Tag Archives: Beth Casoni

BOURNE: Lobstermen seek help in protecting right whales, Testimony cites burden on local industry.

Commercial lobstermen urged federal regulators Wednesday to take Canada to task for its failure to protect North Atlantic right whales and to remember that local lobstermen carrier a heavier burden of regulation than others in U.S. waters. “We as lobstermen do not want to see harm come to the right whale,” Plymouth lobsterman Tom O’Reilly said at a public forum at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the eighth in a series of meetings held this month,,, >click to read<08:40

Lobster processing claws its way into Mass. law

The long-sought measure to expand and modernize lobster processing regulations in Massachusetts is now law, as of Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature on Wednesday.,,, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, who has championed the measure through more than four frustrating legislative cycles, estimated that up to 80 percent of lobsters landed in Massachusetts — the nation’s second-largest harvester of American lobsters, behind Maine — are transported to out-of-state processors only to see them return here as value-added products for retail and restaurant consumers. >click to read<  09:11

Atlantic Herring: Fishermen face another quota cut, could hit lobster prices

Regulators on the East Coast are contending with a drop in the population of herring, a key forage fish species that has been used as lobster bait for generations.,, A fishery management board is due to make a decision about the 2020 catch limits in early June.,, “I’ve heard from other fishermen up and down the coast, from Maine to Massachusetts. It’s going to be survival of the fittest,” Casoni said. “Every year is challenging, and every year just gets a little more.” >click to read<11:16

Facts and Data Prevail at House Hearing on Oceans and Climate Change

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held a hearing on ocean health and climate change, moderated by Subcommittee Chair Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Tom McClintock (R-CA). Among the witnesses called by the majority were Carol Browner, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, and Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. Wind Farm Dangers, Lobster Controversy, Claims of Rising Sea Level, Hurricane Link Debated, >click to read<11:45

Black sea bass gobbling up lobsters

Black sea bass, a saltwater fish taken commercially and recreationally in Massachusetts, have increased in number throughout southern New England waters and rattled the lobster industry with their wolfish appetites. “They feed aggressively,” Rutgers University marine biologist Olaf Jensen said. “They’re not picky eaters. If it’s the right size and it’s alive, they’ll eat it.” The young of New England’s iconic crustacean fall into the right size category. “Black sea bass love little lobsters,” Michael Armstrong, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said. That’s of deep concern to Beth Casoni, president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, who says lobster traps are being pillaged by these fish. >click to read<18:41

Efforts Underway to Reduce Lobster Fishing Gear to Help Rare Whale

Interstate fishing managers are starting the process of trying to reduce the amount of lobster fishing gear off the East Coast in an attempt to help save a declining species of rare whale. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced this month that it would consider options designed to reduce vertical lobster fishing lines in the water by as much as 40 percent. The commission said it would try to reduce the amount of gear with a combination of trap limits, seasonal closures, changes to gear configuration and other methods. The rules are under development and it will take months before they come up for public hearings. >click to read<10:45

We’ll take your lobsters, eh? Canadian imports from US soar

Trade hostility from across the ocean was supposed to take a snip out of the U.S. lobster business, but the industry is getting a lifeline from its northern neighbor. Heavy demand from Canada is buoying American lobster as both countries head into the busy holiday export season, according to federal statistics and members of the industry. It’s a positive sign for U.S. seafood dealers and fishermen, even as the industry struggles with Chinese tariffs.,,  >click to read<12:05

Lawmakers to Trump: Keep Marine Monument protections

More than a quarter of state lawmakers wrote to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, urging him not to roll back protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. None of Cape Ann’s representatives — Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and Reps. Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Brad Hill — were among the signers. Nine of the 38 current state senators and 46 of the 153 representatives signed the letter, which said the monument “does not occur in a major fishing ground” and opening it to commercial fishing would “not help remedy the nation’s seafood deficit.” >click to read<09:23

Judge tosses fishermen’s suit against Obama ocean monument

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit Friday from a group of fishing associations that challenged the creation of an underwater monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The fishing groups sued in federal court in Washington against creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted the Trump administration’s motion Friday to dismiss the suit. His ruling said the groups failed to adequately explain why the monument is too large. >click to read<15:14

Push on to brand, market Massachusetts lobster

Building on the success of its Gloucester Fresh seafood branding campaign, the city of Gloucester plans to apply the same formula to help brand and market Massachusetts lobsters to lobster lovers the world over.,, Gloucester has dominated the lobster trade in Massachusetts and the industry’s high profile here has helped mitigate some of the misery foisted upon the community by the continuing groundfish crisis.,, It is the state’s No. 1 port in both number of active lobstermen — an average of 136 annually during the past five years — and amount of lobster annually landed. Gloucester has averaged 2.94 million pounds per year over the past five years, according to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. >click to read<12:02

The lobster wars are over. We won

You may recall a few weeks ago when we discussed the coming Lobster Wars involving the United States, Canada and China. (There’s an odd combination for you.) The first component of the conflict has to do with the ongoing dispute between America and the Great White North over who actually owns the “gray area” surrounding the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Maine.,,, It’s the trade war aspect which was of more current interest because it would cut off some of the markets for American fishermen leading to an increase of supply domestically and a cut in demand. >click to read<15:41

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring.

It’s no shell game: As the price per pound has skyrocketed over the last few months, the costs of lobster dishes on restaurant menus across the city have been off the charts as chefs have been looking to claw back some of the margins. A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring, up from about $8 a pound last year.,, Federal permits mean that only 25 percent of Maine’s fleet can go out to the,, In Massachusetts, fishermen are getting $9 to $11 a pound off the boat right now, said Beth Casoni,>click to read<22:51

John Bullard’s Right whale challenge angers lobstermen

Bullard may have left behind the daily responsibilities of running the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, but he took his bully pulpit with him. On Monday, he published an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe challenging the U.S. commercial lobster industry — predominately based in Maine and Massachusetts, where Gloucester and Rockport are the top ports — to take the lead in trying to head off the extinction of the North Atlantic right whales. While he also carved out a role for scientists, non-governmental organizations and fishery managers in the hunt for solutions, Bullard’s emphasis on the lobster industry did not sit well with local lobstermen, who believed their industry was being singled out. >click to read<19:02

Opponents say Block Island wind farm is causing problems across prime fishing grounds

The five enormous turbines that have been generating electricity off Block Island over the past year are considered a model for the future of offshore wind. But the nation’s first ocean-based wind farm also has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables across prime fishing grounds.,,, Wind power companies have dismissed most of their concerns, and fishermen have become increasingly frustrated, saying that they’re being ignored.>click to read<09:38

SMAST meeting brings fishing, offshore wind in the same room

Offshore wind developers spent the majority of a 3-hour meeting Monday attempting to win over the local commercial fishing industry. For much of he meeting, the fishermen in attendance rolled their eyes, scoffed at various PowerPoint slides and even went as far as to say offshore wind is unwanted. “Nobody wanted this,” one fisherman out of Point Judith said. “Nobody wanted problems.  We are assured there would be none. And here we are.” Twenty members of the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy sat around a table at SMAST East hoping to solve various issues between the two ocean-based industries. >click to read< 18:09 

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 

Losing hope for lobster south of Cape Cod

Tom Tomkiewicz remembers when there were so many lobster traps in Buzzards Bay it looked as if he could walk across the water on their buoys. Now, the 42-year-old lobsterman and his dwindling number of colleagues have to set their traps far out to sea, well beyond view of the coast, to catch the few lobsters that remain. “There’s nothing here,” said Tomkiewicz, one of only 35 Massachusetts lobstermen who still have permits to fish in the state and federal waters that stretch from Nantucket Sound to Long Island Sound. “It’s crazy.”,,, The steep decline has left regulators in a quandary click here to read the story 21:20

Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge in Halifax – Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic’

The focus of this year’s annual meeting of North Atlantic right whale researchers has been altered in light of 15 of the critically endangered marine mammals being found dead this year in waters off eastern Canada and the U.S. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said the goal of this year’s meeting is to explain the science behind the “mortality crisis” to members of government who will be there. The consortium also said the purpose of this year’s meeting is to form an international working group to look at the big picture when it comes to right whales, instead of managing problems region by region. click here to read the story

Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic – Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge today in Nova Scotia to save right whales. Among the commercial lobstermen at the right whale symposium today is John Haviland, of the South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association,,, click here to read the story 09:12

Massachusetts: Time to lift restrictions on state’s lobster processing industry

State lawmakers have a rare chance to give a sector of the state’s beleaguered fishing industry a boost and create a few jobs along the way. Tucked into the Senate version of the budget now being negotiated on Beacon Hill is an amendment that would allow state seafood wholesalers to expand their processing of raw and frozen lobsters, putting Bay State companies on par with their counterparts in other New England states and Canada’s Maritime provinces. Massachusetts firms operate under a confusing mishmash of lobster-processing regulations. A proposal by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, would allow for the processing of all manner of lobster tails and other parts in Massachusetts. click here to read the story. 09:16

A meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – Concerns aired about Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Fishing groups from around New England met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday to air complaints about former President Barack Obama’s designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument last year. The monument, the first marine national monument in U.S. Atlantic waters, protects about 4,000 square miles of ocean 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. Fishermen say the protected area in which fishing is prohibited hurts their business and places an undue burden on an already heavily regulated industry. But Priscilla Brooks, vice president and director of ocean conservation at the Conservation Law Foundation, said the former administration did take fishermen’s concerns into account. Obama reduced the size of the original proposed monument by 60 percent and allowed lobster and crab fishermen a seven-year grace period to continue fishing there. “There was a robust public process,” she said. (BS!) click here to read the story 08:25

Proposed new rules for lobstering up for vote amid decline in southern New England

Scientists have said populations of lobsters off of Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts have declined as waters have warmed. A board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to vote on new management measures Monday and Tuesday. Fishing managers are considering tools like trap reductions, changes to the legal harvesting size of lobsters and seasonal closures to try to preserve the population. Some lobster fishermen have opposed the possibility of new measures, saying such a move would kill off what remains of a once-vibrant fishery. “Any further reductions in traps would be hard to accommodate, given that there are so few fishermen left in (southern) Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” said Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. click here to read the story 11:26

Proposed regulations irk lobstermen

Bay State lobstermen fear that a new proposal — meant to save lobsters in warming southern New England waters — could hurt business by barring them from harvesting in prime summer months and putting tighter restrictions on the size of their catch. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will present a plan in New Bedford tonight on ways to maintain or increase the number of lobsters in waters from southern Massachusetts to Delaware. “Over the last 15 years we’ve seen a decline in lobster abundance, and we think that’s by and large a response to warming ocean temperatures,” said Dan McKiernan, deputy director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “That’s the challenge that we have — it’s trying to preserve lobster but doing it in a way that the industry can survive,” he added. Yet Massachusetts lobstermen argue that their pots are full and don’t see what the fuss is all about. video, read the story here 15:58

Congressman Seth Moulton – a friend to lobster industry by Beth Casoni

We would like to publicly thank Congressman Seth Moulton for supporting our efforts against the expansion of the Northeast Fishery Observer Program to lobster vessels in Massachusetts. Although we have always been confident in Congressman Moulton’s abilities to advocate on behalf of the hardworking lobstermen in Massachusetts’ 6th District, his actions are proof of this commitment. Earlier this week, Congressman Moulton led a letter Read the rest here 16:01