Tag Archives: lobstermen

China tariffs sinking overseas sales, Provincetown lobstermen not feeling the pinch

“It’s killed our price. It’s killed our markets,” said state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester.,,, Multiple Massachusetts businesses, especially those in Gloucester, have been adversely affected as they cannot compete with Canadian wholesale prices. But the lobstermen themselves are not feeling the pinch, and if anything are seeing their prices rise, Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Beth Casoni said. “The fishermen are happy,” Casoni said. “They’re making money.” >click to read< 09:29

Legislators, lobstermen press case against ‘draconian’ whale rules

Two area legislators led a delegation Wednesday to the Maine Attorney General’s Office to press their case for a full representation for the state’s lobster industry against what they say are draconian and unjustified measures being proposed by the federal government to protect right whales. Independent Reps. Jeffrey Evangelos of Friendship and Bill Pluecker of Warren met Sept. 18 with Attorney General Aaron Frey and two staff attorneys who represent the Department of Marine Resources. >click to read<  11:25

Lobstermen at NOAA meeting oppose new fishing regulations

The Ellsworth High School auditorium was packed during one of a series of meetings held near fishing communities in Maine. The crowd was made up of conservationists, scientists and politicians, but mostly fishermen. U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and State Rep. Genevieve McDonald, D-Deer Isle, attended the event, while Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd Dist., sent staff representatives.,, NOAA research indicates that large vessel strikes are the predominant cause of whale deaths.“If you would just give us a chance to prove our innocence,” one person said.   >click to read<  20:11

Gloucester: Lobstermen push against whale rules – ‘We’ve borne the brunt’

The evening began with a presentation from NOAA Fisheries’ Mike Asaro and Colleen Coogan that offered a historical backdrop on the status of the North Atlantic right whale stock and an explanation of the specific protectionist measures adopted in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.,, In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, lobstermen are tasked with reducing their vertical lines by 30 percent. In Maine, where there has been significant pushback by state officials and the nation’s most formidable lobster fleet, the target is significantly higher — 50 percent. Then came the comment period and the usual choosing of the sides. Photo’s,  >click to read< 22:04

Lobstermen, environmentalists weigh in on right whale rules

Some of the largest and most powerful animal and environmental groups – including the Pew Charitable Trust, the U.S. Humane Society, the Conservation Law Foundation and Oceana – sent representatives to the hearing. They urged National Marine Fisheries Service to take immediate action to protect the whale, including proposals that even the team tasked by the fisheries service to come up with its whale protection plan had dismissed, such as offshore closures and ropeless lobster fishing. >click to read< 20:58

Lobstermen threatened with the extinction of their way of life

The word “extinction” has been thrown around a lot lately by environmental groups,,, Large, well-funded, out-of-state environmental groups would have you believe that these whales are going extinct and that Maine fishing gear entanglement is a major reason why. These groups have proposed things like ropeless fishing and refuse to believe that ideas like this are not practical in Maine. Can you imagine how a fisherman could set his 20- to 30-trap trawl into water 300 to 400 feet deep, not knowing where any of his competitors’ trawls might have been set days before? >click to read< 11:37

Maine political leaders join lobster haulers to rally against new rules

Gov. Janet Mills and almost all of Maine’s congressional delegation will participate in a rally Sunday protesting new federal regulations aimed at protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale, but also could cause large-scale disruption in this state’s lobster industry. Maine lobstermen support protecting the whales, whose numbers have dwindled to fewer than 420 during the past decade, but say that the new regulations,,, >click to read< 12:56

Lobstermen confront host of problems as season gets underway

This year’s delayed lobster season kicked off with a cold, rainy spring and bait worries, but lobstermen haven’t been idle. Instead, they’ve been hunting for a way to cope with looming North Atlantic right whale protections. “The overall feeling around the docks this year is pretty glum,” said Jason Joyce of Swans Island. “Catch is low, expenses are high and (there are) stormy forecasts ahead thanks to wealthy, politically connected multinational environmental groups that have been targeting us as their latest fundraising villain.” >click to read< 09:22

Herring cuts another headache for lobstermen

Maine lobstermen are catching it coming and going, but the “it” ain’t lobsters. Last month, the lobster industry found itself confronted with a demand from federal fisheries regulators that it reduce the risk it posed to endangered right whales by 60 percent and began the arduous task of figuring out how to remove half the vertical buoy lines attached to lobster traps from the water. Though it came as no surprise, earlier this month the New England Fishery Management Council announced that the already scant amount of herring allowed to be caught off the coast of New England would be further reduced in 2020 and 2021. >click to read<11:34

Lobstermen at state hearing wary of regulations to protect whales

“Behind the scenes, they all say exactly the same thing,” Horner, the chairman of the local lobster zone council, said at a state hearing on new right whale protection regulations. “Fishermen could accept (a trap cut), I think, but not if we are going to have more people coming in to fill the gap, especially those from outside.” The Maine Department of Marine Resources kicked off a monthly series of public information sessions on the new whale rules Tuesday. More than 100 lobstermen from the local zone, which runs from Franklin to Frenchboro, turned out.>click to read<11:47

Atlantic Herring: Fishermen face another quota cut, could hit lobster prices

Regulators on the East Coast are contending with a drop in the population of herring, a key forage fish species that has been used as lobster bait for generations.,, A fishery management board is due to make a decision about the 2020 catch limits in early June.,, “I’ve heard from other fishermen up and down the coast, from Maine to Massachusetts. It’s going to be survival of the fittest,” Casoni said. “Every year is challenging, and every year just gets a little more.” >click to read<11:16

UPDATED: Lobstermen rally in Plymouth to protest closure of fishing areas off cape Cod

Local lobstermen rallied here Thursday morning to protest the state’s decision to keep certain areas closed to fishing to protect an endangered species of whale. State officials said the “continued presence” of right whales in the waters off Cape Cod resulted in the Division of Marine Fisheries extending the seasonal closure to May 14. “This closure extension applies only in certain waters within Cape Cod Bay and along the Outer Cape,” state officials said in the statement. >click to read<This story will be updated. 10:12 Lobstermen rally against delay in opening season – >Video, click to read< 11:16

More crew means more opportunity for fishermen to make good

As interstate and federal agencies move to cut use of Maine’s chief bait source — herring — by 75 percent and put in new rules to protect right whales, many of us who have fished lobsters through good times and bad face some very scary times in the next couple of years if we do not figure out a way to get the most out of every trap we put in the water. There’s talk of a trap reduction, of reducing the amount of bait we use, even of closing off valuable fishing areas for part of the year to men and women who have fished Maine waters since they could barely see over the side of the boat. Each of these will hurt Maine’s blue-collar fishing families and the towns we live in without giving anyone much hope for the future. >click to read< by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham11:39

Lou Boudreu – The brave souls who bring you lobster

There is a good eight-foot sea running and 35-knot winds off the port bow. She’s taking a beating, but her classic Cape Island hull handles it. I’m standing exposed on the after deck with two other men handling gear. Another eight-foot sea breaks, blowing the icy cold Atlantic spray into my face. It hurts, but I am long past that stage. I am numb.  As I handle the line, putting it around the spool to the pot hauler, my hand gets caught and cut right through the thick glove. But my hand is numb. I’ve gone long beyond the hurt stage;,, >click to read<07:55

John Bullard’s Right whale challenge angers lobstermen

Bullard may have left behind the daily responsibilities of running the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, but he took his bully pulpit with him. On Monday, he published an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe challenging the U.S. commercial lobster industry — predominately based in Maine and Massachusetts, where Gloucester and Rockport are the top ports — to take the lead in trying to head off the extinction of the North Atlantic right whales. While he also carved out a role for scientists, non-governmental organizations and fishery managers in the hunt for solutions, Bullard’s emphasis on the lobster industry did not sit well with local lobstermen, who believed their industry was being singled out. >click to read<19:02

Keys lobstermen catch a break, traps get a $1 per-trap tag waiver

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, every dollar saved helps, say Florida Keys commercial fishermen. Untold thousands of spiny-lobster traps, the primary gear in the most economically significant Keys seafood harvest, disappeared or were destroyed by the Category 4 storm in September. The statewide lobster industry based in the Keys will get a bit of a break in the 2018 season that opens in August. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at its December meeting agreed to waive for one season the annual $1 per-trap tag fee for the allowed 473,500 traps in the lobster fishery. >click here to read< 13:44

Maine Lobstermen reject big changes in harvester reporting rules

Ask any lobsterman about the details of where and how he catches his bugs — what kind of bait he uses, how deep he sets his gear, how many traps on a trawl, how long those traps soak between hauls — and you’re likely to get a fisheye, if not a poke in the nose, in response. Still, that’s the kind of information the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission wants to collect from lobstermen and Jonah crab fishermen working in the Gulf of Maine and, no surprise, the idea is unpopular. >click here to read<08:59

Maine opposing push to require all lobstermen to report catch data – >click here to read<

Lobstermen speak out against proposal to have Maine’s entire fleet report data

Maine doesn’t require all of its lobstermen to share their fishing data, and they say reporting even 10 percent of the country’s largest lobster fishery is enough to give state and federal regulators statistically valid data. That’s the argument advanced by lobstermen, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the state Department of Marine Resources against a proposal for 100 percent reporting, at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. >click here to read< 11:09

Frozen lobstermen face additional winter challenges

With inches of ice covering the harbor and no end of severe winter weather in site, local lobstermen are struggling to keep their boats in the water during the last month of the legal lobstering season. Tuesday and Wednesday saw captains breaking up ice surrounding their boats and trying to move their vessels to safer locations before a storm pummels the region today.,, lobstermen are facing two predicaments: dealing with a cold snap the likes of which hasn’t been seen for the last 100 years, and having to get all traps out of the water by Feb. 1 before a three-month ban on lobstering begins. click here to read the story 16:15 

Big changes could be coming to East Coast herring fishery

Federal fishing regulators are considering changing the way they manage one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast to better account for its impact on the environment and other industries. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council has released a group of alternatives for how it could change management of Atlantic herring. The small, schooling fish are harvested from Maine to Florida and are used for fish oil, food for humans and bait for fishermen and lobstermen. click here to read the story 20:22

Maine’s lobster marketing group is facing existential opposition from an unlikely source: the lobster industry.

With lobster prices down, both at the dock and the dealer’s office, some who make their living off the state’s signature crustacean are reluctant to approve another five years of funding to the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, whose $2.2 million-a-year budget is funded by lobster license surcharges. With its state funding about to expire, the collaborative is taking its case to fishermen in fire halls and ferry terminals from Kennebunk to Rockland this month, calling on powerful industry friends to lend their support and touting a new audit that gave the program stellar reviews. But it’s not an easy sell. click here to read the story 08:57

Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge in Halifax – Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic’

The focus of this year’s annual meeting of North Atlantic right whale researchers has been altered in light of 15 of the critically endangered marine mammals being found dead this year in waters off eastern Canada and the U.S. The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said the goal of this year’s meeting is to explain the science behind the “mortality crisis” to members of government who will be there. The consortium also said the purpose of this year’s meeting is to form an international working group to look at the big picture when it comes to right whales, instead of managing problems region by region. click here to read the story

Right whale deaths called ‘apocalyptic – Whale scholars, lobstermen, conservationists and government officials converge today in Nova Scotia to save right whales. Among the commercial lobstermen at the right whale symposium today is John Haviland, of the South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association,,, click here to read the story 09:12

LI fishing grounds mapped as wind farm plans take shape

More than a dozen Montauk fishermen have met with state officials to mark off vital fishing areas on a map that will help determine the best places for the hundreds of offshore wind turbines anticipated for the waters off Long Island. Led by the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, the group included trawl-boat captains, lobstermen, gill netters and trappers, each determined to preserve their fishing grounds as plans for wind-energy farms take shape. New York State’s offshore wind plan foresees some 2,400 megawatts of wind-turbines in New York and surrounding waters. That is likely to translate to around 240 turbines. click here to read the story 18:49

Lobstermen plagued by low catch, low prices

As the shedder, or soft shell, season winds down with higher value hard shell lobsters on the horizon, local lobstermen are hoping to turn what has so far been a dismal season around. Lobsters are in hiding, or so it seems to lobstermen. “I’d say we’ve caught about half the lobsters [than in recent years],” Stonington lobsterman Tony Bray said of the 2017 season. The Stonington Lobster Co-op, which buys a large proportion of the local catch, reported a 25 to 30 percent drop in volume over last year. “The lobsters are out there, so this is not likely reflective of a resource decline,” said Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries scientist Carla Guenther, who follows Department of Marine Resources data monitoring. “It may be reflective of a habitat shift as to where the lobsters are, and a behavior shift as a reaction to the colder water.” click here to read the story 15:16

Lobstermen test new bait as hedge against herring price spikes

Two lobstering co-ops in Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde are working with The Nature Conservancy to see if they can freeze the alewives that bait their traps so successfully each spring to catch lobster at other times of the year. If it works, alewives could be the affordable bait they need when their usual favorite, Atlantic herring, is in short supply, such as it is again this summer. “It’s the second year in a row where we’ve had bait problems,” said Josh Miller, a 40-year-old lobsterman who belongs to the Tenants Harbor Lobstermen’s Co-op. “Most wharves are on (herring) rations. The prices have gone up 10 percent already. We started the season with prices that never dropped from last year, when we had a bait shortage. Bait is a huge issue.” click here to read the story 07:49

L.I. Sound lobstermen avoid regulatory pincers

Lobstermen working Long Island Sound dodged new limits on their fishery last week when federal regulators failed to adopt restrictions aimed at reversing a decades-long decline in the lobster population. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted down additional management measures, including a reduction in the size of lobster that could be harvested and a shorter season. “We are ecstatic,” said Mike Kalaman, a Norwalk lobstermen who believes the population is returning on its own, thanks to cleaner water and natural cycles. “We keep telling them that what’s in place is working,” Kalaman said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It’s fixing itself.” The decision by the American Lobster Management Board to defeat fishing restrictions was unusual; the board almost always adopts new management measures. The proposal on the table, developed by experts after months of research and deliberation, failed after numerous votes by a divided board. click here to read the story 08:20

RI And MA Lobstermen At Odds With Regulators Over Conservation Effortsclick here to read the story

Maine lobstermen serve booming world market

From trade deals in Europe and China, to the price per pound customers pay at the dock for their nightly dinner, York is a microcosm for both the uber international and the uber local sides of the lobster industry. And local lobstermen serving both markets are just pleased to see the lobsters here are finally shedding their shells and are getting hungry, filling traps that up until now have been pretty light due to colder than usual ocean temperatures during June and early July.,,, Jeff White, president of the York Lobstermen’s Association, said this season is “more like 20 years ago. You never expected to get anything until the middle of July. Why is it different? I really don’t know. The lobsters know and they’re not telling. click here to read the story 09:10

Maine Lobstermen Say They Aren’t Harming Threatened Coral Beds

The fragile deep-sea corals that populate the canyon walls and basins in the Gulf of Maine provide habitat for many species of fish as well as baby lobster, crabs and squid. But the New England Fisheries Management Council has concluded that the northeast coral beds are threatened when they are disturbed by commercial fishing operations and is weighing new restrictions that could affect Maine.  The council held a public hearing in Ellsworth Thursday night, where lobstermen spoke in support of a plan that protects coral colonies while still allowing them to haul their traps.  Most of the lobstermen who spoke agree that the coral beds in the Gulf of Maine play an important role in the overall health of the marine ecosystem. And most, such as Cranberry Isles fisherman Jack Merrill, think that Maine lobstermen and the coral beds have been getting along well for decades. Click here to read the story 18:21

South Shore lobstermen dismayed by failed bid for longer season

Lobstermen are busy loading their boats with traps and buoys and getting their gear back in the water after a three-month closure lifted this week for most of the South Shore. But Marshfield lobsterman John Haviland said he is starting the season feeling more disenchanted than ever after federal regulators turned down a proposal to allow lobstermen to fish year-round with a new rope line designed to reduce the chance of entangling endangered whales. “I’m disappointed that we put three years worth of research and meetings into trying to do the right thing, and it was not successful,” Haviland, president of the South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association, said. “It makes you question if you should keep doing the one thing you’ve always done.” Since 2015, federal regulations have banned the use of lobstering equipment from Feb. 1 to April 30 off Cape Cod Bay and beyond, shutting down the local industry for the winter. The goal is to reduce the chances of whales becoming entangled in the gear. click here to read the article 12:09