Tag Archives: Ben Martens

Seafood Biz Braces For Losses Of Jobs, Fish Due To Sanctions

The worldwide seafood industry is steeling itself for price hikes, supply disruptions and potential job losses as new rounds of economic sanctions on Russia make key species such as cod and crab harder to come by. The latest round of U.S. attempts to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine includes bans on imports of seafood, alcohol and diamonds. The impact is likely to be felt globally, as well as in places with working waterfronts. One of those is Maine, where more than $50 million in seafood products from Russia passed through Portland in 2021, according to federal statistics. “If you’re getting cod from Russia, it’s going to be a problem,” said Glen Libby, an owner of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, a seafood market in Tenants Harbor, Maine. “That’s quite a mess. We’ll see how it turns out.” >click to read< 13:39

Daughter continues work of father lost at sea on Maine fishing boat

In January 2020, the 42-foot fishing boat Hayley Ann sank 50 miles southeast of Portland. The Coast Guard never determined what happened. No distress call was sent. Only an automated emergency beacon alerted them to the tragedy. The disaster claimed the lives of Capt. Arnold “Joe” Nickerson, 60, of Arundel and his crewman, 44-year-old Christopher Pinkham of Boothbay Harbor. >click to read< 15:58

Undersea cable survey marks milestone in Maine’s offshore wind quest

Three marine vessels that study the makeup and geology of seabeds are scheduled to arrive in Maine over the next week or so to survey the proposed route of an underwater cable that will link a floating, offshore wind turbine near Monhegan Island,,, The project received a major boost last August when Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., and RWE Renewables, the world’s second-largest offshore wind company,,,  While the location of offshore wind turbines has gotten a lot of attention, the siting of the cables that connect turbines received less scrutiny, according to Annie Hawkins, of RODA, >click to read< 15:25

CARES Act : Maine’s cut of $300 million in federal seafood industry funding is nation’s fifth-highest.

Maine is in line to get $20 million to help its battered seafood industry weather the COVID-19 storm. The award, announced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, comes out of the $300 million in federal funding included in the CARES Act to help the U.S. fishing industry survive the economic losses associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Maine’s award was the fifth-highest out of 31 states. Commissioner Patrick Keliher said Thursday that he was only just learning about the award and would not be making any comments about distribution plans, , or priorities, until he received specific guidance from the NOAA. >click to read< 13:44

Coronavirus: Maine fishermen say they missed out on pandemic relief program

Thousands of Maine fishermen and others in the seafood sector could have qualified for pandemic relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, but many were, apparently, unable to access the benefits before the money ran out. Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, said many of the industry’s on-the-water workers did not realize they were likely to qualify for the forgivable loans and other assistance that was  briefly made available through the Small Business Administration. >click to read< 15:11

Hustle and Innovation: Maine fishermen turn to direct-to-consumer outlets

Fishermen and seafood farmers are struggling with markets that have recently slammed shut. But over the past week, at least a few outlets have been established to connect the businesses directly to consumers. A new Facebook group called Maine’s Working Waterfront-Seafood Connect began offering consumers the chance to pre-order lobster, oysters and other seafood. Two pick-ups have been held in Rockland. >click to read< 06:40

America’s got scallops: Catch is up, consumers shelling out

America’s harvest of scallops is increasing to near-record levels at a time when the shellfish are in high demand and the value of the fishery has surged in recent years. Sea scallops, harvested mostly by boats from the cold Atlantic Ocean, are the target of one of the most valuable fisheries in America. New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the harvest topped 58.2 million pounds last year, the highest total since 2011 and the fifth-highest in history according to federal statistics going back to 1945. >click to read< 15:30

What’s fair in breaking up the empire of ‘the Codfather’?

Randy Cushman, a fourth generation fisherman in Maine, knows what the crimes of Carlos Rafael cost him.,,, Rafael, whose downfall came after he boasted of his scheme to undercover IRS agents posing as Russian mobsters, is now serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.,,,  Senator Elizabeth Warren fired off a letter in August warning of “needless, immense damage” if permits leave New Bedford. Governor Charlie Baker asked that the permits at least stay in Massachusetts. click here to read the story 07:16

For fisheries regulations, a Trump edict signals uncertainty

New England fishermen and conservationists fear one of President Trump’s executive orders will have disruptive effects on fisheries management, although it will not affect routine seasonal fisheries regulation, as some had initially feared. The order prompted a fiery letter three days later from two prominent Democratic congressmen pointing out it could have “devastating impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries and the businesses and communities they support.” “Effectively what it means is that nobody can do anything because agencies will have to stop doing major regulatory actions because you can’t comply with this order, which may be the point,” says a former top federal fisheries management official, Andrew Rosenberg, who is now director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Drew Minkiewicz, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing larger Eastern Seaboard scallop fishermen, says fishermen need not be concerned about most regulations. “This executive order has zero impact on 99.9 percent of the fishing regulations going out, so people who are wondering if the fishing season will be delayed don’t need to,” he says. “It’s much ado about nothing.” Read the article here 08:39

Pew Charitable Trusts promoting illegal fishing crackdown

In New England, one of the U.S.’s most active fishing areas, between 12 and 24 percent of the total catch of species such as cod, flounder and haddock was taken illegal in 2010, according to a study in the journal Marine Policy. Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, said Pew’s project could potentially be a “way to use technology to try and deal with an issue that we have been having a hard time figuring out.” WTF?  photo credit  Read the rest here 11:44

The Waning of Political Power for Fishermen? by Ben Martens

There is a long and storied history of great supporters of fisheries and the fishing industry in Congress. The late Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington was a lover of the marine environment and helped pen the Marine Mammal Protection Act in order to protect the Orca whales of Puget Sound. Additionally,,,,,,,,Read more