Tag Archives: Bonnie Brady

For New Commercial Fishermen, Licensing Hurdles Are High

For Sag Harbor native Aaron Rozzi, embarking on a career as a commercial fisherman was always going to be a steep uphill climb. Increasingly stringent regulation of fish stocks, and the ever-escalating costs of equipment, fuel and simply living on the South Fork make the life of a traditional bayman a hard path to follow in today’s world.,,, Stian Stiansen, a Hampton Bays fisherman who died at the age of 85 when his boat capsized while returning from fishing into Shinnecock Inlet in 2013, thought he had made all the necessary arrangements to transfer his licenses to his nephew, Norman Stiansen, before he died. Norman, also a Shinnecock Bay-based dragger captain, like his father and uncle, intended to take Stian’s licenses and transfer his own licenses to his son, Peter, who was nearing the age when he would take over a boat and go to work for himself. click here to read the story 09:34

American Backlash Against Big Wind: States Cut Subsidies & Ban New Wind Power Projects

If your understanding of the world is limited to what’s printed in the mainstream press, you’d be forgiven for thinking that rural folk can’t wait to nuzzle up to 300 tonne Vestas, with 70m blades towering 180m above them.,, To be sure, you won’t read about this in the New York Times.,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.,, As Bonnie Brady, the fiery executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association told me recently, “Destroying one environment in the name of trying to protect another environment makes no sense at all.” click here to read the story 08:53

Rural America Keeps Rejecting Big Wind

The backlash against Big Wind continues. Indeed, entire states are now restricting or rejecting wind projects.,,, The backlash is so fierce that Big Wind has begun suing small towns to force them to accept wind projects. Since last October, NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest producer of wind energy, has filed lawsuits in federal and state courts against five rural governments, including the town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population: 3,000. NextEra is funding its courthouse mugging of small-town America with your tax dollars.,,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. click here to read the story 08:56

New York DEC Will Talk About Licensing With Commercial Fishermen This Fall

State lawmakers said this week that they have persuaded the State Department of Environmental Conservation to meet with commercial fishermen to talk about expanding how many new commercial fishing licenses are issued. The DEC has agreed to meet with fishermen this fall to discuss revising the state’s policy on the transfer of licenses from one fisherman to another, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said this week. The agreement comes on the heels of lawmakers derailing a DEC request for a new three-year extension to existing commercial licensing guidelines, instead granting only a one-year extension contingent on DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and other agency officials meeting with fishermen to talk about the policy. click here to read the story 21:57

Block Island Wind Farm May Have Killed Young Humpback Whale

The carcass of a young humpback whale washed ashore Friday morning in Jamestown, Rhode Island, causing experts to think that a nearby offshore wind turbine may be to blame. Rescue workers and two veterinarians from a nearby aquarium collected samples from the dead whale, and suspect that the nearby Block Island offshore wind farm could be responsible for the whale’s death. Noise from the turbine allegedly hampers the sonar that whales use to navigate and communicate. “If necropsy shows that a perfectly healthy whale beached itself where offshore wind turbines do exist, they need to really check what kind of sound these things are putting out,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There have been an unusual amount of strandings this year.” click here to read the story 18:17

Environmentalists outraged after ‘green’ wind turbines murder family of whales

Some environmentalists are saying wind turbines pose a threat to whales after a family of minke whales were found dead in the United Kingdom. According to reports by the Times (London) and Daily Caller, a young minke whale was found dead in the United Kingdom on May 20. Its mother was found dead on a nearby beach the same day, and a third whale washed ashore on May 21. It’s believed the three whales were part of the same family. According to marine wildlife experts, the whales were likely disoriented by nearby wind turbines, which can affect the sonar whales use to navigate. click here to read the story 19:57

Offshore Wind Turbines Blamed For Killing Family Of Whales

Marine environmental experts blame offshore wind turbines for the deaths of three minke whales that washed up on British beaches, The Times reported Monday. Wildlife experts claim that the noise generated by wind turbines affected the sonar that whales use to navigate, causing them to beach themselves. There are several commercial offshore wind farms close to where the whales beached themselves.“My personal opinion is that it could be a consequence of wind farms and the amount of sand in the water,” John Cresswell, chairman of the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service, told The Times. “If you stop the boat off the coast you can feel the vibrations and hear the noise.” The U.K. coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother Friday evening. By the next afternoon, it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore, and its mother washed up near Felixstowe. On Sunday, another dead adult whale surfaced, indicating that an entire family could have been killed. Click here to read the story 16:52

Offshore Wind Power Will ‘Absolutely Cost Jobs’ Of US Fishermen

The fishing industry is worried the first offshore wind farm to come online in the U.S. will ruin their way of life and kill jobs. An offshore wind turbine three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, will kill large numbers of fish and potentially drive hundreds of small coastal enterprises out of business, according to a fishing industry representative. Fishermen fear offshore wind turbines will continue to pop up along Atlantic Coast, eventually make it impossible to be a commercial fisherman. “This will absolutely cost jobs in the U.S.,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “If New York Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s administration gets what it wants from offshore wind that’s thousands of fishing jobs. It’ll rip the coastal communities apart.” Brady says New York’s government is willfully ignoring fishing jobs in favor of the wind industry and thinks the consequences of Cuomo’s policy could spread economic devastation to fishermen well beyond the state. click here to read the story 10:46

LIPA, PSEG urged to disclose costs of green-energy program – “Of course they’re not going to give the numbers,” said Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which has joined a lawsuit to stop a wind farm off the South Shore. “I think the governor needs to rethink his mandate. He’s destroying fishing jobs for pie-in-the-sky [wind-energy construction] jobs that are not going to last.” click here to read the story 10:52

Deepwater Wind Confronted – Fishermen ask trustees to fight offshore wind farm

A representative of the Rhode Island company that is planning a 15-turbine wind farm 30 miles off Montauk faced sharp questions from fishermen and other residents at the East Hampton Town Trustees meeting on Monday, as well as from the trustees themselves. A lengthy presentation and a subsequent question-and-answer session occupied more than half of the nearly four-hour meeting, as fishermen voiced fears of disruption and even the outright destruction of their livelihood. “Most of fishermen I know, we are against this project from the beginning to the end,” Terry Wallace said to applause. Brad Loewen, chairman of the East Hampton Town Fisheries Advisory Committee, criticized Deepwater’s effort to hire fisheries representatives here. “You can try to buy advice, you can try to buy trawl surveys, you can try to buy scientific data,” he said. “I would suggest . . . that you don’t necessarily listen to somebody that was hired by them,” he told the trustees. “Listen to the people doing the job, somebody actually out trawling, running around that bay, trying to catch fish, and trying to make a living.” click here to read the story 14:18

Thiele Acts for Fishermen ‘Under Siege’

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has introduced a package of legislation intended to aid the commercial fishing industry. Two of the three bills were introduced in the 2015-16 legislative session. One would direct the state attorney general to bring legal action against the National Marine Fisheries Service, or any other federal agency, to challenge existing quotas that the bill calls inequitable and discriminatory against New York State commercial fishermen. The bill is now in the Assembly’s environmental conservation committee. A second bill, also introduced in the 2015-16 legislative session, adds a new element in its current form. It would establish a commercial fishing advocate and, in its new version, create a commercial fishing jobs development program under State Department of Economic Development jurisdiction. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the bill last year, Mr. Thiele said yesterday. continue reading the story here 15:11

German company eyes wind farm project off Fire Island  

“The idea that you can just show up and stick a flag in the ocean floor and say it’s mine without regard to the fishing community it will displace is unconscionable and un-American,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.A German renewable-energy company has submitted an unsolicited bid for more than 40,000 acres of water rights due south of Fire Island for the first phase of a wind-turbine array of up to 400 megawatts. Maps submitted with the project indicate it would place 30 to 50 turbines around 600 feet tall in an area that extends from Bayport to Moriches, starting around 12 miles from shore. The project would be east of another wind-energy area that was federally auctioned in December to Norway-based Statoil for $42 million. Both projects, which would require numerous state and federal permits, are in areas considered vital to fishing interests; the Statoil project is already the subject of a federal lawsuit seeking to block it and preserve squid, scallop and bottom-fishing grounds. Called the NY4 Excelsior Wind Park, the latest project is being proposed by PNE Wind, a German developer of onshore and offshore wind projects with a U.S. base in Chicago. (we are opposed) Read the story here 07:54

Legal Fight in New York Offshore Wind Farm Case Continues on Merits; Request for Preliminary Injunction Denied

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided late Wednesday not to grant a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit brought by a host of fishing communities, associations and businesses led by scallop industry trade group the Fisheries Survival Fund against the impending leasing of the New York Wind Energy Area to Statoil Wind of Norway. The suit alleges the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing process did not adequately consider the impact of wind power development in the waters off Long Island, New York on the region’s fishermen. The fishing industry asked that the court temporarily halt BOEM from proceeding with the final ratification of a lease on the area, which was preliminarily awarded to Statoil, Norway’s state oil company, for $42.5 million. “Getting a preliminary injunction granted is difficult, given the high standards that the court applies,” said Mayor Kirk Larson of Barnegat Light, N.J., one of the plaintiffs in the case. “But our case will continue, and we are confident that we will succeed on the merits.” Continue reading the article here 17:55

Montauk Fishermen Worry About Impacts From Proposed Wind Farm

A 12-to-15-turbine wind farm still will have to navigate a long and arduous regulatory approval process before it can be constructed in the waters between Montauk and Nantucket. Some Montauk fishermen say they are worried about the impacts of the turbines to be built about 30 miles offshore of their home port. “The location is definitely a concern, because of the fishery that takes place there,” said Chris Scola, a Montauk sea scallop harvester. “The draggers do a lot of fluking there. They do a lot of yellowtail flounder there. It’s a very important place for sportfishermen, too— it’s really the only place that still has cod consistently.” Montauk fishermen say they were not included in the conversations held five years ago, when Deepwater Wind and federal regulators were discussing the regions that would be leased to the company for wind farm construction. “They created a fishery advisory group … and Rhode Island and Massachusetts fishermen said, ‘You can’t go here, because we all fish here—that’s important to us,’ and they removed all these certain [areas] from the map,” said Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. “They never talked to New York. No one from Long Island was invited, as far as I’m aware.” Read the full story here 15:53

Georges Bank said to be ‘paved with fluke! Fishermen Assail NOAA Quotas – Schumer fears major job losses

Commercial fishermen on the draggers seen offshore last week took advantage of calmer seas and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s raising of the daily limit on fluke from 70 to 210 pounds. The higher limit was in effect from Dec. 18 through Friday as the state’s annual quota for the fish, highly sought by commercial and recreational fishermen alike, had not been reached.,, Mark Phillips, who fishes on the F/V Illusion out of Greenport, was once among the largest harvesters of fluke in the state, landing a few hundred thousand pounds per year, by his count. The problem, Mr. Phillips said, is that stock assessments are inaccurate because NOAA conducts surveys — such as with its ship the Henry B. Bigelow, which collects data in waters from Maine to North Carolina — when fluke are migrating from undersea canyons to inshore waters. Read the story here 14:49

Fishing advocates seek delay in new limits on fluke fishing

Fishing advocates seeking to head off what they described as “devastating” reductions in the New York quota for fluke next year are calling on federal regulators to forestall planned 2017 cuts until a more current assessment of the fish population is completed. Led by frequent fishing advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer, a group of 50 recreational and commercial fishing boat captains and advocates gathered at the Captree Boat Basin in Babylon Thursday to say a planned 30 percent reduction would threaten hundreds of businesses. Schumer said he plans to reach out to the U.S. Department of Commerce and its newly nominated secretary, Wilbur Ross, to address his concerns, including requesting an expedited fluke population assessment and a suspension of the new cuts until improved data is available. Schumer said he was hopeful that Ross, a New Yorker who was once an adviser on the Long Island Lighting Co. buyout by LIPA, could step in to forestall management moves by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees councils that manage the fluke fishery. Schumer said he would reach out to President-elect Donald Trump, Ross and “whoever I have to to get this changed.” Read the story here 20:06

As the New York wind shills rallied, one fishing advocate stood alone.

More than 100 advocates for offshore wind, comprised of environmental and labor groups and politicians, rallied outside of Long Island Power Authority headquarters in Uniondale Tuesday morning urging the agency to sign a contract to purchase power from offshore wind. LIPA CEO Thomas Falcone, who sat with several model wind turbines on the table in front of him, told activists who packed LIPA’s board room for the agency’s monthly board of directors meeting after the rally that he expected to have a big announcement about offshore wind in the new year. Long Island Commercial Fishing Association Executive Director Bonnie Brady of Montauk was the one person in attendance at the LIPA meeting Tuesday who expressed skepticism about offshore wind, where the board took about half an hour of public comment. “The reality is, this is not a clean project,” she said, adding that there is a glut of power on Long Island, but the LIPA grid is broken. Read the story here 14:35

Fishermen Oppose Commercial Ban – national marine monument exclusion is unfair and unnecessary

20161006_govmarinemonumentjasondanielledgFishermen believe a monument in the Mid-Atlantic is unnecessary and allege it was not based on science but pressure from nongovernmental environmental groups, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Resources Defense Council. To exclude commercial fishermen while allowing recreational fishing makes no sense, fishermen contend. They also claim the monument will not only fail to prevent harm to non-target species such as pilot whales, but will increase interactions with them. “It’s a huge blow,” Hank Lackner of the Jason and Danielle, a trawler based in Montauk, said. “And there was no need for it.” Mark Phillips, who fishes for fluke, squid, and haddock from the Greenport-based Illusion, agreed. “The funny thing, there is no coral there. It’s all sand and mud, and I’ve dragged all of that bottom. A handful of boats out of Montauk have dragged it all. There is no coral, period,” he said. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that many of the areas in which trawlers fish are devoid of coral, according to Ms. Brady. Read the article here 12:08

LIPA trustees won’t vote on wind farm project this week  

cape-wind-power-farm-b1The state of New York has finalized a blue print for offshore wind energy, but the LIPA board won’t take up a measure to authorize the utility to move ahead with a contract this week. An agenda for the LIPA board meeting Wednesday in Uniondale doesn’t include the package of enhancements for the South Fork grid, which includes a 75-megawatt wind farm by Deepwater Wind and which LIPA was originally expected to vote on at its last meeting in July. Environmentalists who had been expecting finalization of the pact, which LIPA first disclosed to the press extensively in July, expressed disappointment Tuesday. But critics of offshore wind, particularly in the fishing industry, hailed the delay, and suggested the utility use it to do a more thorough review of the costs. “There’s no reason to do this wind farm when all they need to do is fix the grid on land,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which has opposed wind farm projects slated for fishing grounds. The group says pile-driving into the ocean floor, jet plowing the sea bottom and the impacts from the sea structures will harm fish and the sea bottom. “Destroying the ocean to save the world may not be the best solution,” Brady said. “Why not fix the problem?” Read the rest here 09:18

Long Island Power Authority to approve plan to build 15 wind turbines 30 miles southeast of Montauk

BN-OX426_0714ny_P_20160714110311Long Island would get New York state’s first offshore wind farm, a collection of wind turbines off Montauk that could provide energy for 50,000 homes, under an agreement detailed Thursday. The board of trustees of the Long Island Power Authority, a state authority, is expected to vote Wednesday to approve a plan with Deepwater Wind LLC, which would build 15 wind turbines on a open-ocean site it leases from the federal government. The plan has drawn opposition from the commercial fishing industry, worried about disturbances to prime fish-nursery areas. Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the project would “maim and kill fish” through years of pile driving and laying of cable. She said the bases of the towers would then permanently alter the undersea environment. “These industrial projects should not be built where things live,” she said. “From a commercial fishing standpoint we are being sold out.” Read the rest here 10:02

Long Island Commercial Fishing Association wants assurances fishing won’t be limited by protection zone

image bonnie bradyThree Long Island lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create a marine mammal and sea turtle protection zone around Plum Island and two other environmentally sensitive eastern Islands, but a fishing group wants assurances it won’t limit fishing. Assembs. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) introduced the legislation June 1. It would create a protection area from the high-water mark on the shore outward to 1,500 feet around Plum Island, Great Gull Island and Little Gull Island. The zones would prevent the “harassment” of harbor seals, harbor porpoises and several species of sea turtles. Read the rest here 08:31

Mid Atlantic: National Ocean Policy threatens new regulatory burdens

oceanpolicy-crop-300x185Since its creation by Executive Order in 2010, the Obama administration has hailed its National Ocean Policy (NOP) as a non-regulatory, stakeholder-driven initiative that will lead to reduced burdens and less uncertainty for ocean user groups. In reality, it’s nothing of the sort. This was highlighted recently during a hearing held by the U.S. House Natural Resources’ Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee on the implications of the NOP, where House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop summed up many of the concerns of stakeholders when he noted that “it’s creating more uncertainty, and it certainly is not helping the industry and it’s not helping the environment.” You know what? He’s right. The Long Island Commercial Fishing Association (LICFA) has been closely monitoring the development and implementation of the NOP since its establishment six years ago.  We’ve had no other choice, as we represent stakeholders in New York’s $1.4 billion boat-to-table seafood industry, with Long Island in particular landing 99 percent of the state’s wild-caught seafood. Read the rest here 16:42

Long Island Commercial Fishing Association opposes offshore marine monument

asmfc black logoThe Long Island Commercial Fishing Association has joined the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in the latter group’s motion to oppose the designation of an offshore marine monument in the Northeast Atlantic, which environmental groups support. Last week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fisheries Management Program unanimously approved a resolution opposing any designation, but offering recommendations should such a monument be created. Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, released a statement on Friday in support of the fishery commission’s resolution. Read the rest here , Read ASMFC Urges Transparency and Public Input in Proposed New England Offshore Canyons & Seamounts Monument Decision Making Process, Letter to the Obama administration  Click here 11:06

Sustainable Fishburger Based On Chef Eric Ripert’s Recipe Coming To Hamptons School

Bonnie Brady, Executive Director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, is pleased that the project will support the local fishing community. “In the U.S. marketplace over ninety percent of seafood is imported and more than half of it is farmed seafood, mostly from Asia,” said Brady. “It is imperative to allow our remaining commercial fishermen here to return to their historical and critically important role as providers of locally landed seafood to New York State residents.” The Montauk Fishburger Project is a win-win for both the students who get to enjoy the tasty fare and the food purveyors who provide the ingredients. Read the article here 10:52

Are fishing conservation efforts helping or hurting?

If you put too many restrictions on the fishing industry, it could kill off a major part of the local economy. But if too few restrictions are in place, that could kill off the fish — in which case that economy would no longer exist. That was the crux of the dilemma being debated at a congressional natural resources committee hearing in Riverhead Monday morning. The title of the hearing, held at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center, was “Restoring Atlantic Fisheries and Protecting the Regional Seafood Economy.” Read the article here 14:29

NY State Legislature Passes Commercial Fishing Advocate Position

“The commercial fishing industry is part of the fabric of the East End of Long Island,” Mr. LaValle said in a statement on the measure. “It’s essential that we ensure that the industry is adequately represented before state agencies and is provided the proper tools to thrive. By creating an advocate, fishermen will have a strong voice to assist in the promotion of the industry, and will be part of state economic development plans.” Read the rest here 15:13

Deepwater Wind’s political ties helped lift $1.5B green-energy proposal to LIPA finals

“If there is financial influence that’s trying to push for a project that should not be funded, it would be terribly disappointing because it should be not about winning but doing what’s right,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the. Deepwater’s ties to environmental groups also run deep. One high-profile supporter of the Long Island project is the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Read the rest here 12:17

Montauk Commercial Fishermen Want Say on Wind Farm

The queer minded notions of Deepwater chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski

The queer minded notions of Deepwater chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski

As a Rhode Island company navigates multiple regulatory agencies in order to construct the first offshore wind farms in the United States in the ocean east of Montauk, commercial fishermen are raising concerns about how such projects will impact their livelihood. “We’re trying to sustainably grow the fishing economy,” said Ms. Brady, who lives in Montauk. “You don’t destroy something in the name of green energy. To destroy a sustainable industry in the name of sustainability is insane.” Read more here  16:53

County Officials Visit Montauk; Talk Shop With Business Owners And Fishermen

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman made a visit to Montauk on a recent rainy Wednesday afternoon to hear from business owners and fishermen about the most pressing issues they face, such as the shoring up of downtown Montauk and restrictions placed on commercial fishermen. Read more here  08:40

Rhode Island company proposes wind farm 30 miles off Montauk

The queer minded notions of Deepwater chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski

The queer minded notions of Deepwater chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski

“It’s green energy for investors only,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Assoc., a Montauk-based group that has opposed some of the projects because of impacts on sea bottom and reduced fishing access. Grybowski said the federal government and Deepwater have met with fishing interests and have agreed keep turbines off the most important fishing sectors. Read more here  19:07

Broken Bureaucracy – Magnuson-Stevens Act – It’s All Out of Balance

Since 1976, when the Magnuson-Stevens Act went into effect, both Captain Krusa’s regulation by natural selection and the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s promised balance between controlling harvests and protecting fishing communities have gone by the board. To be fair, the job has become extraordinarily complex, in large part because fish are hard to count, but also because the regulatory machinery, which includes government scientists, battling user groups, powerful conservation groups, and industry representatives, is broken. The result is a wasted resource and damaged communities. [email protected] 08:16