ethical Culture Society leaders took turns offering reflections, readings from sacred writings and blessings during a ceremony at the Block Island Wind Farm. The ceremony was part of Trek to the Turbines, an educational ferry tour of the U.S.’ first offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Block Island, R.I., and developed by Deepwater Wind. The event was organized by interfaith environmental organization GreenFaith and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), along with support from Jersey Renews. >click to read>09:15

Fisherman saves dog in distress in the middle of Greenwich Bay

A local shellfisherman taking part in a boat race, winds up saving a dog in distress, found paddling in the middle of Greenwich Bay. Every Monday, a dozen or so boats with crews to match, use a ‘race’ as an excuse to unwind on Greenwich Bay. But Monday, August 20th was different. While onboard the Quing Long, quahogger by trade Jody King noticed what he first thought was a mop floating in the water. “I yelled at it and it turned around. God it’s eyes got about this big,” said King. He thinks the dog seemed like it had been in the water “at least, over an hour,” he said. Video, >click to read<19:46

Catch and Release: Humpback snared in a fishing net

A group of 85 whale watchers witnessed humpback whale “Owl” thrash for 50 minutes while caught in a fishing net Thursday afternoon off the Isle of Shoals, said Peter Reynolds who led the tour. Jen Kennedy, executive director of the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, said the fishing net was deployed off the purse-seiner” vessel “Western Wave” and the net “completely encompassed the 32 year-old humpback.,, A Coast Guard spokesman said a Coast Guard boat patrolling at the time, about 2:15 pm Thursday, responded to the incident, took about 40 minutes to get there and by the time it did, the fishing net had been lowered and Owl was freed. >click to read<15:13

Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Convicted of Smuggling Rafael Profits to Portugal

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was convicted today by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and 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, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2018. The jury acquitted the defendant of one count of bulk cash smuggling. >click to read<08:31

Massachusetts GOP hopeful Geoff Diehl forms fishing advisory council

Geoff Diehl, who’s running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, announced Thursday morning the formation of his “Fishing Advisory Council.” Diehl made the announcement on the city’s working waterfront at Bergie’s Seafood. “Understanding the importance of fishing to our economy, I have been meeting with leaders of the industry for well over a year. It is clear that fishermen need and deserve a full-time senator who will work to revive and protect the industry,” Diehl said in a statement. “That’s why today I am pleased to announce my Fishing Advisory Council. They will be advising me on fishing and related matters that effect our local ports.” >click to read<13:57

A controversial comeback for a highly prized tuna

“There’s probably no fish that’s ever been more politicized than Atlantic bluefin tuna,” said Golet, a University of Maine professor. “People get a passion for this fish. And people are making a living off of this fish.” The fish have long been at the center of a battle among commercial fishermen who can make a huge amount of money on a single fish, environmentalists who see them as marvels of marine migration, and consumers who pay a hefty price for them in restaurants.,,  But international regulators say the species has recently recovered enough that it can withstand more fishing, and U.S. ocean managers implemented an increase of about 17 percent for this summer, to the delight of fishing groups. The decision prompted environmental groups to renew their calls for holding the current line on quotas. >click to read<08:30

Captain Dave Marciano Endorses Geoff Diehl for the United States Senate

“I’m endorsing Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate for the simple reason of the abject failure of our current representation. Under her watch, as well as others, we have lost thousands of fishing industry and related jobs the past 8 years,” said Marciano. “If current representatives were graded on how well they represent the fishermen in the Commonwealth, it would be an F. In the fishing industry if you fail to do your job you are “ off the boat.” The current Senator needs her walking papers or swimming papers as the case may be due to her failure to protect fishing industry and related jobs. She sat back and watched the middle class fishing families be destroyed by out of control government,” added Marciano. >click to read<16:53

Gloucester’s annual Overdose Vigil grows and glows on waterfront

Down on Stacy Boulevard, over by the Blynman Bridge flagpole, they gathered again and lit their luminaries as the last of the evening’s light left the sky. There were 520 luminaries by Patti Day’s count, up 40 from last year, and she said the counting wouldn’t end till the vigil itself ended. Patti Day — a sister of Kathy Day, an original organizer of the annual Overdose Vigil, now in its eight year — is herself a recovered heroin addict. She is also a tan, fit living contradiction of two common misconceptions about addicts: That they are low-life denizens of some netherworld, and that they are bound to relapse. >click to read<12:18

Research ship with URI students runs aground in the western Gulf of Boothia

A research vessel carrying a team of University of Rhode Island scientists and students ran aground Friday in the western Gulf of Boothia, a body of water in Nunavut, Canada. All passengers and expedition members are safe, and there is no report of any injuries or environmental concerns. The Akademik Ioffe had been refloated by Saturday morning, according to URI. >click to read< More about their adventure,, All ship passengers are safe and being cared for on sister ship, company spokesperson says – Andrea Beaubien, a spokesperson for the One Ocean Expeditions tour company, said Saturday morning that the Akademik Ioffe had “come afloat” and that all its passengers were safe and being cared for on another ship. >click to read< 09:51

New England lobster fishermen are asked to keep an eye out for tagged lobsters

New England’s lobster fishermen are being asked to keep an eye out for tagged lobsters that are part of a survey of the valuable crustaceans. The lobsters are tagged with green bars that say “SNECVTS” and black acoustic tags. They are part of a tagging program that’s part of a southern New England lobster study being conducted from May to November by Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and the University of Rhode Island. >click to read< If you find a lobster with a green “SNECVTS” t-bar tag behind the carapace or a black acoustic tag on the carapace, please contact: Michael Long at (401) 515-4892 or [email protected] >click to read<08:33

Company widens net in seafood secrets case

National Fish & Seafood and Kathleen A. Scanlon, the former employee the seafood processor is suing for allegedly stealing trade secrets for her new employer, had appeared to be heading for a settlement. Now, not so much. The Gloucester-based seafood processor last week amended its complaint against Scanlon, its former head of research and development and quality assurance, and her new employer, Tampa Bay Fisheries, by adding more defendants and more details of the alleged conspiracy and corporate theft. >click to read<17:50

Fishing vessel catches fire at sea, crewmembers rescued

Three fishing vessels rescued the crew of the Rose Marie, a 77-foot stern trawler, which caught fire at sea Thursday, Coast Guard officials said. Crewmembers from the fishing vessel Alexis Martina radioed watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England about 1 p.m., reporting the Rose Marie was on fire, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Nicole J. Groll. The crew abandoned ship into a life raft, she said. The Rose Marie was about 65 miles east of Chatham when the fire started between noon and 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The Seven Seas, another fishing vessel that was nearby, rescued the four crewmembers from their life raft, she said. >click to read< >click for video<15:13

Gloucester: Fed seizure of accounts closes fish auction

Last Friday night, without any notice, the U.S. Labor Department seized the bank accounts of the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, leaving the fish auction and seafood processor unable to pay fishermen for landed fish and imperiling even further its ability to profitably operate on the Gloucester waterfront. CASE owner Kristian Kristensen first knew there was trouble afoot when he started receiving text messages from his bank that his business balance had dipped below $25. “I didn’t put the pieces together until Saturday,” Kristensen said Thursday. “That’s when I knew it was the Department of Labor.” What followed was a business nightmare, as Kristensen tried to contact fishermen and other vendors about his inability to access his bank accounts for payments. >click to read<19:41

Former New Bedford Fishing Captain Pleads to Hindering Coast Guard Inspection at Sea

A former New Bedford fishing boat captain pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with a U.S. Coast Guard inspection and faces sentencing Nov. 28, federal prosecutors said. Thomas D. Simpson, 57, of South Portland, Maine, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of destruction or removal of property subject to seizure and inspection, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. On May 31, 2014, the Bulldog was engaged in commercial fishing off the coast of Massachusetts when the USCG boarded the vessel to perform a routine inspection, the news release said.  At the time of the boarding, the Bulldog’s net was deployed in the water and the crew was actively fishing. >Click to read<18:49

A Provincetown fisherman’s appraisal of the great white dilemma

It finally happened: two worlds collided. The great white shark world collided with the human world and the result was a man being bitten at Longnook Beach. We’re thankful he was saved and is recovering. But how did we get here? It started in 1972 with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits hunting or harassing marine mammals, including seals. Before this law fishing communities hunted seals for their pelts and to manage the herd, because they eat enough fish to threaten the livelihoods of commercial fishermen. There were actually payments made by fishing towns to anyone who brought in a seal nose. The threat to commercial fishing was seen as very real. With the 1972 law, the hunt was stopped and seals began reproducing at a far greater rate than was expected. >click to read<11:55

Could Famed Coast Guard Rescue Boat Be Shipped To D.C.?

A private chat between leaders of the Orleans Historical Society and author Casey Sherman this morning (Aug. 22) led to questions about the future of the iconic CG36500 lifeboat that rescued 32 sailors from the sinking tanker Pendleton in 1952. Sherman, author of “The Finest Hours,” said he participated in a conference call with OHS President Kathleen McNeil and two others and was asked to “leverage my relationship with the Coast Guard” regarding the potential for eventually moving the boat to Washington, D.C., for display. “The idea of shipping the boat to Washington where only Coast Guard people would see it does a disservice,” Sherman said. >click to read<10:36

NOAA/NMFS – Reducing the Sub-Annual Catch Limits for Atlantic Herring Management Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3

These reductions go into effect today (August 22, 2018), and are based on the most recent stock assessment, which shows that the herring stock is in decline due to historic lows in recruitment over the past five years. To prevent overfishing in 2018, the new Management Area sub-ACLs are as follows: >click to read<16:33

An Anti-Fishing Town? Home Storage Of Fishing Gear Dredged Up Anew

“Fishing has always been an important industry in Orleans,” Orleans Planning Board vice chair Chet Crabtree said Aug. 14. “We don’t want to discourage those who fish. On the other hand…there are people who have multiple boats and lobster pots stacked up quite high in the face of neighbors. I’ve heard complaints from other homeowners.” The town has not been aggressive in requiring special permits for such storage, and some may have “abused that laxness,” Crabtree said. >click to read<08:20

Senate MSA reauthorization a step back for fishing communities

In July, the House passed H.R. 200 the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” a much needed update of federal fisheries law that allows for both sustainable fisheries management and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities. Unfortunately, its counterpart bill making its way through the Senate would likely have the opposite effect. The Senate bill, S.1520, or the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018,” introduces changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA)—the main law governing U.S. fisheries—that would impose increasingly burdensome regulations on American fishermen and undermine H.R. 200’s goal of increasing flexibility in fisheries management. >click to read<17:51

Can dogfish save Cape Cod fisheries?

Cape Cod has nearly lost its namesake fish, due to overfishing and climate change. So fishermen have switched to dogfish, skates, and other more plentiful options. This move could help revive the Massachusetts fishing industry, and might even help the cod rebound, researchers say. But getting Americans to bite may not be as easy. “This is the fish we could feed the United States with,” says Chatham fisherman Doug Feeney. “We have people that are hungry. We have prison systems. We have vets. We have homeless people. There’s just so much that can be done with this product.”>click to read<10:49

Epizootic Shell Disease – New findings suggests earlier springs and hotter summers foster increase in shell infections

New findings reveal that as coastal waters in the northeastern U.S. continue to warm — bottom temperatures in Long Island Sound have increased 0.7°F per decade over the last 40 years — resident lobsters are becoming increasingly susceptible to epizootic shell disease, a condition that has depleted the southern New England population and severely impacted the local lobster fishery.,,, As the name implies, epizootic shell disease occurs when the bacterial populations that normally inhabit the surface of a lobster’s carapace change and begin consuming the cuticle, causing it to erode. >click to read<09:18

New Hampshire: Watch Dead In The Water, showing in Portsmouth tomorrow night

DITW film in New Hampshire this Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm at the 3SArtspace in Portsmouth, NH. Admission is $15 there will be a Q&A afterwards with the few New Hampshire fishermen that are left. 14:21

Decades of chemical pollution suspected in Maine’s seal die-off

As the number of dead and stranded seals washing up on southern Maine beaches rises by the day, researchers are linking the sudden die-off to decades of chemical pollution that made the seal population vulnerable to toxins and disease.,,, In the past week, volunteers responded to 100 dead seals on Maine beaches south of Portland and in Casco Bay, said Lynda Doughty, the group’s executive director. The phone has been ringing off the hook, and on Friday afternoon volunteers were clearing a backlog of animal reports. Rescuers reported 179 dead seals in Maine since the beginning of July and another 51 dead in New Hampshire, according to the agency>click to read<13:44

Fishermen’s Memorial Service ‘shows the story behind the memorial’

Around 70 people who attended the annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service were held rapt by the words of local author and filmmaker Ron Gilson as he shared the stories of friends he has lost, fishermen who were taken by the sea. Gilson was the keynote speaker at the service Saturday, which was held on the second floor of the Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3 hall because of inclement weather. Painted oars that would have been carried to the Man at the Wheel statue and its accompanying cenotaphs at Stacy Boulevard had it not rained were propped up against either side of tall windows in the hall. Keynote speaker Ron Gilson emphasized at the service that Gloucester was built upon the fishing industry. “Four 400 years, we have been fishermen,” he said. “Fishing is what we do here. Make no mistake: Fishing is who we are.” >click to read<10:01

Lobster Industry Innovator Passes Away

Riverdale Mills Corporation announces with great sadness the passing of company founder, owner, and retired CEO James Knott, Sr. Mr. Knott was 88. Great innovators make their mark by challenging the status quo and finding new ways to do things better. James Knott, Sr. unequivocally fit this category as a profoundly influential innovator, whose products help millions of people. From spending summers in Gloucester, MA, Knott saw firsthand how much time and money lobster fishermen spent fixing their wooden traps. He was convinced there had to be a better way. Knott set out to build a more durable lobster trap to keep fishermen on the water making a living, instead of regularly onshore repairing their traps or building new ones. >click to read<17:56