Category Archives: New England

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 55′ RI Marine Day Scalloper, Permit, with 16,500 lbs. of IFQ

Specifications, information and 9 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<16:02

Vineyard Wind, Con Groups Reach Historic Agreement to Protect Right Whales

Vineyard Wind and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Law Foundation today entered into an unprecedented agreement to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Under the historic agreement, Vineyard Wind will institute a variety of protective measures to keep right whales safe while installing and operating turbines at its proposed 84-turbine project off the coast of Massachusetts. Harnessing offshore wind is a key step in transitioning the nation away from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. (Plenty of Fraudsters here!) >click to read<13:55

Lobster firm to invest in Gouldsboro plant after closure of Connecticut facility

A seafood distribution and processing firm says it plans to increase production at its plant in Gouldsboro after closing a shipping facility in Connecticut. Garbo Lobster, a subsidiary of East Coast Seafood Group, announced this week that it plans to shut down the Groton live lobster packing facility on Thursday, Jan. 17. <click to read>

Fishermen: Rhode Island Governor Raimondo sidelined us from wind-power talks

Rhode Island fishermen are accusing Gov. Gina Raimondo of cutting them out of talks with Vineyard Wind about compensation for lost access to ocean fishing grounds where the New Bedford company plans to install 84 giant wind turbines. The state’s Fishermen’s Advisory Board, the group convened to represent the commercial and recreational fishing industries in the face of offshore renewable energy development, is set to meet Tuesday to consider a potential payout from Vineyard Wind. Yet, as of late Monday, the board had not received any details of a proposal. >click to read<21:4

Sink or swim time for 93-year-old gillnetter Phyllis A.?

We were over at the Gloucester Marine Railways the other day, which is one of our favorite stops in the city, and we checked in with the yard’s venerable foreman Douglass Parsons to see what’s up with the efforts to repair and restore the lovely 93-year-old gillnetter, the Phyllis A. The project has been hampered by uneven funding streams and Parsons said he and some other members of the Phyllis A Marine Association have come to the conclusion that they either procure the $200,000 this year that would allow them to do enough repairs to get the 58-foot gillnetter back in the water or call it a day. >click to read<19:26

Developer: Belfast woman has no standing to challenge $250M Bucksport salmon farm

A Belfast woman lives too far from a proposed $250 million indoor salmon farm in Bucksport to appeal a wastewater discharge permit state regulators have issued. That’s the argument Whole Oceans LLC is making in a motion filed with the state Board of Environmental Protection earlier this week to dismiss Holly Faubel’s appeal of the wastewater permit the Maine Department of Environmental Protection granted the company in November. Whole Oceans hopes to start building the aquafarm this spring at the former Verso Paper mill site. >click to read<14:04

PETA lobster complaint not being prosecuted

The Hancock County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to pursue a complaint against Maine Fair Trade Lobster in Prospect Harbor filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “Mr. [District Attorney Matt] Foster concluded that a precedent from 2013 in District 6 (Knox County), where a nearly identical claim was made by PETA against another lobster processing facility using the same, or similar processing methods as Maine Fair Trade Lobster currently uses, supported the decision not to prosecute,” >click to read<10:52

Developer withdraws plan for waterfront hotel in Portland, citing concerns by fishermen

A hotel will no longer be included in a developer’s plan for one of Portland’s wharfs, the city manager announced Friday. The news that developer David Bateman of Fishermen’s Wharf Portland LLC is dropping its pursuit of a hotel comes as the city grapples with concerns by fishermen over the future of Portland’s working waterfront. A group led by local fishermen has argued non-marine development on and around the city’s piers has squeezed out the working waterfront,,, >click to read<19:59

On This Day: 1-11- 2006, F/V Lady of Grace rescued a year before she sank

On this day in 2006 the Coast Guard towed a 76-foot fishing vessel to safety after the vessel became disabled near Nantucket early Monday morning. The Lady of Grace with four crew members on board, contacted the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England Command Center at 3:34 a.m. and reported they were without power and drifting approximately 10 miles east of Great Point, Nantucket. A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Brant Point on Nantucket launched a 47-foot motor life boat to take the vessel in tow. >click to read<17:25

Bruce Tarr pushing bill to expand lobster processing industry in Bay State

State Senate Majority Leader Bruce Tarr didn’t waste any time in the new legislative calendar to again push the state to liberalize its lobster processing laws to allow in-state processing and sale of raw and frozen lobster parts. And this time, the Republican from Gloucester is armed with a report from the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries that supports the legislative reform and spells out some of the economic benefits of allowing in-state processing rather than sending the live lobsters out of state — often all the way to Canada —for processing. >click to read<22:27

Whale rule changes coming on two tracks

Maine lobstermen and their representatives, along with state fisheries regulators, continue in the trenches of debates about how much the Maine lobster fishery is implicated in the decline of the North Atlantic right whale. Ongoing efforts to protect the whales from entanglement with fishing gear may result in two different new sets of regulations, Sarah Cotnoir, resource coordinator for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, told the Zone B Council last week. >click to read<11:03

RI fishing professionals worry offshore wind farm would harm industry

Fishermen across the Ocean State are worried a proposed offshore wind farm in the Rhode Island Sound would harm the state’s fishing industry. The Coastal Resources Management Council will vote on Jan. 22 whether to approve Vineyard Wind’s proposal to install 84 wind turbines off of Martha’s Vineyard to supply power to Massachusetts. “This is a losing proposition for the fishing industry- big time,” said Lanny Dellinger, who is the chair of the state’s fisheries advisory board. >click to read<20:33

Government Officials Ignore Public Comment, Create New Financial Burden on Fisherman

In a letter acquired by Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute), it appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have approved a controversial fishery management proposal while ignoring public comments critical of the plan. This approval also seems to have been issued before the close of a second public comment period for implementing regulations. The NOAA rulemaking is expected to seriously impact commercial fishing on the Eastern seaboard by applying costly new burdens on fishermen. >click to read<19:23

Our surf clam fishery is headed for disaster

When it comes to fishery management controversy never seems to be too far away. Last month you may have read about the dubious nature of a decision by the New England Fishery Management Council to close a large area of Nantucket Shoals to fishermen who harvest surf clams there, ostensibly to protect fish habitat. Questionable actions such as these undermine industry confidence in fishery regulators and serve only to alienate, and embitter, fishermen and the many others on the waterfront whose livelihoods are threatened by such draconian measures.  >click to read<20:47

Walter Kumiega reflects on eight years in the House

Deer Isle carpenter Walter Kumiega represented District 134—Deer Isle, Stonington, Isle au Haut and eight other communities—for eight years in the state legislature before becoming ineligible for re-election under state term limits for legislators.,, With commercial fishing communities “still the most important economic driver in my district,” Kumiega immediately joined the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources, chairing it for his final three terms. Throughout his tenure, he worked to initiate changes in lobster licensing regulations and sponsored legislation creating the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, funding for which was recently renewed for a second three-year span. >click to read<15:07

R.I. fishermen still without compensation deal from wind farm developer

Less than three weeks before Rhode Island coastal regulators are set to vote on a key approval for its $2-billion offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind has yet to come forward with a compensation package for the state’s commercial fishermen who say that the layout of the company’s 84 turbines will block access to valuable Atlantic Ocean fishing grounds. The Coastal Resources Management Council granted the New Bedford company a reprieve Nov. 27, delaying a vote on the application for what’s known as a “consistency certification” for the 800-megawatt wind farm specifically to give the developer more time to reach an agreement with fishermen who catch squid, lobster, Jonah crab and other species in the waters targeted for development between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard. >click to read<12:25

The Sea Is So Great…

The New Year came in on a dour note, wind-driven rain slamming the south-facing windows near the foot of my bed. I would not sleep, I knew, so I stayed up late, reading a book loaned to me several years ago. The bookmark was about four pages in, then I must have put it down before eventually giving it an “I will read you, truly, someday” place on a shelf. It seemed I had been sick forever, the winter cold and everything else that is always “going around” and my normally slow reading pace had been accelerated. It was late, deep into the morning by the clock, the storm on the edge of abating when I finally went upstairs so it was correspondingly late when I first looked at the news on New Year’s Day and saw that a fishing vessel had gone down in that terrible weather a few miles south of Block Island. >click to read<

Fishing industry could be endangered by planned wind turbines

Whatever the future for large scale off-shore wind farms in New England, New Bedford and its first in the nation fishing industry will feel the effects. Renewable energy from sources which include off-shore wind, are an undeniable part of our future. It’s a fair question though whether commercial fishing as it now exists in southern New England, will survive the installation of the largest and most extensive array of ocean based wind turbines in the world. The offshore wind lease areas in federal waters overlay some important fishing grounds and navigation transit areas for the commercial fishing fleet which sails from our coast. The project furthest along in the leasing process is being pursued by Vineyard Wind,,, >click to read<21:41

R.I. Legislators back Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Twenty-five members of the Rhode Island General Assembly, including the Jamestown delegation, are calling for President Donald Trump to preserve the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The statement is in response to threats made by the administration that would alter boundaries to allow industrial fishing and oil drilling in the area, which is about 100 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. >click to read<12:25

UPDATE: Coast Guard suspends search for missing fishermen near Block Island, RI

Coast Guard crews suspended their search for two missing fishermen near Block Island, Rhode Island Wednesday at approximately 5:13 p.m. The two fishermen have been missing since their boat Mistress capsized and sank Tuesday morning. The fishing boat Captain Bligh initially responded to the scene and rescued one fisherman from a lifeboat. Crews searched for approximately 72 hours covering 2,152 square nautical miles. -USCG-

Coast Guard suspends search off Block Island for missing fishermen | Video – >click to read<18:06

Coast Guard treats search for fishermen as rescue mission

The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that crews were continuing to search on the water and in the air for two fishermen reported missing. The Coast Guard said it considers the effort a rescue mission and that it assumes the fishermen put on survival suits. Capt. Oscar Diaz and his nephew, John Ansay, were aboard the F/V Mistress, which the Coast Guard said capsized and sank about 2.5 miles southeast of Block Island.  The Coast Guard said the crew of the fishing boat Captain Bligh responded to the call and found Diaz’s son in a life raft. >click to read<12:48

UPDATE: Coast Guard continues search for missing fishermen near Block Island, RI

7:13 PM Multiple Coast Guard crews and good Samaritans searched throughout the day Tuesday for two missing fishermen after their boat capsized and sank approximately two and half miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island. The captain of the fishing vessel Mistress notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at around 1:30 a.m. that the boat was taking on water. The watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast to vessels in the area to request assistance for the crew of the Mistress. The fishing boat Captain Bligh responded and rescued one crew member from a life boat. The remaining two crew members have not been located. >click to read<20:12

North Atlantic Right Whale: Fishing closure looms over South Shore lobstermen

The annual fishing closure that forces a halt of the lobstering industry each winter is still a month away, but lobstermen are already pulling their traps out of the water and preparing for a long three months of trying to make ends meet. For the last four years, federal regulations have forced lobstermen out of the water from Feb. 1 to April 30, an attempt to lessen the number of North Atlantic right whales that die due to fishing gear entanglements. Not only can the fishermen not be in the water, but they also have to pull all of their traps from the ocean floor before Feb. 1 — as many as 800 per commercial license. >click to read<19:15

Pembroke river closure upsets scallopers

The closure of all of the Pennamaquan River to scallop dragging because of the mooring field off the Pembroke boat landing on Hersey Neck has upset some scallop fishermen who would like to drag in that area. Perry fisherman Howard Calder notes that draggers used to go there first at the start of the season because there were so many scallops there. While they’re no longer as abundant in the river, the area does provide a sheltered place for dragging on windy days. “It’s too bad to have it completely shut down,” he says. The area was closed to scallop dragging at the request of the Town of Pembroke, according to Jeff Nichols, the communications director for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR).  >click to read<16:25

Fishing industry lobbies for Maine commissioner to retain his post

The leaders of Maine’s fishing industry want Patrick Keliher to stay on as head of the state’s Department of Marine Resources under incoming governor Janet Mills. “Our industries are confronted by major issues on the water, in international waters, and within several regulatory arenas that have major consequences for our ability to do business and remain profitable,” industry leaders wrote in a rare joint letter to Mills. “The future success of Maine’s seafood industry depends on the continued strong leadership, stability, institutional knowledge and political capital that only Commissioner Keliher possesses.” >click to read<10:36

Lobster fishing bill draws focus onto grey zone

A bill to allow Maine lobster fishermen to haul their traps at night throughout most of the year in the disputed “grey zone” has again drawn attention to the 165-square-kilometre fishing area centered around Machias Seal Island that is claimed by the U.S. and Canada. Cutler fishermen are supportive of the legislation, since they say it would help them prevent Canadian fishermen from hauling their traps, while Grand Manan fishermen say any bad apples in the fishery can be found on both sides of the border. Rep. Will Tuell of East Machias submitted the bill, which would remove all nighttime restrictions on lobster fishing from Labor Day to Memorial Day, at the request of a group of Cutler fishermen. >click to read<17:55

Rare North Atlantic right whale calf spotted off Florida

A North Atlantic right whale calf spotted Friday off Florida with its mother is the first of the calving season for the imperiled marine mammals, after last year’s season passed with no documented births. “Super excited, super excited,” said Christopher Slay, owner of Coastwise Consulting, the company that provided endangered species observers aboard a dredging vessel off Jacksonville Beach, near the mouth of the St. Johns River. >click to read<10:25

Another bewildering chapter in the odyssey of Artemis

The ghost of the derelict scallop boat Artemis, whose owner set a strong standard for scofflaw vessels during his time in Gloucester, continues to hover over its final resting place along the side of Provincetown breakwater. The Artemis, a 42-foot metal boat owned by John F. Christiansen of West Yarmouth, broke free of its mooring in Provincetown Harbor in the midst of a March 2 nor’easter and went aground on the rocks of the town’s West End breakwater. And there it sat for months, as Provincetown officials arm-wrestled with Christiansen to remove it. In June, Provincetown police came up with a curious solution: They charged Christiansen with littering for refusing to extract the vessel off the breakwater. >click to read<09:47

SouthCoast Woman of the Year: Canastra’s drive helping keep groundfishing alive

Among the grizzled lifelong fishermen sat six-year-old Cassie Canastra. She staked claim to the seat toward the right side of the second table in the small room where thousands of pounds of fish were auctioned off each day. Her spot faced the television and was the closest to the sweets brought by her father, Raymond. Her pastry of choice: Malasadas. “She knew I was going to go to the Portuguese bakery before work. She wanted that,” Ray said with a loud chuckle. “That’s the truth.” The malasadas certainly didn’t deter her from begging her parents to wake hours before sunrise to arrive at the Buyers and Sellers Exchange seafood auction for 4:30 a.m. >click to read<11:56

SouthCoast Man of the Year: Kevin Stokesbury continues to seek solutions to fishing industry challenges

It’s pretty well known around these parts that homegrown research proved the ocean held more Atlantic sea scallops than federal regulators thought. And a lot of folks know that the value of those succulent bivalves has made New Bedford the highest-grossing fishing port in America for 18 years running. Starting in the late 1990s, Professor Kevin Stokesbury of the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth, working with SMAST founding dean Brian Rothschild, developed a video technique to count scallops on the seafloor without harvesting or killing them. Along the way, he pioneered a partnership with local fishermen. >click to read<11:20