Tag Archives: David Goethel

Groundfishermen: ‘It feels like we’re just forgotten’

New Hampshire fishermen say temporary federal aid for at-sea monitor coverage is barely holding their industry afloat now that a court battle over the cost appears to have ended. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is currently covering 60 percent of the cost for third-party at-sea monitors to observe commercial groundfishermen’s compliance with federal regulations. That coverage is projected to end May 1, 2018,,, Jamie Hayward, a commercial fisherman out of Portsmouth, said it will be devastating for fishermen to go from paying 40 percent of those costs to the full bill when NOAA stops assisting.,, will be like we got hit by a bomb,” he said.  click here to read the story 16:57

NOAA Fisheries rule should alarm taxpayers

NOAA Fisheries has discovered a devious way to increase their budget without the checks and balances guaranteed by our forefathers, and the courts have let it stand. I have been involved in a lawsuit with NOAA Fisheries over who pays for at-sea monitors (ASM) for the last three years. These are basically our own personal state police men who ride along on the boat and watch and record everything fishermen do at sea. Fishermen have been forced to sign contracts with for-profit third-party companies that provide this service for $710 per day. Recently, the Supreme Court refused to hear our case, effectively ending our pursuit of justice. Readers should be concerned, not only because this job-killing regulation effects their ability to obtain local seafood, but also because the loss leaves in place a precedent that will allow regulatory agencies to tax citizens by passing regulations while bypassing Congress. click here to read the op-ed 08:56

Groundfishermen: ‘It feels like we’re just forgotten’ – Fishermen who followed Goethel’s path through the federal courts said they were disappointed with the outcome. Goethel said he was “disillusioned” by the process. “Talk about feeling forgotten,” said Jamie Driscoll, a commercial fisherman from Kingston. “That’s how it feels. It feels like we’re just forgotten.” click here to read the op-ed 

 

Why are fishermen guilty until proven innocent? A case against putting video cameras on every boat

As many of you may know, my husband filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service to stop them from requiring the fishermen to pay for the At-Sea monitors that the Fisheries Service requires ground fishermen to take on their boats. The cost is upwards of $700 a day, which is more than the small family owned fishing boats make here in New England. The Supreme Court decided not to hear their case which the lower courts had dismissed on a technicality because the suit was not filed within a 30 day time frame. Some people have suggested video monitoring as an alternative. I have addressed that in my comments below click here to read Ellen Goethels post 15:01

David Goethel – We have lost the case, but I have no intention of giving up the battle.

I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to all the private citizens and members of fishing families who have called and emailed me about the recent Supreme Court decision. We have lost the case, but I have no intention of giving up the battle. Many of you have offered suggestions of how to proceed, and I will weigh them all carefully and take further action. In the meantime, I urge all of you, especially those not related to the fisheries, to pick up the phone and call either the Regional Office switchboard (978) 281-9250, or the switchboard at Silver Springs headquarters (301) 427-8000 and voice your displeasure with the current situation. I would also urge you all to contact your Federal Senators in your respective states and voice your frustration. Some members of Congress have tried to fix the problem but because it is regional, they are getting resistance from Senators outside New England. Since many of you come from all regions of the country your calls or emails would be particularly helpful. I wish to again, publicly thank Cause of Action. They have put tremendous time, money and expertise into this case. They are just as frustrated as all of you that no one would rule on the merits of our case. Finally, I want to remind everyone who reads this that citizens hold government accountable in a democracy. Sitting on the sidelines makes everyone assume you do not care. So please, pick up the phone or write that email, and let government know you are dissatisfied with this current outcome. Thank you, David Goethel 17:30

Gone fishin’: Court denies NH caseclick here to read the op-ed

Supreme Court has declined to hear at-sea monitor case

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition filed by a New England fishing group over the cost of at-sea monitors. New Hampshire cod fisherman David Goethel led the lawsuit. He says the cost shift adds hundreds of dollars to the daily cost of fishing and is driving people out of business. Attorneys for Goethel say on Monday that they’re disappointed the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case. They say they’ll look for new ways to challenge the cost shift, which they contend is unlawful.  The suit named the U.S. Department of Commerce, which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. click here to read the story 12:58

Your View: Even ‘smart’ video monitoring is onerous to fishermen

I would like to make several observations regarding Michael Bonner’s Aug. 21 article, “Delegation supports Rafael’s forfeiture toward electronic monitoring.” First of all, state legislators’ support for utilizing the forfeiture to fund the electronic monitoring (surveillance), presupposes that this form of electronic monitoring will be supported and adopted. It surely does not seem to be the favored choice of monitoring, as far as the groundfish industry is concerned. In fact, they are not in favor of any form of monitoring that has been proposed to date. NOAA fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard (soon to be retiring) is quoted as saying that he thinks that video monitoring is a major benefit to the industry. I’m not sure who he thinks he’s going to convince with that statement. Surely not the fishing industry. If that were the case, New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel likely would not be requesting that this “benefit” be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, click here to read the op-ed by Jim Kendall 19:04

Deadline soon for feds’ response to fishing monitor petition

A fishermen’s group says it’s still waiting on the federal government’s response to a petition it filed with the U.S. Supreme Court about the cost of fishing monitors. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year, prompting a legal battle. A group of fishermen led by David Goethel of New Hampshire filed a petition seeking a review of the case last month. A spokesman for the fishermen’s attorney says the government has until Monday to respond and has not done so. link 15:32

New Hampshire fleet dwindles as at-sea monitoring decision heads to Supreme Court

A New Hampshire fisherman leading the fight against a decision by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association to shift the cost of at-sea monitoring to industry has appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. David Goethel of Hampton, New Hampshire, said he filed the appeal in early July. He is challenging the decision of a federal district court and the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in NOAA’s favor, according to the Associated Press. Goethal, who filed his original suit in December 2015, has been joined in his appeal by the Northeast Fishery Sector 13, which represents fishermen from Massachusetts to North Carolina. His legal support is being provided pro bono by the Cause for Action Institute.,, In Goethel’s appeal to the Supreme Court, he argues that NOAA’s requirement of at-sea monitors represents an illegal, warrantless search of private property, and that forcing the industry to pay for its own monitoring represents a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. click here to read the story 10:51

A fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam

We’re probably going well off the beaten path on this one, but I wanted to draw your attention to a lawsuit which has been percolating in the system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year. It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details. click here to read the story 11:45

Fisherman David Goethel takes case to US Supreme Court

After losing a lawsuit alleging a federal agency has imposed unfair regulations, Hampton fisherman David Goethel is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Cause of Action Institute, which is representing Goethel and a group of other fishermen pro bono, filed a petition to be taken up by the Supreme Court Tuesday. The suit was originally filed in U.S. District Court against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce in 2015. It alleges NOAA unfairly requires commercial groundfishermen to fund at-sea monitors to join them on fishing trips and observe their compliance with regulations.  click here to read the story 15:52

Fisherman, lawyers mull new at-sea monitoring suit

They lost in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire last summer and failed to have that decision overturned in federal appeals court in Boston this spring. Still, New Hampshire groundfisherman David Goethel and his legal team may not be done in their legal challenge of the federal government’s ability to shift the costs of at-sea monitoring to groundfishermen. “We’re still assessing all of our legal options at this point,” said Julie Smith, one of the lawyers from Washington D.C.-based Cause of Action Institute that has represented Goethel and Northeast Fishing Sector 13 in the initial federal lawsuit and appeal. Smith declined to be more specific, but clearly the options are limited: Goethel and his lawyers could swing for the fences and petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case, hoping it would overturn the April decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals upholding the judgment in the original lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire. click here to read the story 08:57

No shrimp today: Maine’s waters are warming and it’s costing fishermen money

David Goethel wishes he could retire. At 63, he’s been fishing off the Gulf of Maine for over 34 years. Shrimp used to be plentiful there. Back in 2000, Goethel remembers seeing 100 commercial boats out in the harbor. Now, he’s just one of a handful of local fisherman struggling to make a living. “There was life on the docks, there were people working,” lifelong fisherman Arnold Gamage, 64, agrees. “Now, it looks like a ghost town.” Maine’s fishing industry has been declining for years due to factors like overfishing and increased regulation, but there’s another culprit eating away at profits: Maine’s ocean waters are warming — and it’s killing northern shrimp. Why is the Gulf of Maine warming? Scientists aren’t certain, but Appelman and other experts suspect climate change is playing a role.,, Shrimping used to account for around 30% of Goethel’s income. While he recognizes that the ban is necessary, he still misses that extra cash. Lifelong fisherman Gary Libby is also feeling the squeeze. He’s been trying to sell his shrimp boat but no one is buying. He’s lost between 30% to 40% of his annual income since the ban was instituted. click here to read the story 08:52

U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Decision on Reg That Will Put 60 Percent of New England Ground Fishermen Out of Business

On Friday, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s ruling last summer that a lawsuit filed by Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) on behalf of Plaintiffs David Goethel and Northeast Fishery Sector 13 against the U.S. Department of Commerce should be dismissed. In its opinion, the Court found that the fishermen’s suit was untimely and therefore did not consider the Plaintiff’s legal arguments that requiring fishermen to pay for monitors is against the law.  However, in a rare move, the judges highlighted the devastating economic impacts of the regulation in question, and urged Congress to clarify the law and who should pay for the at-sea monitors. “I am disappointed by the decision,” Goethel said. “But I’m hopeful that Congress will heed the Court’s direction and clarify the law. It is the government’s obligation to pay for these at-sea monitors.,, Northeast Fishery Sector 13 Manager John Haran said, “I’m disappointed that timeliness of the case was the Court’s deciding factor and not the merits of our arguments. The fishermen in my sector can’t sustain this industry funding requirement and many will be put out of business if this mandate remains in place.” click here to read the story 14:37

Lawsuit over fisheries observers to reach Court of Appeals in March

A New England fishermen’s group suing the federal government over the cost of at-sea monitoring is scheduled to present oral arguments before the federal Court of Appeals in March. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year. A group led by New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel sued the government over the rule change. The fishermen lost in federal district court and appealed. Attorneys say the arguments are set to take place March 7. Monitors can cost hundreds of dollars per day. Fishermen argue it represents an illegal new cost burden they can’t shoulder in an era of tight quotas. The rules apply to fishermen of species such as cod and sole. link 11:16

East Coast fishermen file appeal over cost of government-required ‘at-sea monitors’

fisheries observerThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, requires groundfishermen — those who catch cod, haddock and other common bottom-dwelling species — to carry on board “at-sea monitors.” The observers, hired by three for-profit companies, are third-party workers whose task it is to observe fishermen’s compliance with federal regulations and ensure annual quotas are not exceeded.  The dispute lies in the cost of the monitors and who should pay for them: Fishermen are billed on average $700 a day when a regulator is present. NOAA, meanwhile, says monitors were placed on fishing boats like Goethel’s only 14 percent of the time in 2016 — and claims the fishing industry supported this system of regulation in 2010 when a vote went before the New England Fishery Management Council, an advisory board to NOAA that sets the rules. “At sea monitors were originally supported by the sectors when we went from a days-at-sea form of management to a quota based form of management in 2010,” said John Bullard, the regional administrator for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office.  Read the story here 14:22

A New England story goes Australian – Fishing industries under pressure

Atlantic-Cod-Dieter-CraasmannThe cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle class life, his link to a historic industry. “I paid for my education, my wife’s education, my house, my kids’ education; my slice of America was paid for on cod,” said Goethel, a 30-year veteran of waters that once teemed with New England’s signature fish. But on a chilly, windy Saturday in April, after 12 hours out in the Gulf of Maine, he has caught exactly two cod, and he feels far removed from the 1990s, when he could catch 2,000 pounds in a day. The US fishing fleet has dwindled from more than 120,000 vessels in 1996 to about 75,000 today, the Coast Guard says. For the fishermen of the northeastern US – not all of whom accept the scientific consensus on climate change, and many of whom bristle at government regulations stemming from it – whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Robert Bradfield was one of the East Coast’s most endangered species, a Rhode Island lobsterman, until he pulled his traps out of the water for the last time about a decade ago. Read the rest here 09:30

Fisherman appeals case shifting monitor costs

David GoethelNew Hampshire fisherman David Goethel is looking to the federal appeals court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that allows NOAA Fisheries to impose the cost of at-sea monitoring on Northeast groundfish permit holders. Goethel, represented by lawyers from the Cause of Action watchdog group, has filed an appeal with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, hoping to reverse U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante’s July 29 ruling in Goethel’s lawsuit that granted summary judgment to the federal government. “NOAA lacks the authority to require industry funding for at-sea monitors. Its decision to do so violates federal statutes and the Constitution,” said Alfred Lechner Jr., president and chief executive officer of Cause of Action as well as a former federal judge. “Our clients had a legal right to their day in court at the time they filed suit. The decision holding otherwise is an error. An appeal from the decision of the district court has been filed.” Read the story here 08:13

Appeal filed asking the court to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante’s July 29 at-sea monitor decision

dave goethelA fisherman is appealing a federal judge’s decision to allow the government to continue forcing fishermen to pay for at-sea monitors. Hampton fisherman, David Goethel, filed the appeal Sept. 6 and was joined by the Northeast Fishery Sector 13, which represents fishermen from Massachusetts to North Carolina. They are asking the court to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante’s July 29 decision that said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association was within its constitutional rights to force Northeast ground fishermen to pay for the monitors. Goethel and the fishery sector filed their original lawsuit last December, claiming it was unconstitutional for NOAA to require the industry to fund the monitors, which join fishermen on a percentage of fishing trips each year and cost approximately $700 per each of those days. Read the rest here 13:25

East Coast fishermen spar with federal government over cost of at-sea monitors

1468439091793Every year, the federal government spends millions monitoring New England commercial fishermen to ensure they ply their timeless maritime trade in accordance with the law. Now, a judge is set to rule on who should foot the bill for the on-board monitors: the government or the fishing boat owners. The East Coast fishermen say sticking them with the bill would be the “death knell” for their  industry and is illegal on the part of the federal government. Fishermen of important New England food species such as cod and haddock will have to start paying the cost of at-sea monitors soon under new rules. Monitors — third-party workers hired to observe fishermen’s compliance with federal regulations — collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost about $18,000 a year, or $710 per voyage. “It is unlawful for NOAA to force struggling fishermen to pay for their own at-sea monitors,” said former federal judge Alfred Lechner, the institute’s president and CEO. “The significant costs of these regulations should be the responsibility of the government.” Read the rest here 08:57

Fading fishermen: A historic industry faces a warming world

dt.common.streams.StreamServerThe cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle-class life, his link to a historic industry. Robert Bradfield was one of the East Coast’s most endangered species, a Rhode Island lobsterman, until he pulled his traps out of the water for the last time about a decade ago. Michael Mohr harvested surf clams for almost 30 of his 55 years, and his desire to stay in the business takes him far from his family. For the fishermen of the northeastern U.S., whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Read the story here 13:56

Judge requests additional briefs and memoranda concerning at-sea monitoring lawsuit

dave goethelThe final judgment in New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel’s federal lawsuit against NOAA Fisheries concerning at-sea monitoring will be further delayed after the judge in the case requested additional briefs and memoranda from both sides. “In consideration of the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment and conducting the attending legal research, the court has identified points, authorities and (to some extent) arguments that were unfortunately not cited or raised by the parties’ legal memoranda,” U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante wrote in his procedural order. Prior to ordering the supplemental filings, Laplante, who sits in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, held a June 9 conference call with attorneys to discuss “whether, and the extent to which, any delay caused by additional briefing would increase, extend or intensify any claimed economic hardship” from the federal mandate shifting the costs of at-sea monitoring to the industry. Read the rest here 21:05

9PM TONIGHT ON PBS – ‘Saving New England Fisheries’

The documentary “Saving New England Fisheries” was premiered during a screening on Friday night at the Sheraton in Portsmouth. The hour-long special, created for New Hampshire Public Television, is hosted by Willem Lange. One of the fishermen featured in the film is David Goethel, owner of the 44-foot fishing trawler Ellen Diane out of Hampton. During a panel discussion after the screening, Goethel said officials often try to overcomplicate things. Things in the room got tense as NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard fought back, telling Goethel he doesn’t have a clue about what motivates him and his team. “The fact that you think we lie for a living, I think that says more about your credibility than it says about ours,” Bullard said.Goethel responded by saying, “Well, let’s have it out right now…  The documentary will air on PBS on Thursday at 9 p.m   Read the rest here 09:30

New England fishermen get a break on monitoring costs

obs_logo_lgCommercial groundfishermen had their projected cost for at-sea monitoring cut in half this year, but fishermen say it is still unfair they’re forced to pay for policing of their own work. NOAA lightened the fishermen’s burden because data shows the federal agency can obtain adequate information on fish populations with less monitoring coverage than initially determined. Fishermen have said it is unconstitutional for NOAA to force them to pay for their own policing. Hampton fisherman David Goethel said NOAA’s reduction in coverage is not enough to satisfy fishermen. “It’s obviously an improvement,” Goethel said, “But it still doesn’t alleviate the big problem, which is we shouldn’t be paying at all.” Read the rest here 08:15

Thursday: Challenges facing New England’s commercial fishing industry topic of public forum at RI College

A panel of government regulators, scientists, environmental advocates and fishermen will try to answer questions about the future of one of New England’s most iconic and important industries at a forum this Thursday. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at Rhode Island College. The panel will include: John Bullard, regional administrator with NOAA’s Northeast Regional Office; Graham Forrester, professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island; Erica Fuller, senior associate attorney with Earth Justice; Matt Tinning, senior director, U.S. Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund; David Goethel, captain and owner of the Ellen Diane; Mark Phillips, captain and owner of FV Illusion; and Daniel Georgianna, Chancellor professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Read the rest here 12:40

On the hook-At-sea monitoring fees are the latest threat to NH’s dwindling fishing industry

Working as both a biologist and a fisherman, David Goethel brings a unique perspective to the state and federal fishery management boards he’s an adviser on. “I’ve spent all my life acting as a translator because they speak all different languages,” says Goethel, who worked as a research biologist at the New England Aquarium before he became the owner and operator of the Ellen Diane, a 44-foot fishing trawler based out of Hampton. But the most recent disconnect between the factions has resulted in Goethel and other groundfishermen filing a federal lawsuit. Read the article, Click here 07:51

Should catch share management be indicted in the Carlos Seafood case? – David Goethel

dave goethelAccording to accusations from Federal investigators, the seafood business run by Carlos Rafael “laundered” fish to evade quotas, sold fish for cash to evade taxes, and cheated captains and crews by paying them for lower-valued fish than what they landed. These are serious criminal accusations, but they also raise a disturbing question: Is the system known as “catch shares” at least in part responsible for what occurred? Catch shares are a system of managing fish where fishermen are given fixed quota for each species, which they can either catch or lease. Read the rest here 07:25

Moving Forward: Fishermen await trial on NOAA monitors mandate

AR-160209902.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Local fisherman David Goethel said he hopes a court ruling comes soon to determine the legality of a new federal mandate, as he and other fishermen are fearful they will go under before the trial begins. Goethel said he may sell his fishing boat after this summer if the trial isn’t resolved by then. He filed the lawsuit causing the trial, challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s plan to make fishermen pay for their own policing. He filed it in conjunction with a fishing sector based in Massachusetts. While Goethel said he might personally consider retirement this year, he still feels strongly about going forward with the trial to prevent a new precedent for the fishing industry. Read the article here 10:48

UPDATED: Fishermen denied request to stop at-sea monitor costs

A judge has denied a request from East Coast fishermen to stop the federal government’s plan to hand them the cost of at-sea monitoring. Fishermen of New England food species such as cod and haddock will have to start paying the cost of at-sea monitors March 1 under new rules. Monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost about $800 per day. The challenge was the subject of a hearing at U.S. District Court in Concord last week. Judge Joseph Laplante denied the request Wednesday, saying it’s barred under the law.  Read the rest here 16:01

Governor Kasich and the New Hampshire Fishermen

Kasich vows to help fishermenWhen John Kasich tells you that he is a skilled executive, believe him. Governor Kasich met with several New Hampshire fishermen on 8 January.  David Goethel, owner and captain of the 44-foot fishing trawler Ellen Diane, is suing NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for bureaucratic overreach and has explained his position in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Governor Kasich read the op-ed and as a result requested the meeting. This was not a campaign stop. Nobody took names for a mailing list; nobody handed out bumper stickers.  The governor was there to learn and to help. Read the article here 09:06

Fishermen await decision about at-sea monitoring lawsuit

judgementCONCORD, N.H. (AP) — East Coast fishermen are awaiting a judge’s decision about their contention that the federal government’s plan to hand them the cost of at-sea monitoring is illegal. The fishermen’s challenge was the subject of a hearing at U.S. District Court in Concord on Thursday. The judge didn’t issue an order from the bench, so a decision is expected in the future. Link 17:39