Tag Archives: Brett Tolley

What’s next for the ‘Codfather’?

The “Codfather” quashed any hopes for high courtroom drama when he pleaded guilty in March to falsifying fish quotas, false labeling of fish species, conspiracy and tax evasion, 28 counts in all. The real action is behind the scenes, as federal and defense attorneys wrestle over the fate of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael’s fishing empire, said to be one of the largest groundfish fleets in the nation. It’s something Cape fishermen, and fishermen all over New England, are debating and watching closely. click here to read the story 08:36

At U.N. Ocean Conference – Brett Tolley Touts Small-scale Fisheries

Fisheries activist Brett Tolley of Chatham has told many people about the plight of small-scale fishermen like his father, who left the industry because he couldn’t compete with big corporate interests. Last week, he told that story to world leaders in a special forum at the United Nations in New York.,, “We can’t buy our way out of this problem,” he said. The government rules that regulate commercial fishing tend to empower large corporations, and Tolley said that needs to change. Fisheries management that’s based on the allocation of shares (catch shares) or quotas of a particular catch tend to privatize the oceans, rather than treating them as shared public resources, he argued. Those policies tend to concentrate access to fisheries to a few big players. click here to read the story 13:47

Loss of ‘Codfather’ permits could hurt New Bedford

By late morning just before Easter weekend, three fishing vessels lined up at the docks to unload their catch, and they all belonged to one man — the local mogul known as the “Codfather,” Carlos Rafael. “It’s a good haul,” a passing auction worker at the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction said under her breath, as crew members, some still in their orange waterproof bibs, unloaded the ice-packed fish. But now, Rafael’s recent conviction on federal charges that he cheated fishing regulations to boost his profits is putting his many vessels and permits up for grabs — potentially distributing them to ports along the New England coast. That would deliver an economic blow to New Bedford and the people who depend on the business created by Rafael’s fleet. If his permits are seized as expected, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the regulatory agency known as NOAA, could reissue the permits to fishermen elsewhere in the region. “There are a lot more innocent people who could get punished by this,” said Jim Kendall, a former fisherman who runs New Bedford Seafood Consulting. click here to read the story 09:00

Being ignored at the Council or being publicly called an “asshole” by the Council Chairman doesn’t often make the news

nefmc_feb1Catch Shares Take Toll Council Called To Task – At the April New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Mystic, Conn., a dozen university students from New England, members of fishing families, other fishing organizations, and community organizer Brett Tolley were in attendance. About a dozen people among this group wore orange “Who Fishes Matters” T-shirts. Continue reading  An Open Letter to Tom Nies from a Fishing Family Member – Dear Mr. Nies, As Executive Director of the New England Fishery Management Council you should know how fishermen and the public experience the Council’s so-called “democratic process.” Read the letter here 18:10