Category Archives: New England

With an acquisition in Nova Scotia, lobster dealers expanding into Canada to shore up their business

Ready Seafood in Portland is joining a handful of U.S. lobster companies that have opened Canadian operations, locking down year-round access to hard shell lobsters that can be exported to both China and Europe without the tariffs that have crippled other U.S. dealers. Ready is following in the footsteps of other American lobster dealers, ranging from Boston Lobster Co.,,, Dealers from both sides of the border who attended the Canadian-Maine Lobstermen’s Town Meeting in Portland last week said that having a footprint on both sides of the border is necessary >click to read<09:30

Resolutions Introduced in 3 States to Designate 2019 as International Year of the Salmon

State representatives from three states are introducing resolutions and a joint memorial this week to recognize 2019 as International Year of the Salmon.,, Rep. Geran Tarr of Alaska, Rep. Debra Lekanoff of Washington, and Rep. Ken Helm of Oregon are working on the initiative in concert with the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization. >click to read<20:01

DFO – Atlantic mackerel stocks down 86% over past 20 years

The latest stock assessment for Atlantic mackerel contains grim news for one of the region’s most iconic fish. Scientists say the spawning population is now at 86 per cent of pre-2000 levels, and the number of fish surviving to breed is at all-time lows. An assessment by DFO says mackerel are in the “critical zone” where serious harm is occurring and recovery is threatened by overfishing. Adding to the uncertainty are changing environmental conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where mackerel spawn. >click to read<09:30

Lobsterman accused of witness retaliation in headless tuna case

Harold E. Wentworth, 41, with listed addresses of 28 Revere St. and 24 Liberty St., was arrested Wednesday by officers from Massachusetts Environmental Police and Gloucester Police on charges that on March 12 he retaliated against the prime witness against him in the tuna case..,,, According to police reports of Wednesday’s arrest, the prime witness against Wentworth contacted Environmental Police Officer Ryan Lennon on March 28 that he suspected Wentworth dumped some of his gear into Pigeon Cove earlier in the month and may have committed other retaliatory acts, such as cutting his lobster trawls. On Monday, Lennon and the witness reviewed security footage of Pigeon Cove from March 12. >click to read<21:57

U.S. Senator Collins ‘misinformed’ on Canadian lobster fishery

Canadian lobster fishermen are challenging the “misinformed” remarks of a U.S. senator. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, has accused them of undermining conservation efforts by Maine lobster fishermen in a disputed “grey zone” between the two countries.,,, Collins incorrectly claimed Canadian fishermen are allowed to catch egg-bearing female lobsters that are notched and tossed back by Mainers.,,, The claim rankles New Brunswick lobster fisherman Brian Guptill, president of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association. He said it is untrue. >click to read<09:01

Behind the Scenes with Wicked Tuna

The men on the dock were the tuna boat captains who head the cast of the upcoming eighth season of the National Geographic channel’s reality show Wicked Tuna, airing this year. They had spent the summer fishing—and filming—and had plans to ply the waters throughout the fall, but for the moment they were fulfilling the responsibilities of their other job: TV star. “We’re just fishermen who got a shot at doing something really cool,” says T.J. Ott, who captains the Hot Tuna on and off the show, which has developed a cult following. >click to read<21:27

Are scalloping’s days numbered on Nantucket?

Nantucket bay scalloping is a dying profession, town shellfish constable J.C. Johnson said this week, just days after commercial scalloping season came to a close. Fishermen brought in 13,000 bushels of scallops last season. That number was down by 10,000 bushels this year to around 3,000, making the season’s harvest one of the lowest ever, Johnson said. Along with the decreased harvest size, the fleet itself is aging, with only a handful of young scallopers now fishing. “We have a couple younger guys going out, but your veteran guys, Bill Spencer, Herkey Stojak, all those guys who have been scalloping for years are almost done, so what’s going to happen if you don’t have their kids following suit?” he asked. “Guys that scallop to the end are your veterans, your die-hards, guys who are out there. That’s their business,” he said. >click to read<15:49

April 8 – 1950: Eight fishermen drown in sight of Lightship Pollock Rip

On this day in 1950, a fishing boat with eight men aboard sank with no survivors off Chatham after its crew struggled for hours to remain afloat in a howling gale.”The William Landry, a 63-foot scallop dragger out of New Bedford, was smashed to pieces by pounding seas while struggling toward a lightship stationed at Pollock Rip in Nantucket Sound,” the Associated Press reported. >click to read<10:00

Our View: New NOAA administrator right to emphasize collaboration

Mike Pentony took over as the regional administrator for NOAA’s Northeast fisheries division about a year ago and he’s received good marks from some quarters of the local fishing industry since that time.Pentony, an engineer and environmental manager by education, has worked in the North Atlantic fishery for most of his adult life. First as a policy analyst for the New England Fishery Management Council and later for 12 years as a team supervisor in NOAA’s sustainable fisheries division. As assistant regional administrator since 2014, Pentony oversaw 14 fisheries management plans for 42 species valued at nearly $1.6 billion annually. >click to read<15:41

How big should a clam get? Maine eyes new harvest rules

Maine is the country’s leading producer of soft-shell clams, which are steamed or used to make New England staples such as fried clams and clam chowder. The harvest has fallen in recent years to the point where the nationwide haul for 2017 and ’18 was the lowest for any two-year period in more than 60 years. In Maine, the shellfish business is challenged by growing populations of predators that eat clams and a declining number of clammers. >click to read<12:07

How eating sea bass and crab can help Maine lobstermen

A group of Rhode Island fishermen who witnessed southern New England’s near-shore lobster fishery evaporate and its offshore fishery diminish dramatically in their time on the water came to last month’s Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland to give lobstermen here a bit of seasoned advice: Embrace ecosystem change while you’re in a good position to do so.,,, “As the poster child for a fisherman who has had to adapt to sea change, I can tell you that black sea bass represents a huge opportunity,” said Norbert Stamps, a Barrington, Rhode Island-based offshore lobster fisherman. Even if fishing for black sea bass is only done on a small scale, Stamps said, it can make an impact. >click to read<09:58

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

Vineyard Wind to Implement UMass Dartmouth’s Fisheries Monitoring Studies

Vineyard Wind announced today that it will implement recommendations from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) to guide the project’s fisheries monitoring studies during construction, as well as to initiate longer-term studies as part of a regional approach to fisheries studies. SMAST’s recommendations were based on its expertise as a leading fisheries research center as well input from active fishermen, government agencies, and academia. >click to read<18:31

R.I. Senate Resolution – Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history

Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history, and supporting efforts to maintain and ensure the success of the Rhode Island Seafood Industry. Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Algiere, Felag, and Euer, Date Introduced: April 03, 2019, Referred To: Recommended for Immediate Consideration,,, >click to read<14:50

Maine cancels right whale meetings with lobster industry

The state Department of Marine Resources is canceling a series of meetings with the lobster industry next week to talk about right whale protections, saying it has nothing new to present to lobstermen until federal officials clearly identify a risk reduction target. The National Marine Fisheries Service, which is tasked with protecting right whales from entanglement in lobster fishing gear, is introducing new scientific methodologies and analyses that could cause large-scale changes to the lobster industry, Commissioner Patrick Keliher said. >click to read<11:11

Painting the ‘Lobstering Women of Maine’

“It started with Suzanna, that one right there,” White said in late March, pointing to a large painting in her Church Street studio, just around the corner from Belfast Historical Society Museum. In November 2017, White said she watched the painting’s subject unloading lobster traps at Belfast Harbor. A sternman on her husband’s boat, the woman was clearly in charge of her territory. White said she watched in awe. “She unloaded every one of them and, hey, there’s no way! My husband fishes; there’s no way I’d be doing that,” White said. The experience that snow-dusted day got White thinking. She’d painted many lobster fishermen over the years — but never a woman. That was going to change. “I get these ideas, you know? But I don’t think I’ve ever been so obsessed about >click to read<

Jonah Crab Moves Mainstream In Gulf Of Maine After Decades As Lobster Bycatch

Regulators are taking comments on plans to expand a lucrative new crab fishery that’s stirring interest in the Gulf of Maine. Jonah crabs are a native species that, until recently, was mainly caught as bycatch – by accident – in lobster pots.,,, New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist Josh Carloni says in Northern New England and the Gulf of Maine, lobster is still king – but that could change. >click to read<11:42

Mafia tactics employed at New Bedford scallop hearing

On March 20 th at the public hearing for Amendment 21 General Category Scallops in New Bedford an incident occurred in the audience that raises serious questions about IFQ management and the consequences of them. A New Jersey fisherman, who was in the area looking at boats for sale, decided to attend the public hearing that night. As he entered the room he was approached by a well known local fishing industry entrepreneur, who now sells boats and fishing quota , and who he has previously done business with. He is also handling the sale of the boat the fisherman is looking to buy. He aggressively gave the fisherman the fifth degree of questioning about why he was at the meeting, leaving said fisherman with an uneasy feeling of intimidation, as the questioning implied don’t testify against the plan. >click to read<09:00

An April Fools Day Prank and a Hack!

Yesterday was April 1st commonly known as April fools day, a day when people pull pranks for whatever reason suits them. Fisherynation published an April Fool prank claiming that President Donald Trump had announced a complete moratorium of the planning, development, and construction of Offshore Windfarms. If you just read the first paragraph of the article you believed that it was true. If you did read the whole article you would discover that it was a prank and you felt cheated, even mad that someone could pull the wool over your eyes like that, because if you are a fisherman this was your most fervent hope because only the president has the power to stop this outrageous boondoggle at this time. The article was by Boris Badenuff which should have tipped you off. [Rocky and Bullwinkle, Russian collusion?] ,,, The point of the prank,,, >click to read<07:36

President Trump Announces 12 Year Ban On Offshore Wind Power Development

April1st – Early this morning President Donald J. Trump announced a total moratorium on the
planning, development, and construction of offshore windmills for the next twelve years. The President
cited numerous reasons for his decision and declared “This part of the Green New Deal is dead, the only
thing green about offshore wind is the money being thrown around of which the taxpayers and
electricity users will be forced to pay back in excessive electric rates and subsidies.” By Boris Badenuff>click to read<21:15

Bait crisis could take the steam out of lobster this summer

Members of the lobster business fear a looming bait crisis could disrupt the industry during a time when lobsters are as plentiful, valuable and in demand as ever. America’s lobster catch has climbed this decade, especially in Maine, but the fishery is dependent on herring,,, The loss of herring is also a heavy blow to the fishermen who harvest the species, said Jeff Kaelin, who works in government relations for Lund’s Fisheries, a herring harvester based in Cape May, New Jersey. >click to read<13:18

Judge restores Obama-era drilling ban in Arctic, parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean

President Donald Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean, a U.S. judge said in a ruling that restored the Obama-era restrictions. Judge Sharon Gleason in a decision late Friday threw out Trump’s Trump’s executive order that overturned the bans that comprised a key part of Obama’s environmental legacy. Presidents have the power under a federal law to remove certain lands from development but cannot revoke those removals, Gleason said. >click to read<09:00

Seafood processors getting no negative vibes from China

Cape Breton seafood processors say they are not hearing about any potential negative impact on their industry as a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China continues to simmer. Earlier this week China suspended a second major Canadian canola exporter over alleged safety concerns, further deepening a diplomatic row set off by Canada’s decision to detain a top executive with telecom giant Huawei Technologies Ltd. at the behest of the United States. Osborne Burke, general manager of Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. in Neils Harbour, was at a seafood expo in Shanghai in February where there was no mention of the Huawei dispute. >click to read<12:15

MDI native to lead Maine Marine Patrol

Lieutenant Jay Carroll of Southwest Harbor, a 23-year veteran of the Maine Marine Patrol, has been promoted to Colonel, chief of the state’s marine law enforcement branch. He will begin work in his new role April 1, replacing Jon Cornish who officially retires April 5 after 34 years of service. “I am honored to take this next step in my career and look forward to working with the talented, hard-working Marine Patrol professionals whose efforts are critical in sustaining our state’s valuable marine resources,” Carroll said in a statement. >click to read<09:51

At-Sea Monitoring 2019 Coverage Levels and Reimbursement for Groundfish Sector Fishery

NOAA Fisheries announces that for fishing year 2019 the total target at-sea monitoring coverage level is 31 percent of all groundfish sector trips. Additionally, for fishing year 2019, NOAA Fisheries will continue to reimburse 100 percent of industry’s at-sea monitoring costs. In 2018 and 2019, we received Congressional appropriations that have been and will continue to be used to reimburse sectors for 100 percent of their ASM costs. This reimbursement will continue at 100 percent for the 2019 fishing year. As in past years, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will administer the reimbursement. For more information, >click to read<15:44

Coast Guard study of travel routes underway

The Coast Guard has begun a study of vessel traffic in and around the seven offshore energy lease areas south of the Islands to determine if any new vessel travel routes are necessary to improve navigational safety, according to Tuesday’s notice in the Federal Register.,,, “The study’s future results will provide important information for orderly development of the New England offshore wind area in a way that ensures safe navigation for all mariners.”,,, A vessel transit layout announced in September was from a Massachusetts state government-organized fisheries working group on offshore wind, with one east-west route, one north-south route and one diagonal route. But in early December, Rhode Island commercial fishermen said they needed wider corridors, in the range of 4-miles wide, to safely maneuver their vessels. >click to read<13:11

Privatize – Eliminate – Consolidate – Gloucester groundfish sectors consolidate

The decline of the region’s commercial groundfish industry has claimed another casualty — Gloucester-based Northeast Fishery Sector III. The sector, one of two Gloucester-based groundfish sectors within the original 16 commercial groundfish sectors approved by NOAA Fisheries in the 2010 transition to catch shares, will be deactivated for the upcoming 2019 fishing season. The reason: its exhausted roster of vessels and permits won’t financially support an active sector. >click to read<21:44

MAINE DMR schedules whale updates, community meetings

Maine’s $485-million lobster industry is facing serious restrictions on the way it operates as a consequence of efforts to protect endangered right whales from extinction. In April, DMR will hold a series of community meetings to talk with lobster industry members about upcoming actions by the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission dealing with protection issues. Meetings are scheduled for >click to read<14:28

NOAA, BOEM, Fishing Industry Sign New Memorandum of Understanding

NOAA Fisheries, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding that brings local and regional fishing interests together with federal regulators to collaborate on the science and process of offshore wind energy development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. >click to read<12:52

The Long Haul

“I been here for so many years, I just can’t give it up,” he says. He raises his voice over the whine of the hydraulic hauler that lifts his trap out of Muscongus Bay. After more than nine decades on the water, World War II veteran and Maine-art-lore inheritor John Olson can’t stop trapping lobsters. At 96, Olson is square-shouldered and cowboy-lean, and although he sticks closer to shore than he used to, he still works 250 lobster traps in the waters off Cushing. His 68-year-old son, Sam, one of seven children, hoists the trap over the gunwale. >Photo’s, click to read<14:14