Tag Archives: Carlos Rafael

EDF tells NOAA Get multiple buyers for Carlos Rafaels assets, more monitoring

Jim Kendall chuckled as he attempted to grasp the words to describe a letter crafted by Environmental Defense Fund, which it sent to NOAA.,,, The letter pitches two strategies to NOAA in handling the permits and punishment linked to Rafael,,, EDF suggests that NOAA should require multiple buyers of Rafael’s assets and require monitoring of his vessels while also establishing funding for the monitoring. >click to read< 18:41

Hitting the Trail: NOAA’s GARFO leader looks to cultivate culture of collaboration

As debuts go, Mike Pentony’s first day on the job as the regional director for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was a corker. The federal government marked his ascension on Jan. 22 as only the federal government can — shutting down all but the most essential government services as a consequence of the usual congressional mumbley-peg. “My first action was to come in and proceed with the orderly shutdown of government operations,” Pentony said recently during an interview in the corner office on the uppermost floor of GARFO headquarters in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park. The respite was short-lived. The shutdown lasted a day. >click to read< 23:52

Post Rafael, New Bedford Fishing Industry Looks to Move Forwad

For perhaps the first time, at least publicly, fishermen on Carlos Rafael vessels sat in the same room Wednesday as John Bullard, the former regional administrator for NOAA, who implemented a groundfishing ban for those vessels. Bullard, wearing a blue NOAA jacket, sat in the front of four-person panel brought together by Rhode Island Public Radio  The fishermen, wearing baseball caps and New Bedford Ship Supply sweatshirts, sat to the left of the panel, which discussed fishing in New Bedford after Carlos Rafael at Star Store.>click to read<21:16

The Shutdown

The National Marine Fisheries Service shut down Sector IX because the majority of its boats and quota belong to Carlos Rafael. This came without warning last November 22 and the order also waived the customary 30-day delay in effectiveness. Far from resolving anything this has exacerbated a bad situation by throwing a widening circle of business owners under the bus as the weeks drag by. >click to read< 15:38

Opinion: Time for NOAA and Sector IX to strike a deal

Eighty New Bedford groundfishermen. They’ve had no work now for almost three months. In the end, those are the guys and it is their families who are paying the biggest price for Carlos Rafael’s longtime conspiracy to falsify fishing records and smuggle the cash overseas. But since Rafael was the big guy on the New Bedford waterfront, the guy who owns the majority of the boats in Sector IX, the fishermen have been out of work since Nov 20 when regional NOAA administrator John Bullard ordered the sector to stop fishing. >click to read< 10:57

A Famed Fishing Port Staggers as Its ‘Codfather’ Goes to Jail

Carlos Rafael, whose initials are emblazoned on boats all over this port city, boasted that his fishing empire was worth even more than official records showed.,,Fishermen, ice houses and shoreside suppliers who once did business with Mr. Rafael are anxious, as their own businesses have slowed or stopped. As Mr. Rafael sits in prison, having pleaded guilty to lying about his catches and smuggling cash out of the country, nearly two dozen of his boats have been barred from fishing for species like cod and haddock, grinding part of the centuries-old maritime economy in the nation’s most lucrative fishing port to a halt. >click to read< 16:45 

F/V Nemesis Pulled from the bottom of New Bedford Harbor

Crews managed to lift the fishing vessel Nemesis out of about 20 feet of water on Friday. The Dinah Jane remained submerged but will be pulled from the water soon. It has yet to be determined when exactly. The two Carlos Rafael scallopers sank around 1:30 a.m. Monday at Homer’s Wharf. On Friday, crews blew air into sunken vessel and used a crane to stabilize it. After examination, the Nemesis will likely  remain docked off Homer’s Wharf, according to the Harbor Development Commission. >Photo’s, click to read<18:09

UPDATED: Two Carlos Rafael Vessels Sink Overnight in New Bedford Harbor – will remain submerged until at least Tuesday

Two Carlos Rafael vessels sank early Monday morning by Leonard’s Warf, according to Ed Anthes Washburn, the executive director of the Harbor Development Commission, Washburn said the fishing vessels the Dinah Jane and the Nemesis sunk at around 1:30 am with no one on board.  The vessels were tied to each other. Crews from the Coast Guard and the HDC are on site now investigating the incident. The Massachusetts Environmental Police seized 120 pounds of scallops off the Dinah Jane last week. Story will be updated. >Link< 11:24

Two vessels will remain submerged until at least Tuesday – >click to read the updated story< 14:05

‘Cod is Dead’ uses New Bedford to highlight hurdles affecting fishermen

One of the first scenes in “Rotten: Cod is Dead” opens at night in the Port of New Bedford. Spotlights atop the fishing vessels light the area. A few belong to Carlos Rafael, noted by their green color and “CR” logo.,,, The hour long show looks beyond Rafael and focuses on catch shares in the New England Fishery. >click here to read< 19:05

EDF says Rotten gets it wrong about New England and catch shares – >click here to read

The government is what created Carlos Rafael

Bill Straus saw the writing on the wall years ago. In 2009 -eight years before Carlos Rafael went to prison – the representative of Bristol’s 10th District spoke out during the establishment of the current catch-share system in the Northeast fishery. And even with Rafael behind bars, Straus says the threat of another Codfather emerging is ever present. “The risk is still there,” Straus said. “And that’s why what comes out of the different remedies is so important. >click here to read< 22:52

300 jobs lost in first month of NOAA’s Sector XI groundfishing ban

Nearly two months have passed since NOAA imposed a groundfishing an on Carlos Rafael’s fleet.  Those within the Port of New Bedford estimate it’s put upward of 80 fishermen out of work. That number merely only scratches the surface according to a study done by SMAST professor Dan Georgianna. Within the first 30 days of the ban, Georgianna estimates that across the Northeast 300 jobs were lost, with an income loss of about $5.7 million.  When including the retail loss the number surges to $12 million. >click here to read<19:26

SouthCoast fishermen call NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael ‘overkill’

New Bedford- Current and former area fishermen balked at NOAA’s reach in its civil action against Carlos Rafael. “It’s total overkill,” said Stephen Lozinak, captain of fishing vessel Marsheen Venture and who has been fishing for more than five decades. “The whole thing is overkill. All it’s doing is hurting the workers in the city of New Bedford.” >click here to read <21:01

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits

NOAA seeks $900M, all permits from Codfather in civil action – On Wednesday, the federal agency responsible for managing the nation’s fisheries issued the charging documents against Rafael, his seafood company, Carlos Seafood Inc., and 28 other businesses entities related to the New Bedford fishing mogul — including two unnamed scallop captains from his fleet. >click to read the story< 20:28

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits – new allegations involve misreporting in the scallop fishery >click to read the story<

John Bullard: SectorIX board’s failure to act stopped its fishing

For New Englanders, Atlantic cod is not just another fish. The Sacred Cod that hangs in the Massachusetts State House is a testament to the cod’s place in our culture and history. For centuries, we fished for cod, as we watched the stock decline, we tried various ways to protect the resource this is considered as much a birthright as a commodity. In 2009, the New England Fishery Management Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, agreed to try a system called “catch shares” which worked well on the West Coast. click here to read the op-ed 20:52 

Don Cuddy: Sector closure angers and worries groundfish industry

It was on Monday, November 20, two days before his retirement party as NOAA regional administrator, that John Bullard abruptly ordered the shutdown of Sector IX’s groundfish operations. The boats out fishing had to return to port forthwith.,,, Bullard’s move was praised by some but it engendered some harsh criticism in the city. Click here to read the story. 23:11

While setting New England fishery rules, John Bullard was an exception

He’s been called a Neanderthal and the most reviled man in the region’s fishing community. At a public meeting broadcast on national TV, a fisherman once accused him to his face of lying for a living. As the regional fisheries administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, John Bullard has drawn ire from all sides — fishermen, environmentalists, and politicians alike. His decisions have been routinely controversial, and he has rarely minced words in defending them. click here to read the story 20:53

Mayor Jon Mitchell: Ban costing Port of New Bedford 500K per day

In a letter addressed to NOAA, Mayor Jon Mitchell said the Port of New Bedford could be losing nearly $500,000 a day because of the groundfishing ban. Mitchell referenced analysis prepared by Professor Dan Georgiana of SMAST, which stated the 25-day-old ban caused as much as $12 million (to date) in damage to the port. Mitchell filed is letter Wednesday, the final day in which comments regarding the ban could be submitted. Andrew Saunders, the attorney for Sector IX, the Carlos Rafael fishing division that’s prevented from groundfishing, also submitted a letter Wednesday. click here to read the story 17:55

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

It’s devestating’: Fishermen try to cope as NOAA shuts down groundfishing

Cesar Verde only knows fishing. The New Bedford resident learned the craft in his native Portugal. For the past seventeen years, he’s worked in the fishing industry in his new home, and he’s been a captain for the past decade. However, for the last two weeks, he’s been out of the water because NOAA prohibited Carlos Rafael’s vessels from groundfishing. Verde captains fishing vessel Ilha do Corvo. “So far, (I’m) pitching in on the little savings I have. Soon I’ll run out.” click here to read the story 20:24

Fishermen voice concerns over fallout from Rafaels crimes

A century’s worth of fishing industry experience traveled from New Bedford to the Viking Hotel on Wednesday to describe the impact on NOAA’s groundfish ban on Carlos Rafael’s vessels. Richie Canastra, an owner of the New Bedford fish auction BASE, sat in front of the New England Fisheries Management Council during a public comment portion of it’s meeting and warned of “many layoffs” that will occur because of the ban. click here to read the story 21:02

“It’s a symptom of poor policy”- Codfather Arrest Shines Light on Fishing System

Members of the dwindling Vineyard fishing community who have been watching the proceedings say the tale is a sad commentary on the state of the industry and highlights flaws in its regulation. “It’s a symptom of poor policy,” said Wes Brighton, a Vineyard fisherman and one of the only Islanders to hold a federal commercial groundfishing permit. Mr. Brighton fishes for lobster, conch, monkfish, and some cod from his boat Martha Elizabeth. The system creates an imbalance, he said, giving independently-owned family fishing businesses little access to the fisheries and allowing larger corporations the ability to consolidate fishing permits and quota. click here to read the story 08:49

‘Codfather’s’ fraud leaves New Bedford fishing permits on ice, and lot of people out of work

South Coast officials and seafood industry interests were stunned by Monday’s federal decision to shut down a sector with ties to disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a decision they say will cut into the livelihoods of fishermen during the holiday season and beyond. “The ruling itself was unexpected,” said Andrew Saunders, a New Bedford attorney retained two months ago by Northeast Fishery Sector 9, one of 19 non-profit entities set up to manage fishing industry operations in the face of strict catch limits imposed by the federal government.,, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says there’s collateral damage involved for people in the New Bedford area whose jobs are tethered to the harvesting of groundfish such as cod, flounder and haddock. click here to read the story 10:48

NOAA Bans Rafaels Vessels from Groundfishing

Calling its actions “unprecedented” NOAA announced Monday that Carlos Rafael’s vessels are banned from catching groundfish for the foreseeable future. The government agency also said the vessels currently at sea on a groundfish trip must return to port, where they will be allowed to unload and sell their catch. click here to read the story 13:11

Fishing fleet dominated by ‘Codfather’ grounded – Jailed New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael’s empire, once one of the largest fish businesses in the country, continues to crumble. click here to read the story 13:31

Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Disapproval of Northeast Fishery Sector IX Operational Plan

Through an Interim Final Rule filed this morning, NOAA Fisheries withdraws approval of the 2017 and 2018 Northeast Fishery Sector IX operations plan. The Regional Administrator determined that the sector and its participants have not complied with the requirements of their approved operations plan, and that the continuation of the Sector IX operations plan will undermine achievement of the conservation and management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This action follows the guilty plea and sentencing of Mr. Carlos Rafael, a major participant in Sector IX, who admitted to falsely reporting catch information. click here to read the press release 12:24

New England Council Supports Regional Administrator’s Action to Enforce GroundfishSector IX Operations Plan –  click here to read press release 16:06

The Codfather is Finally In Jail. But Who Is He?

Until his downfall this year, Carlos Rafael, the 65-year-old fishing magnate from New Bedford, Massachusetts owned 36 boats and controlled about one-fifth of the New England cod market. With a business allegedly worth upwards of $100 million, which included a processing facility and various distribution channels, Rafael was one of the biggest players in the North American fish market. ,,, “I hustled a lot of fisherman,” he once admitted. “But shame on them they did not know better.” ,,, “I am a pirate,” he once told a group of federal fisheries regulators. “It’s your job to catch me.” click here to read the story 23:01

‘The Codfather’ expected to report to prison today

A New Bedford fishing magnate who pleaded guilty to multiple charges is expected to report to prison Monday to begin his sentence. Carlos Rafael — also known as “The Codfather” — will serve about four years on charges of smuggling, falsifying documents and evading fishing quotas. He’ll also have to serve three years’ probation and pay fines of up to $200,000. link 10:03

Feds intend to appeal forfeiture deal in Codfather case

Federal prosecutors are not going quietly in their quest to exact far more assets from convicted fishing mogul Carlos Rafael. The U.S. Attorney’s office on Wednesday filed a motion of its intent to appeal the court-ordered plan to seize only four of Rafael’s vessels and their accompanying 34 permits instead of the 13 vessels and accompanying permits sought in the forfeiture plan developed by prosecutors. click here to read the story 16:09

Sheriff’s captain accused of helping ‘Codfather’ smuggle cash

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. Jamie Melo, 45, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was indicted on one count each of bulk cash smuggling, structuring and conspiracy. In August 2017, Melo was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint. click here to read the story 10:46

Judge denies feds’ motion for Carlos Rafael to forfeit more vessels, permits

Judge William Young didn’t waste any time denying the United States’ motion for reconsideration in the case of Carlos Rafael. The government filed the reconsideration on Wednesday, the same day Young filed his judgement. The government sought Young to reconsider the forfeitability of Rafael’s vessels and permits. Young ordered four vessels and the accompanying permits to be forfeited on Oct. 11. U.S. Marshals seized the vessels the Lady Patricia, Olivia & Rafaela and the Southern Crusader II on Oct. 18. The reconsideration stated, “the court may correct a sentence that resulted from arithmetical, technical or other clerical error” within 14 days. click here to read the story 19:13

Vessels Seized – Feds stake claim on 4 of Carlos Rafael’s boats

The government staked its claim to four of Carlos Rafael’s vessels on Wednesday. U.S. Marshals and agents from the Coast Guard Investigative Service boarded the Lady Patricia by Leonard’s Wharf, Olivia & Rafaela and the Southern Crusader II beyond Homer’s Wharf around noon. The fourth vessel, the Bull Dog, was seized at another port. The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday the seized vessels will brought to an “undisclosed location.” For more than an hour after arriving, agents allowed anyone with personal property on the vessels to remove it. click here to read the story 08:25