Category Archives: New England

Hearings set for changes to black sea bass fishing

Interstate fishing managers are holding hearings in East Coast states about a plan to change the rules about one of the Atlantic Ocean’s most popular recreational fisheries. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering changing the way it manages the recreational black sea bass fishery. The commission says the proposed changes could alter the way it allocates harvesting limits for the fish. The hearings began on Wednesday in Lewes, Delaware. click here to read the story 13:31

Wall Township NJ Hearing on Lobster Draft Addendum XXVI/Jonah Crab Draft Addendum III – January 8, 2018 6:00 pm

Lobster Draft Addendum XXVI/Jonah Crab Draft Addendum III hearings. (public comment accepted until 5 PM EST on January 22, 2018; send comments to [email protected] – Subject line: Lobster Draft Addendum XXVI) NJ Hearing – January 8, 2018 6:00 pm, Wall Township Municipal Building, Lower Level Community Room, 2700 Allaire Road, Wall Township, NJ, On the schedule, East Setauket, New York, on Tuesday; Scarborough, Maine, on Wednesday; Ellsworth, Maine, on Thursday; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Jan. 16; Narragansett, Rhode Island, on Jan. 17; Old Lyme, Connecticut, on Jan. 18; and Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Jan. 19 click here 11:40

Marine Patrol suspends search for missing Thomaston clammer Paul Benner

Maine Marine Patrol officers suspended the search Saturday evening for a Thomaston clammer missing since Thursday’s severe winter storm. Officers and divers were hampered by ice and slush Saturday as they searched the area of Long Cove in the vicinity of footprints believed to have been left by Paul Benner, who has not been seen since he went out clamming Thursday evening. In a statement, the marine patrol said the search “will resume in the coming days, depending on the weather.” click here to read the story 09:43

Don Cuddy: Sector closure angers and worries groundfish industry

It was on Monday, November 20, two days before his retirement party as NOAA regional administrator, that John Bullard abruptly ordered the shutdown of Sector IX’s groundfish operations. The boats out fishing had to return to port forthwith.,,, Bullard’s move was praised by some but it engendered some harsh criticism in the city. Click here to read the story. 23:11

FISHBILL-US: Fishermen, Lets unite like never before!

It becomes clearer by the day that our industry needs protection in the form of legislation for fishermen and supporting industries. While fishermen and those supporting industries are struggling to survive in various regions, many of them await federal assistance in already declared federal fishery failures, much of it beyond their control. Congress has mandated the NOAA is the agency that controls the “best available science”, while other data is not considered, by law. This must be addressed as we watch the industry retract based on the science many of us have no confidence in. They control our fate. click here to read the full post 20:22

Massachusetts: Coast-Wide Shellfish Closure

Due to yesterday’s storm with its associated coastal flooding, ALL shellfish areas in Massachusetts state waters are now CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE with an exemption for the adductor muscle of Bay and Sea Scallops only. Assessment of area status is beginning today, Friday January 5, 2018. Please see the official closure notice for more detail. click here The above-described areas shall remain closed until notification has been received from the Division that the areas have been placed into an open status. 11:57 

Coast Guard searching for clammer who went missing during blizzard

The man, whose name has not been released, was reported overdue at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Officials said he left to go clamming in a 16-foot skiff at about 6:30 p.m. during the storm. The man’s skiff has been located, the Coast Guard said. Officials are searching the area of Long Cove, west of Clark Island. link 09:00

Update: Coast Guard, locals search for missing clammer near Long Cove, Maine – Missing is 35-year-old Paul Brenner. click here17:15

“The Bomb Cyclone Storm” (explosive cyclogenesis) – Its a Mess Everywhere!

Gloucester – Water and whiteouts: Homes, businesses flooded; thousands without powerclick here00:41

New Bedford – Carlos Rafael continues to give Feds headaches as boat breaks freeclick here

Maine – Storm triggers Maine’s worst tidal flooding since historic Blizzard of 1978click here

PHOTOS: Massachusetts Flooding During Blizzard 2018click here

New Hampshire – Bomb Cyclone Pounds Seacoastclick here

Nova Scotia – Powerful storm surge rips up roads as it slams into Nova Scotia coastclick here

Battling Ice On A New Bedford Fishing Boat

The normally bustling docks along New Bedford harbor were practically deserted Tuesday as an arctic cold front kept some boats off the water. On one pier, a deckhand heaved a sledge hammer against the ice-caked roof of the Gabby G, a fishing boat on the New Bedford pier. Ice covered practically every exposed surface of this 105-foot dragger. The boat’s captain, Mario Gonsalves, said he wanted to get another run in before a snow storm that’s predicted to hit Thursday. But first, the crew had to de-ice the boat. click here to read the story 19:25

Frozen lobstermen face additional winter challenges

With inches of ice covering the harbor and no end of severe winter weather in site, local lobstermen are struggling to keep their boats in the water during the last month of the legal lobstering season. Tuesday and Wednesday saw captains breaking up ice surrounding their boats and trying to move their vessels to safer locations before a storm pummels the region today.,, lobstermen are facing two predicaments: dealing with a cold snap the likes of which hasn’t been seen for the last 100 years, and having to get all traps out of the water by Feb. 1 before a three-month ban on lobstering begins. click here to read the story 16:15 

“American lobster larva,” wins people’s choice in Photography category of the 2016 Visualization Challenge

As a master’s student in marine biology at the University of Maine, Jesica Waller spent the summer taking pictures of baby lobsters.,,, This image of a live three-week-old specimen was one of thousands Waller took. It captures the distinct, delicate hairs on the legs. Since lobsters have very poor vision, they rely on their leg hairs for sensory tasks such as finding food. Adults have them too, meaning baby and grown-up lobsters alike taste with their feet. This illustration won people’s choice in the Photography category (click here) of the 2016 Visualization Challenge, now called the Vizzies click here to read the story 18:38

Massachusetts Large Whale Seasonal Trap Gear Closure In Effect from February 1 – April 30

The annual Massachusetts Large Whale Seasonal Trap Gear Closure Area (Seasonal Closure) will be in effect from February 1to April 30. During this period, all pot and trap gear must be removed from the waters within Seasonal Closure. This applies to all commercial pot and trap gear fishermen regardless of whether they are state or federally permitted, as well as all recreational lobster and crab fishermen. click here to read the notice 17:34

Maine: Bills to address commercial license glitches

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Marine Resources will meet next Wednesday for hearings on three bills aimed at fine-tuning the state’s commercial fishing license system. One bill, LD1652, would allow the Department of Marine Resources to set up a limited entry system for shrimp fishermen in any year when the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission sets the state’s northern shrimp landings allocation at less than 2,000 metric tons. Currently there is a moratorium on shrimp fishing in the Gulf of Maine.,,, The two other bills are more technical. click here to read the story 11:24

Sharks freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures in the US East Coast

Cities along the East Coast of the United States are experiencing record-breaking snowfall and extreme drops in temperature; it’s been so cold that sharks have been washing up on shore frozen to death. Atlantic White Shark Conservancy has reported that a number of thresher sharks which washed up dead on Cape Cod are likely to have died from ‘cold shock’ due to the ice cold temperatures in the water. click here to read the story 14:22

DMR extends search for shrimp boat for 2018 Northern Shrimp Cooperative Winter Sampling program

The Department of Marine Resources extended the deadline and sweetened the deal in the hope of attracting applications to participate in its 2018 Northern Shrimp Cooperative Winter Sampling program. DMR was offering up to $2,500 in pay for a shrimp trawler to collect shrimp samples off the Midcoast, starting about Jan. 29. The purpose of the program is solely to collect scientific samples for DMR. No shrimp may be kept or sold. Last week, DMR announced that it was upping the ante to $3,450 in an effort to attract some interest and extended the deadline to Wednesday, Jan. 3. click here to read the story 11:55

Should Massachusetts ban commercial striped bass fishing?

YES – Rip Cunningham: Dover resident who fishes in the Plymouth area; active member, Stripers Forever; former editor, Salt Water Sportsman; former chairman, Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, and New England Fisheries Management Council.,, NO – Douglas Amorello: Plymouth resident, commercial lobsterman and multi-species fin fisherman, including for striped bass click here to read the story 15:52

Marty Stillufsen – Who is to blame? and what to do with the money!

Hello Mr. Bullard,  Congratulations on your retirement. You have the proud title of being the only respondent to any of my e-mails that I have sent since 2012 (lobster leased territory management suggestion). Thank you! I recently responded to a media article on the Raphael case. I hope that it made it to your desk.  “Raphael apparently has a long history of fisheries and IRS violations that has been going on for quite some time. It’s a mystery to me how the National Marine Fisheries Service avoided monitoring this individual sooner; considering the disproportionate quantity of permits he held. click here to read the letter 13:14

Avangrid Pursuing Huge Offshore & Onshore Wind Projects In US

Avangrid Renewables is pursuing two new wind projects, one off the coast of Massachusetts and another in the heart of New Mexico. It is working with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on a bid to build an offshore wind farm in waters off the coast of Massachusetts. That partnership is known as Vineyard Wind.,, Two other partnerships have submitted bids to the state of Massachusetts, which plans to have up to 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore power in place by 2027. click here to read the story 11:26

More fluke, less sea bass, but no difference for frustrated CT commercial fisherman under 2018 quotas

East Coast fishermen will be allowed to catch more summer flounder and not as much sea bass as last year, under new quotas proposed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. But Stonington fisherman say the effects of the changing quotas will be nominal, and they will continue to advocate for an overhaul of the quota system, which they say has been unfair for decades. click here to read the story 21:54  

All Hands on Deck! Sam Parisi gives an update on efforts to get a Fish Bill, wants to know what YOU want included!

First let me thank Fisherynation.com for publishing my letter. I have received many emails and calls from fishermen and fisheries association’s, and it has been great to have them join in with me. I have also had many ask what is this Fish Bill all about ,and they deserve and answer. To be clear, I do not know how to write a bill, and at some point a Senator or Congressman will have to write the bill, with all the specifics spelled out. Now is the time to discuss and add input about what you’d like to see in your US Fish Bill. In the meantime, here is a brief summary of what some of us would like the bill to do. click here to read the story 18:42

Ex-National Fish president pleads guilty to tax fraud

The former president of East Gloucester-based National Fish pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax evasion on Friday as part of a deal with federal prosecutors that removed more serious conspiracy charges involving at least one other National Fish executive. Jack A. Ventola of Ipswich changed his plea to guilty last Tuesday and now faces up to three years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of at least $250,000 for each of the seven counts. Ventola also was ordered to make restitution of $1.07 million to the IRS. click here to read the story 13:53

In 2018, Thorny Issues Ahead – Fishermen versus wind farm, beach access at Napeague remain unresolved

The proposed South Fork Wind Farm occupied the attention of many residents and governing officials throughout 2017 and, if anything, will be a matter of greater debate next year as its developer, Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind, submits formal applications to multiple federal, state, and local permitting agencies.,, Most recently, commercial fishermen and Deepwater Wind are at odds over reports by the former that their trawl nets have snagged on the concrete mats that cover approximately 5 percent of the Block Island Wind Farm’s transmission cable. click here to read the story 09:41

Ropeless traps could help mitigate right whale deaths, says U.S. scientist

A U.S. scientist is working on trying to stop right whale entanglements with fishing gear, which garnered increased attention after a spate of deaths this past summer. Mark Baumgartner, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., has been studying North Atlantic right whales since 1999.,, One of the problems is that modern ropes are much stronger and last longer than they used to be and don’t break as easily when they come into contact with large sea animals. click here to read the story 13:49
Whale-safe Fishing Gear – New buoy for lobster traps could prevent entanglements click here to read the story

Here’s why 12 right whales died in Canadian waters — and why more will die if nothing is done

A macabre joke in the field is that there are more North Atlantic right whale researchers than actual North Atlantic right whales. The scientific community is tight-knit: on top of the hours many of them spend sardined together on research boats and survey planes, a consortium dedicated to studying and conserving the species gathers every year for a meeting that tips further towards family reunion than your average academic conference. Still, as biologists, conservationists and policy-makers began filling an auditorium at St. Mary’s University very early on a Sunday morning in late October, the emotional register of the meeting felt unusually charged. Attendees greeted each other with bracing hugs. click here to read the story 12:27

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 41′ Novi Fiberglass Lobster

Specifications, information and 14 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 11:39 

S.C. Senator Stephen Goldfinch calls opposition to seismic blasting and offshore drilling a “vocal minority” of “environmental zealots.”

So, in the senator’s view, every municipality and county on the South Carolina coast has been coerced by a liberal brand of fanatics who have taken environmentalism to a new level, bordering on a religion. This is exactly what the senator has told me. In addition to every municipality above described, he has now defined the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce in the same fashion – and the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast. Neither of these are environmental organizations – but they both have studied the facts and come out against seismic blasting and drilling. Many other organizations have done likewise: the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the New England Fisher,,,  click here to read the op-ed 08:50

It’s Maine Shrimp Season, Without the Shrimp

Sitting between Glen Libby’s desk at Port Clyde Fresh Catch and the armchair where his brother’s old dog, Red, likes to nap are two boxes full of “The Original Maine Shrimp Cookbook.” This slim spiral-bound volume includes contributions from various members of the brothers’ immediate family, whose shrimping history dates back nearly four decades in this coastal town about two hours northeast of Portland. Mr. Libby loves the small, delicate Northern shrimp, known fondly here as Maine shrimp, and so do customers at his processing and distribution plant. Photo’s, click here to read the story 22:12

PFD’s: Fishing is a deadly business, but many fishermen won’t wear life preservers

One rogue wave or false step, an ankle caught in a line, is all it takes to cast a fisherman overboard. But those risks have never been enough to convince Rick Beal that it’s worth wearing a life preserver. Even though he has never learned how to swim. Commercial fishing ranks among the most dangerous professions, but fishermen — fiercely independent and resistant to regulations — have long shunned life preservers, often dismissing the flotation devices as inconvenient and constraining. click here to read the story 14:46 

Long Island: Controversial Larvicide Remains in Mosquito Control Plan

The Suffolk County Legislature approved a 2018 vector control plan on Tuesday that includes use of methoprene, a mosquito larvicide, but also acknowledges a pilot program launched this year at Accabonac Harbor that is intended to reduce and possibly eliminate the pesticide’s use.  The Legislature passed the 2018 plan by a 17-to-1 vote, a disappointment to activists who insist that methoprene is harmful to nontarget species including lobsters and crabs. click here to read the story 11:07

Winds of worry: US fishermen fear forests of power turbines

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the onetime whaling capital made famous in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” fishermen dread the possibility of navigating a forest of turbines as they make their way to the fishing grounds that have made it the nation’s most lucrative fishing port for 17 years running. The state envisions hundreds of wind turbines spinning off the city’s shores in about a decade, enough to power more than 1 million homes.,, “Fishermen are losing ground one a nibble at a time,” said Joseph Gilbert, a Stonington, Connecticut fisherman who owns boats that range from Virginia to Maine. click here to read the story 12:30