Daily Archives: September 25, 2017

UPDATED: Poachers plead guilty to fishing violations after Buzzards Bay arrests

Four men pleaded guilty Monday in Falmouth District Court to fishing violations and paid $1,000 each after being arrested Sunday for illegally taking undersized black sea bass out of season and undersized scup. The four men — Son Nguyen, 38, of Springfield; Hai Nguyen, 45, of Southampton; Lam Nguyen, 42, of Hamden; and Raymond Ung, 52, of Agawam — were taken into custody and brought to the Bourne state police barracks, police said. The vessel, trailer and vehicle were impounded and all fishing gear was seized as evidence. click here to read the story 19:24

SAFMC – Officials OK red snapper fall season

Federal fishery officials approved a plan Monday to allow Southeastern anglers to harvest red snapper in the Atlantic Ocean later this fall, which would be the first open season for the popular game fish since 2014. Under the plan, the season would last six to 12 days spread out over several three-day weekends and would begin at the end of October. The decision must be approved by NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency that oversees all fishing regulations in federal waters. If the agency approves the decision, it will set the exact number of days the season will last and when it will start. The decision also opens red snapper to commercial fishing, although boats will be limited to just 75 pounds of fish per trip. click here to read the story 19:12

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Gloucester, Sept. 26th thru 28th

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Beauport Hotel in Gloucester. To read the final agenda, click here  Register click here to listen live via webinar. 17:40

Headed for the Slammer! – Carlos Rafael sentenced to 46 months in prison

Judge William Young sentenced Carlos Rafael to a 46-month prison term, but he held off on a decision regarding the forfeiture of any permits or vessels. Rafael also received three years supervised release. His attorney William Kettlewell requested the sentence be served at Fort Devens. Rafael will have credit for the time he spent in jail earlier in his life, which equated to about nine days. He’ll also pay a $200,000 fine. click here to read the story 17:08 There will be updates to this story

Codfather gets nearly 4 yearsclick here to read the story 18:05

FISH-NL says inshore harvesters charged $1,000 by their own union for tuna tags, more than fish is worth 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is questioning why the FFAW-Unifor is charging inshore harvesters $1,000 for a bluefin tuna tag when fishermen can’t get much more than that from the sale of a fish. “This seems to be yet another FFAW-Unifor money grab,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The real question here is why the union is charging its members anything at all? The FFAW is supposed to be in the business of helping harvesters, not profiting from them.” click here to read the press release 16:49

Hurricane Maria Public Advisory 200 PM EDT

At 200 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 31.4 North, longitude 73.0 West. Maria is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so. click here to read the update 14:04

One plant is processing more shrimp thanks to the elimination of tariffs under European free trade deal

The new free trade deal with Europe has only been in effect for a few days but one seafood processor in Newfoundland and Labrador says it’s already meant more work. Ocean Choice International has extended work at the Port au Choix plant.,, On Sept. 21 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, came into effect. It dropped tariffs on 96 per cent of the Canadian seafood sold into Europe.,, As part of the tradeoff for the elimination of tariffs, Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to drop minimum processing requirements. They required fish caught off the province to be processed there. click here to read the story 12:54

Four Arrested in Bourne on Fisheries Violations – Vessel, Trailer, Vehicle Impounded and Gear Seized

On Sunday at approximately 2:19 PM, an Environmental Police Officer was conducting recreational marine fisheries inspections on vessels returning to Taylor Point Marina in Bourne. Upon approaching a vessel that had just hauled out, the Officer observed one of the four males on the vessel run up a hill towards the rail road tracks with a white bucket. The male then dumped a quantity of fish behind some bushes. The Officer approached the male with the bucket and observed six small Black Sea Bass on the ground. The Officer placed the male party in handcuffs and recovered the fish. He escorted the male party back to the vessel and the three other occupants. The Officer asked all four individuals if there were any more Black Sea Bass in the vessel. They all responded no. click here to read the story 11:46

Tribute – Wake held for skipper who mysteriously disappeared at sea

A wake has given closure to friends of a Coast fisherman who is believed dead after his fishing trawler disappeared off the Fraser Coast late last year.  Grant Sainty, 60, was skipper of the Mooloolaba-based Night Raider which mysteriously vanished along with fellow fishermen, Port Macquarie father-of-six Doug Hunt, 38, and another man aged 24. The tragedy began to unfold on November 11 when the trawler left Urangan, in Hervey Bay, about 9.45pm. Between 80 to 100 people showed up to former fisherman Jeffery Davis’ home to pay their respects and share stories. click here to read the story 11:14

Florida Keys seafood industry begins gear recovery after Hurricane Irma

To find the lobster, Florida Keys commercial fishers must first track down gear scattered or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. “Just like on shore, the underwater has patterns of destruction,” Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said Thursday. “Some areas have suffered major devastation, really hard hit,” he said. “Other areas are not so bad.” One large Middle Keys family operation estimates having lost 6,000 traps, Kelly said. click here to read the story 11:00

FISH-NL says proposed Liberal tax changes will hurt inshore harvesters when they sell out; drive up the cost of licences 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Sept. 25th, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says proposed federal tax changes will negatively impact many inshore harvesters when they sell out. “Harvesters do not have pension plans so the money from the sale of their licence is their retirement plan,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The changes to capital gains will mean many inshore harvesters will have less to live on in their retirement years, which may actually drive up the cost of fishing licences.” click here to read the story 09:27

UK Fishermen enjoy ‘black gold rush’ as demand for cuttlefish hits all time high

Fishermen from across the UK are flocking to the South West to land the inky mollusc – which is related to the squid – in record numbers. They are taking advantage of the lack of quotas with 100 tonnes being landed by just five or six boats. Last week a record £700,000 worth of cuttlefish was put through the tills at Brixham fish market in Devon with prices at an all-time high of £5 a kilo. And struggling British fishermen say they could be an unexpected saviour of the local economy. Skippers have descended on waters around Brixham from as far away as Scotland and Northern Ireland to take advantage. Many boats are being double crewed and only resting in port for the bare minimum of time to maximise the amount of they are able to catch. click here to read the story 09:16

Controlling Agreements – DFO cracks down on fishing licences it says are fronts for corporations

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is taking action against more Atlantic fishermen it says are holding inshore fishing licences as fronts for corporations. The department says it has notified a number of fishermen in “controlling agreements” that their licences are forfeit. “There are a number of cases that we’ve told the individuals that we believe they are in a controlling agreement. We’ve told them we believe their licences are not eligible for renewal,” says Morley Knight, assistant deputy minister for DFO. Such licences are known in the industry as company licences. A fisherman holds the inshore licence — as required by DFO — but in name only. click here to read the story 07:59

Move aimed at halting backdoor corporate takeover of inshore fisheries – Corporate interests fighting back click here to read the story 12:48

Day’s of Reckoning – Feds seek prison time for Carlos Rafael; sentencing Monday, Tuesday

More than a year and half after “The Codfather” was arrested, the fate of Carlos Rafael and 13 of his fishing permits will be decided Monday and Tuesday. In March, Rafael, 65, pleaded guilty to falsifying fishing quota, bulk cash smuggling and tax evasion. His sentencing was originally scheduled for June 27. A few delays later, the case is set to wrap up Monday and Tuesday in front of Judge William Young in U.S. District Court in Boston. The government and the defense each filed to the court Wednesday their recommendation for Rafael’s sentencing. Here’s a summary of the nearly 70 pages of documents. click here to read the story 07:51

‘The Codfather’ case puts federal fishing regulations to the test – For 30 years, Carlos Rafael, better known in New England fishing circles as “the Codfather,” has brazenly billed himself as the industry’s most successful outlaw. click here to read the story 13:19