Category Archives: New England

Sea to Table – Meghan Lapp to speak in Stonington July 27

On July 27 we will be hosting a presentation by Meghan Lapp, a fishing industry spokesperson and activist from Narragansett, R.I.  She will have an interactive discussion with some audience members, including Mike Gambardella of Gambardella Fish Wholesale, and some of the fishermen, on problems faced by the industry and how people can support the industry regionally and locally.  She will also explain why most of our seafood is imported while the waters off our shores are teaming with fish.  There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions at the end of her talk. The presentation will be held at the LaGrua Center on Water Street in Stonington borough and starts at 7 PM.  Admission is free.  Please come out and show your support for our local fishermen! Click here for more information 12:02

12-year-old Mainer becomes local tuna fishing legend

Myles Wotton, 12, of Bristol has been watching his father, Donald, older brothers, Mitchell and Merritt, and other area fishermen bring in tuna since he was a toddler in his mother Rebecca’s arms. The Wotton dock in New Harbor buzzes with excitement when they receive word the boat is returning with a prized catch. Family members anxiously wait to catch a glimpse of newly landed tuna. Myles has listened to their tales of hauling in the big fish of their adventures and misadventures all his young life. When he was about to turn 12 in July of last year, he begged his father to take him tuna fishing for his birthday. click here to read the story 18:50

Maine’s river herring making dramatic comeback

River herring – in the midst of a dramatic comeback in Maine’s rivers with the recent removal of dams that blocked their spawning runs for decades – had a banner spring run this year, with millions of fish traveling up the Kennebec and Penobscot and the best run in decades recorded on the St. Croix. This was despite heavy rains this spring that created extra challenges for the fish. The recovery of the small schooling fish is having dramatic secondary effects, as they represent a perfect food source for everything from bald eagles to Atlantic cod, and researchers anticipate future benefits as the herring’s numbers grow in the coming decade. click here to read the story 10:10

No Fish Today

The fishing industry in Connecticut in under assault from foreign fish imports. Owner of wholesale fish in Stonington/East Haven Mike Gambardella writes, somewhat frantically, that consumers don’t realize that the import seafood market is at 96 percent: “Our fishermen are throwing wild-caught healthy, chemical free, dead fish overboard daily.” The regulatory apparatus in the United States is simply crushing local fishing industries,,, Former U.S. Representative Rob Simmons, now First Selectman of Stonington, has joined the struggle to remove deathly federal regulations from New England fishermen. But other members of Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional delegation, including the state’s two publicity seeking U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal – now busying themselves seeking to impeach Trump —  have done little but console Gambardella and others with the usual political bromides click here to read the story 18:05

The Closeteer: Launch in Newbury honors a worthy craft

Six-year-old Coral Withe leaning against Centennial II on the Fourth of July said, “This is beautiful.” Assembled family and friends, gathered for the launching of builder Dan Noyes’ copy of a famous sailing dory, agreed. Last year, Dan and the old Closeteer visited the first Centennial at Cape Ann’s lovely museum near City Hall in Gloucester. In 1776, patriotic fisherman Alfred Johnson built and then sailed her across the Atlantic to the country we had broken away from a century before. Dan carefully took the measurements off Johnson’s still intact 20-foot dory while the Closeteer roamed the museum, admiring other boats and fishing schooner models of note, and especially Fitz Henry Lane’s well-known paintings of Gloucester harbor in the days of sail. A year passed as Dan’s new Centennial II, still not yet named, took shape in his small boat shop. Finally, almost finished, she was launched at high tide the morning of July 4, 2017, 241 years after our nation’s independence had been so bravely declared. click here to read the story 09:13

Court documents suggest Carlos Rafael may sell all permits

Documents filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday suggest that Carlos Rafael’s time as the New Bedford’s “codfather” may be coming to an end. As part of a motion requesting a sentencing delay, Rafael’s attorney sought “additional time to resolve a critical component” in the case, specifically, “the possibility of a global settlement, which may involve Mr. Rafael exiting the commercial fishing business.”The request suggests not only the 13 permits subject to forfeiture, but all of Rafael’s fishing permits may wind up with someone else before the sentencing. click here to read the story 21:23

Navy War Games Planned for East Coast and Gulf Waters – Public comment is open until Aug. 29

The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast. In New England, the areas where the weapons and sonar may be deployed encompass the entire coastline, as well as Navy pier-side locations, port transit channels, civilian ports, bays, harbors, airports and inland waterways. “The Navy must train the way we fight,” according to a promotional video for what is called “Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III.” An environmental impact study of the war games was released June 30. Public comment is open until Aug. 29. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19 from 4-8 p.m. at Hotel Providence. Comments can be submitted online and in writing, or through a voice recorder at the hearing. The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises haven’t yet been released. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing. click here to read the story 18:41

Elver eel lottery system for permits is a go in Maine

Maine is implementing a new lottery system for licenses to fish for baby eels, which are worth more than $1,000 per pound on the worldwide sushi market. Baby eels, called elvers, are a major fishery in Maine, where fishermen sell them to dealers so they can be sent to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity and used as food. But industry members and lawmakers have said the fishery needs a way to bring new people into the business because many elver fishermen are nearing retirement and there is no way to get a license. The Legislature approved a permit lottery system last month. click here to read the story 13:26

A fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam

We’re probably going well off the beaten path on this one, but I wanted to draw your attention to a lawsuit which has been percolating in the system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year. It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details. click here to read the story 11:45

Say Thank You to Jim and Bobby Ruhle for their Hard Work with NEAMAP!

As many of you in the Northeast fishing community know, NEAMAP is an extremely important survey for our fisheries but couldn’t be done without Jim and Bobby Ruhle and the F/V Darana R. This year, after suffering a major fire, Jim and Bobby worked incredibly hard to get the boat repaired and ready to go for the spring survey. It was a big struggle, but they did it for all of us and our fisheries. This letter ( see text below) is a chance to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication during this difficult time. Please sign and pass along to any and all in the Northeast fishing community, including fishermen, fishing vessels, shoreside support businesses, dealers, docks and marinas, fishing associations, etc.! When we get enough signatures, we will present it to Jim and Bobby- hopefully so that they have it on board for the fall survey! If you are a fisherman and also own a vessel, please put your name and the name of your vessel! click here to sign the letter 17:07

Fisherman David Goethel takes case to US Supreme Court

After losing a lawsuit alleging a federal agency has imposed unfair regulations, Hampton fisherman David Goethel is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Cause of Action Institute, which is representing Goethel and a group of other fishermen pro bono, filed a petition to be taken up by the Supreme Court Tuesday. The suit was originally filed in U.S. District Court against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce in 2015. It alleges NOAA unfairly requires commercial groundfishermen to fund at-sea monitors to join them on fishing trips and observe their compliance with regulations.  click here to read the story 15:52

In the chilly coastal waters off Cutler, America’s oldest border skirmish continues apace.

Machias Seal Island lies 10 miles off the Maine coast, a lonely outcrop of rock and scrub in a 277-square-mile swath of ocean known to mariners and mapmakers as the “gray zone,” a rich fishing ground that the U.S. and Canada both claim to own. The Yankee and Canuck fishermen who share these disputed waters — and who ostensibly follow their home country’s rules — haven’t always gotten along, and tensions tend to rise and fall with the market value of their catch. A couple of years back, with lobsters prices skyrocketing and more people fishing the gray zone than ever before, lobstermen from both sides accused each other of cutting lines, stealing gear, and making death threats. A 61-year-old American fisherman warned a Canadian patrol boat that he was readying to ram it.,,, A quick history lesson click here to read the story 11:27

South Shore lobstermen donated their boats to Harvey’s Salt Water Fishing Club’s 61st Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing

It’s the heart of the catching season and local lobstermen use everyday to the fullest – pulling in traps and spending days on the water to provide for families waiting at home. On Wednesday, however, they took a day off and donated their time and boats to local disabled veterans. “The vets deserve some kind of recognition,” said Bill Doherty, a lobsterman from Weymouth. “It’s nice to get them out and they’re always appreciative. A bunch of people come together to make this happen.” Doherty was one of about 15 who donated their lobster or fishing boats to Harvey’s Salt Water Fishing Club’s Annual Disabled Vet’s Day Fishing Outing – where volunteers taking roughly 150 local vets out on the water for the day. No matter their disabilities, volunteers help the veterans spend an afternoon fishing, boating and relaxing with each other. click here to read the story 19:22

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator Announces Retirement

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard today formally announced he will retire on January 5, 2018. Bullard, who took the top job in the agency’s Gloucester-based office in 2012, will leave a legacy of improved relationships with the regulated community, the research community, environmentalists, local, state, and federal officials and agency partners, including the New England and the Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. click here to read the story 15:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 45′ Guimond Lobster/Gillnet, 585HP Cummins

Specifications, information and 8 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:33

Races draw big fleets to Stonington and Moosabec Reach

The summer lobster boat racing season is always compressed, with 10 races in harbors from Jonesport to Portland packed into just 10 weeks at the height of fishing season. It’s rare, though, that two races happen less than a week apart. This year, the fog that is as much a part of summer in Maine as the races themselves forced the fleet to gather twice in six days — on July 4 on Moosabec Reach and July 9 at Stonington — though that wasn’t the original plan.,, The fluid schedule didn’t seem to keep too many boats away. Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association President Jon Johansen had 80 working boats signed up to run. click here to read the story 11:56

Science Center for Marine Fisheries Announces New Members: Intershell International Corporation and The Town Dock/Seafreeze Ltd.

July 11, 2017, Gloucester Pt., VA – Intershell International Corporation, and The Town Dock/Seafreeze Ltd. have become the newest industry partners at the Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS). SCeMFiS is a partnership between fishing industry members, government agencies, non-profits, trade organizations, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), and is part of the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program. Other partners include Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Bumble Bee Seafoods Inc., Garden State Seafood Association, LaMonica Fine Foods, Lund’s Fisheries Inc., National Fisheries Institute Clam Committee, National Fisheries Institute Scientific Monitoring Committee, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Omega Protein, Sea Watch International and Surfside Seafood Products. click here to read the press release  Visit www.scemfis.org click here 17:14

Letter: We must work together to preserve fishery, industry – Richard Beal, Gloucester

When I started fishing, everywhere you went you could see boats. They were of all types and sizes, domestic and foreign. There were no regulations. The only limitation on you was how hard you could physically work. It was a free-for-all, the Wild West revisited.  Now I go fishing days and often don’t see another commercial fishing boat. It’s been my generation of fishermen that has bridged the gap from what was to what is. From an unregulated, volume-based industry to one that is highly regulated and quality oriented. I believe there has been more changes in my lifetime than in all of the industries prior history. click here to read the letter 09:48

Fishermen make waves after Scup limits are lowered

Most of the fish caught by the Stonington fleet is processed at Gambardella Wholesale Seafood and the talk there today is about the change in Scup regulations. Two boxes of Scup processed at the plant weigh about 120 pounds which is almost two thirds of what fisherman are now allowed to haul in a day. “Two hundred pounds. We clean the net we get 200 pounds,” said fisherman Bob Guzzo. “They’re so prevalent we’re catching them with six inch mesh which is unbelievable.” Guzzo says he ends up having to throw back perfectly good fish so he doesn’t go over the daily catch limits. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection lowered the Scup limits on Sunday because the summer quota which is a lot less than the winter quota is already at 72 percent. “Back in 2005 the fishery was overfished and it’s been rebuilt since then so they just want to keep it there,” said Mark Alexander with the DEEP. “I know the fishermen are frustrated because there are a lot of fish out there.” It’s not just Scup. Fishermen say Sea Bass are also thriving. Video, click here to read the story 22:03

Big Turnout for the Fluke for Luke Fishing Tournament on the Vineyard!

Outside the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs, a plaque rested on the counter of a makeshift weigh station. In the center of the plaque was the name Luke Gurney along with his prize-winning fish weight and the year 2007. Ten spaces ahead, the 2017 tile was blank. Over 400 people signed up to fill this year’s space. The VFW has held an annual fluke fishing derby on this July weekend for many years, but this year a group of Mr. Gurney’s friends organized a new tournament to serve as a memorial and fundraiser called Fluke for Luke. The funds would go to the family of Mr. Gurney, a commercial conch fisherman who died in a fishing accident in June of last year. click here to read the story 17:29

NMFS: Public Comment Period Opens – Review and Streamline Regulatory Processes and Reduce Regulatory Burden

On January 24, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13766, “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects” (82 FR 8657, January 30, 2017). This E.O. requires infrastructure decisions to be accomplished with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, while also respecting property rights and protecting public safety. Additionally, the E.O. makes it a policy of the executive branch to “streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects.” click here to read the press release. click the links to comment. Let ‘er rip. This is your chance to be heard. 16:46

Shadow markets mask the size of China’s demand for lobster

The Chinese appetite for North American lobster is well known and getting bigger every year, but it may be twice as big as previously believed. That’s because there is a lot more lobster ending up on Chinese dinner plates than what Canada and the U.S. send over. Researchers think there is even more North American lobster being traded along indirect and sometimes shadowy routes through other places in Asia, like Hong Kong and Vietnam, that eventually ends up as luxury eats for China’s growing middle class. click here to read the story 09:54

Thomas Quintin Jr. – Lost New Bedford fisherman’s life was his family and the sea

Kaylen Quintin learned about her family’s past through the walls of Seamen’s Bethel. Thomas Quintin Jr., her father, routinely showed his daughter and son, Noah, the names inscribed on the back wall dedicated to fishermen lost at sea. Within the wall of names, he emphasized two: his grandfathers, Wilfred Quintin and Ronald Foley. “I will certainly be taking my kids there,” Kaylen said. “Now, it won’t just be Wilfred Quintin and Ronald Foley, though, it will be Thomas Quintin, too.” Thomas Quintin Jr. fell overboard from the Miss Shauna on Monday. The Coast Guard concluded its search for the third-generation fisherman from New Bedford on Tuesday night. “You can bury anyone in a graveyard,” Kaylen said. “You can’t put anybody’s name up on that wall. I think that’s what he would have wanted. That’s just so much more meaningful considering the situation.”  click here to read the story 08:50

Fishermen, environmentalists continue battle over protected area off Cape Cod

Environmentalists often work with fishermen to reach a middle ground that benefits the environment and eases the regulatory burden on the industry. (baloney) The Environmental Defense Fund, for instance, has partnered with fishermen, both locally and nationally, absorbing some of the cost of new equipment to make electronic monitoring of catches at sea a feasible alternative. But there’s little consensus when it comes to the country’s newest marine park. You either agree there is an urgent need to protect the fragile ecosystems and inhabitants of the 5,000-square-mile Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, located roughly 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod, or you side with many of the region’s fishermen, who are worried this could be precedent-setting: the first in series of permanent closures in which they have little say. click here to read the story 08:08

Brad Gentner: It’s time to rethink ‘catch shares’

Catch shares in marine fisheries is a concept unfamiliar to most people, and it is probably completely alien to most hunters and anglers in this country. It is a system of wildlife management that bestows some percentage of a public marine resource, like red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, to private businesses for free, to use and sell for their own profit. It was thought that by giving away ownership rights to individuals, the fishery would consolidate and ultimately become easier to manage. While the same number of fish would be caught, the benefits of funneling access to the resource through fewer entities was thought to remove some of the uncertainty in the industry and thus would be worth the price of privatizing a public resource for free. While catch shares are still the darling of some fisheries economists, there is a growing backlash against this management tool worldwide for a variety of reasons. At the heart of these complaints is fleet and wealth consolidation, extraction of public wealth for private profit, and failure to capitalize share-cost into production costs. click here to read the op-ed 21:46

Scania powers up its marine engine range

Scania is launching a new six-cylinder 13-liter inline marine engine. The new engine, which combines new power levels ranging from 650 to 925 hp with reduced fuel consumption, consolidates Scania’s position as a leader in power-to-weight ratio. The engine is the second platform in Scania’s marine engine portfolio to use common rail XPI fuel injection technology to reach higher power levels and lower fuel consumption. XPI technology was first introduced in Scania’s marine engine range in 2015 when the 1,150 hp V8 engine was launched. However, the system has been used in its engines for trucks and industrial applications since 2007; As well as lowering fuel consumption and noise levels, the common-rail XPI fuel injection system also gives a faster engine response and a quicker torque build-up. The first appearance of the new, and powerful 13-liter engine will be on display at the Lobster Boat Races in Stonington, ME on July 9, 2017. click here to read the story 17:36

On-board accident claims fisherman

A 60-year-old fisherman from Rowley died Thursday after an accident aboard a fishing vessel off the town’s shores, local harbormasters confirmed. Harbormasters Rosemary Lesch and Scott Story said they responded along with a crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Gloucester to a call reporting an accident on board the 42-foot Intuition in Sandy Bay around 8:30 a.m. Story said it appeared that the man had been struck by an object on the boat while working. Both he and Lesch declined to elaborate further, and they did not identify the victim. click here to read the story 10:24

Scarborough fishermen try to beat green crab problem to death

Under a sliver of a moon, dressed in hip waders and wearing headlamps or carrying flashlights, they made their way, carrying bats, hockey sticks, ski poles and homemade weapons in search of night-time predators. Their mission: Murder green crabs. About 20 fishermen participated in the June 28 conservation project along the banks of the Jones Creek and Nonesuch River, hoping to kill as many invasive green crabs as possible before the crustaceans prey upon the clams – and the fishermen’s livelihood. The crabs came out at night, as usual, to feed on clams, but on June 28 they were met by the fishermen, who crushed them with their various weapons. Killing the crabs – which do not die easily even when punctured – made a “crunching” sound. click here to read the story 12:01

DMC to host a talk on fishing and farming of scallops in Maine

On Friday, July 7, Dana Morse will give a talk on scallops and their impact on Maine’s fishing and farming industry. The seminar will take place in Brooke Hall at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested (by clicking here). The sea scallop is an important offshore commercial fishery that extends from Atlantic Canada to Virginia. The inshore fishery for scallops in Maine is a vital source of winter income for fishermen. Over the years, there have been many attempts to establish a scallop aquaculture industry in Maine. Through collaborative work with fishermen and scientists in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, scallops are en route to become a commercially viable option for producers. click here to read the story 08:50

Overdose suspected in fisherman’s death – Drug paraphernalia found at scene on boat

Gloucester – The death of a 26-year-old Maine fisherman, found aboard a vessel moored at the Jodrey State Fish Pier over the holiday weekend, is being categorized by the Essex District Attorney’s office as a suspected drug overdose. Neither the state medical examiner’s office nor law enforcement authorities would confirm the identity of the man who was found aboard the FV/Titan at the fish pier off Parker Street early Saturday morning. A positive identification and definitive cause of death were, as of Wednesday, pending findings by state medical examiner’s office, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.,,, John McCarthy, Gloucester’s interim police chief, said Wednesday that police and the Fire Department’s rescue squad had responded to a call from an “unknown party” around 5:30 a.m. Saturday reporting an apparent drug overdose on the fishing boat Titan.  click here to read the story 19:53