Tag Archives: DON CUDDY

Don Cuddy: Blue Harvest a major new presence among city fish houses

New Bedford is the top-grossing fishing port in the United States and has been since 1999; an enviable record and a tribute to the vision and expertise of all those involved in sustaining an industry that is constantly evolving. While industry momentum has not flagged, the players come and go as markets shift, regulations change and fish stocks rise or fall. Seafood processor Blue Harvest Fisheries is a big presence on the waterfront today yet the company was unknown in the city until relatively recently. So last week I had a chat with CEO and Acushnet native Jeff Davis, a 30-year veteran of the seafood industry, to learn more about Blue Harvest and all that they do. click here to read the story 20:06

Don Cuddy: Port of New Bedford needs more dredging if it’s going to grow

It remains hugely frustrating that no one at the state level seems to recognize just how important this port is. When the Seastreak ferry recently broke down, it had to tie up at the State Pier for repairs. This in turn displaced the Voyager, a 130-foot fishing vessel, which had to move to Leonard’s Wharf, where boats are already moored five-deep. “We need updated infrastructure. When you have a 130-foot boat tied to a pier designed for 70-80 foot boats your infrastructure isn’t going to last long,” Ed Anthes-Washburn, the affable executive director of the Harbor Development Commission, told me as we toured the working waterfront in a HDC launch last week. “We also need to activate the rest of our waterfront.” click here to read the story 13:01

Don Cuddy: An independent fisherman struggles to hang on in an uncertain fishery

It was 4 a.m. as I crossed a deserted Sagamore bridge but the night sky was already beginning to lighten. When I turned into the lot on School St. in Hyannis I could see the boat, its white hull splashed with green from the glow of the starboard running light. I clambered aboard. On the Angenette, a 40-foot wooden dragger built in 1946, Captain Ron Borjeson waited along with his grandson Trent Garzoni. Lost amongst the tourist hordes and tricked-out sportfishing boats crowding the Hyannis docks these are guys you don’t notice anymore — independent commercial fishermen, struggling to pursue their traditional livelihood. Reductions in the catch limits and rising expenses are constant worries. The fluke quota was cut by 30 percent last year and again this year, while just to tie up in Hyannis for the season costs eleven grand. click here to read the story 10:37

A Clean Sweep On The Ocean Floor

Most of the reporting in the media about commercial fishing and declining stocks in the Northeast dwells on how dire the situation has become with the fault generally attributed to fishermen and “overfishing.” The view on the waterfront is very different however. Fishermen have long maintained that there is a huge disconnect between what they see on the water and the conclusions derived from the NOAA surveys and stock assessments. Their claims have been dismissed as self-serving. Now it seems the fishermen have a strong case. On a recent bottom trawl survey, a typical industry net caught four times as many flatfish as the rig used on the government trawl surveys. Written by Don Cuddy, program director at the Center for Sustainable Fisheries Read the story here 17:17

New England: Twin trawl survey validates industry concerns with NOAA assessment

Fishermen in New England do not believe that the survey vessel used by NOAA is catching fish in amounts comparable to what they haul up and have long questioned the fishing gear NOAA employs. To address these doubts a Rhode Island captain, Chris Roebuck went out and towed two nets simultaneously to compare the different gear types. here is what he found. Watch the video here 08:41

We were here first

So this is what the future looks like in late August from the deck of a fishing vessel south of the Vineyard. This ship is doing a survey looking for good bottom in which to plant offshore wind turbines. Fishermen are looking at this in the same way the Plains Indians probably looked at the Iron Horse. They may not have been up on the marvels of technology but I believe when they heard that whistle blowing they had a gut feeling that there were going to be winners and losers in the new order and they had no illusions about which end of the deal they would probably be getting. This particular area of the ocean is important to squid fishermen and if the turbines go in the fishermen will no longer be able to fish there. These remaining groundfish boats have already been squeezed out of other fisheries given the small quota they are allowed to catch and this represents another threat to their livelihood and way of life.

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NOAA To Enlist Commercial Fishing Boats To Help Gather Data For Stock Surveys

no bigelowThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced it will begin enlisting commercial fishing boats to help gather data for its often-controversial stock surveys – shifting that task at least partially away from its research vessel Henry T. Bigelow(sic). The Bigelow has experienced a number of maintenance issues, which caused a two-month delay in this year’s Spring survey. Fishing advocates are hailing NOAA’s decision, which was spearheaded by the outgoing director of the NOAA Science Center in Woods Hole. They say it represents a realization of the need for greater cooperation among regulators and fishermen. Brian Morris spoke with Don Cuddy of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries about the upcoming change. Listen to the audio report here 08:44

‘Sea change:’ NOAA to shift fish surveys to Commercial Fishing Vessels

NOAA FSV Henry B. Bigelow. NOAA PhotoIn what one advocate called “a potential sea change” for the commercial fishing industry, NOAA Fisheries announced intentions Tuesday to shift all or part of long-controversial stock surveys from its Bigelow research vessel to commercial boats, saying a transition over the next five years could bring “greater shared confidence” in survey results. “We have to learn to work better with the (commercial fishing) industry — we have to open up better lines of communication,” Dr. Bill Karp, director of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, said of the transition. Don Cuddy, program director for the Center for Sustainable Fisheries in New Bedford, said fishermen also have felt the Bigelow is unable to accurately count “flatfish,” such as yellowtail flounder, because of the type of gear it tows. “This is going to affect everything across the board — the fishermen have been saying for years that the catch limits and stock assessments do not reflect what they’re seeing on the water,” said Cuddy, who used the “sea change” phrase. Read the story here 15:57

Monitoring The Catch Aboard Groundfishing Vessels

nb_fishing_boats_1Regulations are stiff in the commercial fishing industry – and especially so for those who go after groundfish like cod and haddock. Now, one of the industry’s biggest players is accused of skirting those regulations for years – allegedly cooking the books and reaping big profits on illegally caught groundfish. As Brian Morris reports, that’s having a ripple effect on small, single-boat groundfishermen who play by the rules. Around the docks of New Bedford, people know Carlos Rafael as the “Codfather,” a legendary, self-made figure who dominates the city’s biggest industry. He manages a fleet of some 40 vessels, and also operates a fish distribution operation. Authorities raided his business in February, and federal officials allege he was changing documents – falsifying the types of fish he reported catching. Audio, Read the rest here 14:26

Independent scientists need not apply – NMFS denies SMAST Industry paid RSA Funding

scallopFor almost 20 years now, SMAST has worked diligently alongside our fishermen to improve fishery science. Kevin’s research has earned him their respect, earned them a ton of money and earned New Bedford its position as the nation’s top fishing port. The drop camera survey he pioneered to count sea scallops on Georges Bank in 1999 was a game changer that helped to rescue an ailing industry. Anyone on the waterfront can attest to that. He did it by providing independent evidence that what fishermen had been saying was correct. There were plenty of scallops out there waiting to be harvested in spite of what the government survey would have everyone believe. Barney Frank took those survey pictures to Bill Daley, who was Secretary of Commerce at the time. Daley listened and New Bedford’s ship came in. It may now be departing. Read the op-ed here 07:27

Don Cuddy – Fishermen fight back against government overreach

dave goethelI attended the hearing with John Haran of Dartmouth, manager of Northeast Fisheries Sector XIII which includes 32 fishermen. Sector XIII is a plaintiff in the case along with New Hampshire commercial fisherman Dave Goethel. The all-day hearing concluded without a ruling. Federal District Judge Joseph Laplante will issue a decision in his own time after deliberating on a legal case with potential ramifications not only for the fishing industry but with respect to any government agency’s attempt to increase its own power. Steve Schwartz, an attorney with Cause of Action, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on government overreach, represents the fishermen. He told the court that the scope of an agency’s power is determined exclusively by Congress and that NOAA lacks the statutory authority to require fishermen to pay for monitors. Read the op-ed here by Don Cuddy 07:33

Video: The Phil Paleologos Show – A Talk About At Sea Monitors and Other Regulations For Fishermen

dave goethelPhil Paleologos hosts a conversation regarding a lawsuit over a provision that would require fishermen to pay for at-sea monitors. This conversation included David Geothel, a fisherman and plaintiff in the lawsuit; Richard Canastra, of the Buyers and Sellers Exchange or BASE; Don Cuddy, Program Director for the Center for Sustainable Fisheries; and , the Manager of Sector 13. A court hearing will take place January 21. Watch the video here 11:20

Friend Don Cuddy joins WBSM’s Phil Paleologos at 10am to discuss AS Monitor law suit and bad science

Don and John Haran will join Phil in the studio. David Goethel, and Richie Canastra, will join in over the phone. As Phil writes in Government Using Bad Science, “On Wednesday, the spotlight is on the fishermen paying for monitors that could likely put the fishermen out of business. There is a lawsuit challenging the government’s authority to impose that requirement. On January 13, at 10 am, four experts will join me to discuss topics that apply to the fishing industry in 2016. This program promises to shed sunlight on problems that are drowning the fishing industry”. Call-in number for listeners is 508-996-0500. Click here@ 10:00 and click Listen Live 18:46

Interview – “Counting Fish” – Don Cuddy tells how the film came about

thumb“Counting Fish” a new documentary by Don Cuddy, profiles the work of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, researcher at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in his efforts to improve the way scientists assess fish stocks. Stokesbury drags a net with an open end, which fish swim through. As the fish pass out of the net, cameras record them. Scientists can then identify fish by their images. This allows for longer tows – as much two hours at a time – and the fish are not killed by the process. Listen to the interview here  08:47

‘Counting Fish’ takes a closer look at UMass Dartmouth team’s fishing industry research

smast 9 camera setupGentle persuasion might best describe a new 50-minute documentary on fisheries research going on at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology. Don Cuddy, program director for the Center for Sustainable Fisheries and a Mattapoisett resident, provides the narration, taking the viewer aboard the fishing vessel Liberty in May of 2015 to observe fish survey work. There, one sees footage from eight days at sea, culled from seven hours, of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury of SMAST. He is the researcher who developed the “drop camera” for counting scallops on the sea floor, exposing faulty science, and helped create the highly profitable scallop industry known today. Read the rest here 07:49

Don Cuddy: Collaborative research can save the New England groundfish industry

AR-151029621.jpg&MaxW=650The data used for fish stock assessment in the Northeast is derived primarily from the annual spring and fall surveys conducted by the Henry B. Bigelow, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s 208-foot research vessel. The results are largely distrusted by many fishermen who contend that NOAA is using the wrong bottom-trawl gear on a vessel that is in any case too large for the task. Furthermore, fishermen say, random sampling of the vast survey area is not sufficient to develop an accurate picture of stock abundance. Read the rest here 08:07

‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you’

The Working Waterfront Festival takes place this weekend and features the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, to be held Sunday afternoon on the State Pier. This year, New Bedford welcomes NOAA’s Eileen Sobeck to the ceremony. Ms. Sobeck holds the title of Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, and in that capacity oversees the management and conservation of marine fisheries. According to the NOAA web site: “Her focus is on rebuilding the nation’s fisheries and the jobs and livelihoods that depend on them by promoting management approaches that will achieve both sustainable fisheries and vibrant coastal communities.” It is difficult to reconcile such lofty goals with the harsh reality facing New England groundfishermen today. Read the rest here 15:44

Center for Sustainable Fisheries Don Cuddy Rips and Gut’s Oceana’s ‘A Knockout Blow for American Fish Stocks’

CSF BOOMAnyone knowledgeable about the commercial fisheries of the United States will find nothing original in the op-ed piece recently submitted to the New York Times by the environmental organization Oceana. Even its title ‘A Knockout Blow for American Fish Stocks’ is misleading.,, If the recent Oceana opinion piece is a fair reflection of the environmentalist mindset, it reveals the apparent contempt with which commercial fishing, America’s oldest industry, is regarded by such groups. The scallop industry stands accused by Oceana of being “dissatisfied with its current profits.” This is wrong? Cast them into the pit! Perhaps Oceana might test reaction to that proposition on Wall St. or at Wal-Mart. Read the rest here 08:08

Urbon: “Lost at Sea: The Human Cost of Fishing,” tells tragic side of fishing

“When people buy fish, I want them to think about this,” Cuddy said. He’s not saying don’t buy fish, you understand. It’s just that a lifetime as a sailor and a short stint as a reporter/deckhand on a fishing boat, he has a good understanding of why these fishermen do what they do, why they find the sea so compelling, and how much risk they take to put food on our tables. Read the rest here 08:02

Scallopers facing 30 percent catch reduction in each of the next two years – southcoasttoday

NEW BEDFORD — The scallop catch could be cut up to 30 percent in each of the next two years in what fishermen say would be a heavy blow to the industry. Deirdre Boelke, a scallop plan coordinator with the New England Fishery Management Council, said the reductions are needed because fewer full-grown scallops are available for harvest…… “The projected catch for 2013 and 2014 is in the neighborhood of 40 million pounds,” Boelke told The Standard-Times after a meeting of the council’s Scallop Oversight Committee in New Bedford on Tuesday. That’s down from just under 57 million pounds in 2011, the latest full-year figures available……”It’s a big hit that will affect everyone,” said boat owner William Wells of Seaford, Va., who chairs the scallop advisory panel, made up of industry members. “Each vessel will lose 46,000 pounds and there’s about 347 vessels. With prices ranging from $8 to $12.50 a pound, just do the math.”

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120919/NEWS/209190330/-1/NEWS01