Tag Archives: Gov. Charlie Baker

New Bedford mayor unhappy with Baker pick for council pick

Plymouth resident Michael Pierdinock was named to a seat representing Massachusetts on the New England Fishery Management Council, a panel that sets rules for the fishing industry such as catch limits. It is one of eight such regional councils nationwide. Pierdinock will replace former state Rep. John Quinn, a Dartmouth resident and longtime member who had years of expertise regarding commercial fishing issues in Greater New Bedford. “When it comes to commercial fishing in Massachusetts, New Bedford should be top of mind, not an afterthought,” Mitchell added.  >click to read< 09:46

Governor Charlie Baker nominates locals for New England Fishery Management Council

The New England Fishery Management Council will lose four of its longest-serving members this summer because of term limits and two of the vacant seats could be filled by candidates from Cape Ann. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated Jackie Odell,,, Baker listed recreational fishing stakeholder Mike Pierdinock as his preferred candidate,,, On their way out Quinn, Balzano, Terry Alexander, of Maine, and Matthew McKenzie, of Connecticut, will be leaving the council when their terms expire on Aug. 10. >click to read< 08:23

Coronavirus: COVID-19 hits lobster industry hard

On the day when Massachusetts restaurants officially were barred from offering on-site dining for at least three weeks, boat prices for live lobster were reported to dip to as low as $3 a pound in Maine and $3.25 in Massachusetts and wholesale dealers were trying to determine their next steps. “Right now, we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do,” said Joe Ciaramitaro, one of the owners of Capt. Joe & Sons in East Gloucester.,, “It’s tricky right now,” said Monte Rome, owner of Gloucester-based Intershell. “The restaurant business for us is obviously over for now. It’s one minute at a time, not even one day at a time.” >click to read< 05:58

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project. Sheldon??

For the past seven years, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has given a weekly address about the dangers of climate change. Increasingly, some greens wonder if he is full of hot air. The Rhode Island Democrat, one of the Senate’s top climate hawks, has emerged as a leading critic of Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine offshore wind project proposed in federal waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, Whitehouse’s statements echo concerns of Rhode Island squid fishermen, who have emerged as leading opponents of Vineyard Wind. >click to read< 12:21

Baker, Vineyard Wind mum on Feds’ project guidance – Why Vineyard Wind should’nt proceed without answers

The federal government has offered new “guidance” on the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project, Gov. Charlie Baker said, but neither the governor’s team nor project officials will talk about it. The Baker administration chose Vineyard Wind in May 2018 for the state’s first commercial-scale offshore wind effort under a 2016 clean energy law and state officials are counting on the project,, On Wednesday, a Baker spokesman declined to comment when asked about the nature of the project guidance. >Click to read< 16:28 Offshore wind should not go forward until there are answers – Val Oliver – BOEM assures us that Vineyard Wind’s self-imposed, mitigation efforts will protect the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in their Dynamic Management Area and important migratory path. But Vineyard Wind is going to be allowed to “self- monitor, self-restrict, and self- report” without any state or federal oversight or enforcement.>click to read<

Will there be ENRON like brown-outs? Mass. to double offshore wind procurements

The Baker administration is pushing ahead with plans to double the procurement of offshore wind power over the next several years, a move that will increase wind’s share of the state’s energy portfolio to 30 percent while locking Massachusetts into long-term contracts for nearly two thirds of its electricity. >click to read< (note), In the meantime, Pilgrim was quietly closed yesterday while Cape Cod Commission urged to focus on emissions reduction10:45

Wind farms, fishing industry must co-exist?

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has highlighted the enormous impact of the fishing industry on the Massachusetts economy, with New Bedford topping the list of highest-value ports in the entire United States with a whopping $389 million worth of seafood landed in 2017. The report also highlights that fishing supports 87,000 jobs in the commonwealth,,,, This data could not come at a more critical time for New England’s fishermen, who are raising concerns about how new wind farms will impact marine life in the area. While reducing the state’s carbon footprint is a noble goal, the heavily taxpayer-subsidized wind projects have yet to prove themselves reliable and effective in the marketplace and come with a host of unanswered questions about the costs and long-term environmental outcome. Gov. Charlie Baker believes the state can find a way to make wind energy work for everyone, including fishermen. “Nobody cares more about the fishing community than this administration,”  >click to read<

Fishermen ask for more time to study wind impact

Fishermen, fish processors and others warned on Thursday that fishing grounds will be lost with the construction of Vineyard Wind,,, “We have this huge area we’re going to develop, and obviously we’ve got a pretty close timeline,” said Ed Barrett, a commercial fisherman from the South Shore. “How are you ever going to even come close to figuring out an impact? … I have zero faith in that.” >click to read<13:32

R.I. squid fishermen fear wind power

Rhode Island fishermen say a patch of the Atlantic Ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard is among the best places around to catch squid. They are also the same waters in which a developer selected by Massachusetts plans to install up to 100 giant wind turbines that would supply clean, renewable energy to the state. Now, Rhode Island coastal regulators and the state’s fishing community are raising concerns that the offshore wind farm that Vineyard Wind wants to build in 250 square miles of federally-owned ocean may affect access to the squid grounds that are critical to the Point Judith fleet. >click to read<09:13

Fishing industry seeks smaller offshore wind rollout, possible delay

As the state sets up an offshore wind industry, those in a much older line of work – fishing – feel a little left out of the conversation. ,,,“Three separate, developer-led outreach efforts have been launched, and all are stumbling to produce meaningful dialogue or move us closer to real solutions in areas ranging from navigation, access, cable routes, radar interference, and gear loss,” the coalition wrote. “Equally troubling, it has become clear that offshore wind developers are unwilling or unable to coordinate their interactions with commercial fishermen to tackle issues that cut across multiple project areas.” >click to read< 08:17

New Bedford–based offshore wind farm gets a ‘no’ for state contract

A New Bedford–based offshore wind proposal by Deepwater Wind has been passed over for a state contract in favor of hydroelectric power from Canada. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced Thursday that Northern Pass Hydro, a joint venture of Eversource and Hydro-Québec, has been selected to provide power to Massachusetts in the first of two competitive bidding processes created by the state’s 2016 energy diversity law. >click here to read< 11:43

Sanfilippo resigns from Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission

Longtime Gloucester fisherman Gus Sanfilippo has resigned from the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, leaving Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer as the only Gloucester resident on the commission. Sanfilippo, appointed to the commission in May 2016 as part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s wholesale purge of existing commission members, said he resigned so he could spend more time fishing.,, Sanfilippo’s resignation leaves Sawyer, who also serves as president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, as the solitary Gloucester resident on the commission — though member Louis D. Williams, who resides in Salem, lists Gloucester as his principal port for lobstering. click here to read the story 11:44

Northeast Seafood Coalition – Gov. Charlie Baker confirmed, attending annual fundraiser

When fishermen and supporters gather for the Northeast Seafood Coalition’s annual fundraiser Thursday night, they will be joined by one of their highest-profile backers. Gov. Charlie Baker has confirmed he will be on hand for the coalition’s gala, slated to begin at 6 p.m. at The Gloucester House restaurant. There, participants will raise money through ticket sales and a live auction to help the industry gain new inroads for developing effective science in tandem with federal and state regulators, all while sampling seafood caught in the previous 24 hours. “We see this event as the start of a push to obtain the science consultants and the help that we need,” said John Bell, the former Gloucester mayor who is a coalition co-founder and serves as head of its board of directors. (They may have a few tickets left!)  click here to read the story 20:45

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument under review, Beaton hoping for modifications

The state’s top environmental official hopes the Trump administration modifies President Barack Obama’s 2016 designation of a marine monument area off the Massachusetts coast, which is on the Trump administration’s list of areas under review. Environmental protection activists last year applauded Obama’s decision, made under powers granted through the Antiquities Act, to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument covering a more than 4,900 square mile area southeast of Cape Cod. The designation came with strict limits on fishing that were greeted with pushback from port communities and some elected officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker, whose administration knocked an alleged lack of public process, potential negative impacts on commercial fishing, and conflicts with existing marine fisheries planning processes. click here to read the story 12:11

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association President Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer added to state Fisheries Advisory Commission

gov-charlie-bakerGloucester will be doubling its representation on the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission when local lobsterman Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer joins the board this week. Sawyer, president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, will join Gloucester’s Gus Sanfilippo on the board that advises the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker on fishing and marine issues. A longtime Gloucester groundfisherman-turned-lobsterman, Sawyer replaces Bill Adler on the commission. Adler, also a former MLA president, was not re-appointed by Baker following the expiration of his term in October. “I’m excited and looking forward to it,” Sawyer, 61, said Tuesday. “I have a lot of reading to do before my first meeting next week and I’m going to be doing a lot of listening to get up to speed on all the issues before the commission.” Sawyer’s appointment was strongly supported by local lobstermen and the MLA because of his grasp of issues related to lobstering and other Bay State fisheries. Read the rest of the story here 10:26

Editorial: President Obama waves his green wand

obama-wand

President Obama’s executive overreach isn’t confined to immigration or health care. He has now used his authority to place nearly 5,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean off-limits to commercial fishermen, future oil or gas exploration and potentially even limiting recreational fishing. And there was barely a whisper of protest from members of this state’s congressional delegation, who happily place the cause of climate change ahead of the interests of many of their own constituents — and don’t seem to object to being cut out of this process. Consultations with local officials were inadequate. There was no debate. There was, instead, heavy lobbying by environmentalists — and Obama’s 2008 pledge that his election would slow the rising of the seas. So here we are. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who once represented the fishermen whose interests have been cast aside here, celebrated this designation at his big oceans conference last week, where he rubbed elbows not with the guys who fish for red crab and lobster in the now off-limits monument but with Leonardo DiCaprio. Gov. Charlie Baker, along with some state lawmakers and local officials, have objected to the unilateral designation. But in the end, when Team Obama has a desired end, you can be damn sure they will use it to justify the means. Read the rest here 13:06

Baker administration to invest $1.1M for Gloucester’s Jodrey State Fish Pier renovations

The Jodrey State Fish Pier is the best performing and most well-run of the state’s four fish piers, emerging as a model for potential changes to Massachusetts’ other three fish piers, according to an evaluation of the state fish pier system by the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker. The evaluation, funded by the Seaport Economic Council and performed by a working group of representatives from a number of state agencies, has resulted in two positives for the 78-year-old fish pier named for Edward R. Jodrey, the Gloucester barber who championed its construction in 1930s: The Baker administration announced last week it will fund $1.1 million in renovations at the pier that covers approximately 8 acres at the head of the harbor, part of what the administration says is its continued “commitment to deepening the economic impact of state maritime facilities.” Those funds will be used to repair the deteriorating roof atop the 40,000-square-foot cold storage and freezing operation that is one of the array of businesses housed in the three buildings on the pier. Read the rest here 17:31

Editorial: ‘Monument’ plan dries up

It turns out there are limits to how far even the Obama administration will go to please the green lobby. The White House has opted not to designate an area of the Atlantic off Cape Ann as a national monument, which would have closed it to commercial fishing and activities such as oil or gas exploration or extraction — permanently. Gov. Charlie Baker last fall had written to President Obama of his objections to the pending national monument designation for Cashes Ledge and a second area known as the New England Canyons and Seamounts, largely because of the unilateral nature of the decision. Some members of the state’s congressional delegation had also raised concerns. Read the rest, Click here 09:14

Starving the fleet – (No word on when dairy farmers will have to begin paying for the inspectors who examine their barns.)

aluminum boatFederal fishing regulators and environmentalists seem to think the best approach to conservation is simply to nickel-and-dime the local fishing fleet out of existence. It’s a contemptible way to handle an industry that helped build the economy in this nation’s coastal states. Federal law now requires commercial fishing vessels that work beyond 3 nautical miles offshore to undergo updated safety and survival training (previously the requirement was only for vessels beyond 13 miles offshore). And of course safety’s a good thing; fishermen risk their lives with every trip. Read the op-ed here 08:32

Editorial: Drowning in regulations

no_bullshit_hardhat_sticker-r292a06754eb14e5d84d299ecaac82d10_v9waf_8byvr_512President Obama is poised to designate two large areas off the New England coast as national marine “monuments,” to the delight of conservationists who seem much more interested in protecting the ocean than they are in protecting people. Gov. Charlie Baker has written to President Obama to express concern about the impact on the region’s fishermen if the federal government turns part of the New England coastline into a sort of undersea museum — one that only scientists are likely ever to lay eyes on. Baker in his letter raises reasonable concerns about the process — or lack thereof — that led to this point. Read the rest here 12:00

Baker to Obama: Monument plan contrary to regional ocean planning

Governor Charlie Baker today directly addressed his concerns to President Obama about the potential designation of one or more National Marine Monuments off the coast of New England, saying the process has lacked stakeholder involvement and threatens to undermine existing fishery management systems. The Obama administration, under significant pressure by environmental groups, is considering using the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate areas of deep-sea canyons and seamounts — and possibly an area on Cashes Ledge,,, Read the rest here 08:22

NOAA adds Insult to Injury with Observer Coverage – Governor Baker will push for Industry Inclusion in Assessments

With a crystalline portrait of America’s oldest seaport serving as the backdrop, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday attacked NOAA’s plan to force fishermen to pay for at-sea observers on their boats and reiterated his pledge to help convince the federal fishing regulator to consider science other than its own. “Under the federal rules, there’s currently one source of truth and that source of truth is designed and delivered by NOAA,” Baker said. “NOAA operates under a standard that’s called ‘best available information’ and at this point in time the only best available information is theirs.” Read the rest here 20:57