Tag Archives: Long Island Commercial Fishing Association

Deepwater Wind to be purchased by Danish energy giant Orsted

The agreement, announced by both companies Monday morning, would create a combined company with offshore wind leases and projects across the Eastern United States. Orsted, formerly known as DONG Energy (Danish Oil and Natural Gas), has offshore wind lease rights off the coast of Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey. But at least one group saw cause for concern. “These are foreign oil and gas companies that are coming to the U.S. and taking our fisheries away from us without any mitigation or negotiations,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, an industry group. “It’s ridiculous. You want to talk about a job killer. This is the biggest threat to the U.S. commercial fishing on the Eastern Seaboard.”>click to read<17:22

New York’s offshore wind plan faces commercial fishing opposition – $1 billion boat-to-plate industry at stake

The plan to turn ocean wind into energy calls for anchoring 15 wind turbines, each one a little taller than the Washington Monument, into the sea floor more than 30 miles off the coast of Montauk, Long Island.,,, And that’s right smack in the middle of where Chris Scola makes his living. Several days a week, Scola motors his rusting trawler – the Rock-n-Roll III — into the waters off Montauk’s coast, drops a dredging net onto the ocean floor and scoops up hundreds of pounds of scallops. Once those cables go in, Scola fears his nets will get entangled, making dredging so difficult he’ll need to find a place to fish further offshore with a larger boat, sending himself deeper into debt. >click to read<08:34

South Fork Wind Farm : Plea to fund fishing survey has still not been granted

Several months after they asked East Hampton Town for $30,000 to collect data aimed at protecting fishing grounds and compensating commercial fishermen when they are unable to work, that request has still not been granted, the director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and the liaison chosen by East Hampton Town’s fisheries advisory committee to communicate with Deepwater Wind complained to the town board on Tuesday. While the liaison, Julie Evans, and Bonnie Brady of the fishing association addressed the board, Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island company planning to construct the 15-turbine South Fork Wind Farm approximately 30 miles off Montauk, is in the midst of a projected four-month survey at the site and along the transmission cable’s route to shore. >click to read<09:04

Fishing is a family business – Three couples know everybody needs to pitch in to make a living

Long Island’s fishing families know how to adapt. They have to if they want to keep making their living from the water. Many have succumbed to the sea of quotas and regulations. Fewer and fewer are hanging on. In the past eight years, the number of commercial food fish licenses has dropped by double digits —11 percent — from 1,030 in 2018 to 916 so far this year, state data show.,, Most of the families still in commercial fishing run mom-and-operations, Brady said. “Some can go back 15 generations, some have been here since the ’70s,” she said, “and some are just starting out”  The Phillipses, the Osinskis, and the Lofstads. >click to read<08:51

Now We’re Talking!! BOEM dressed down, wind farm companies get an earful at a meeting

Federal officials in charge of leasing ocean bottom land to offshore wind farm companies got an earful at a meeting with commercial fishermen Wednesday – and much of it was R-rated. There isn’t merely significant opposition to offshore wind farms; there is 100-percent agreement among the fishermen that the wind turbines will eventually put them out of business.,, Deepwater Wind, which has a project slated off the coast of Montauk called South Fork Wind and runs the Block Island Wind farm, was the subject of much of the ire and criticism,,, Ryan Fallon said he has spent his life on the water. “Everyone is against [the wind farms]. This is my life, my daughter’s life. I almost brought her here so you could look her in the eyes,” said Fallon, whose father was a commercial fisherman and bought him his first boat. “I’ve been doing this since I was 12. I’ll die before I let you take it away.” >click to read<20:37

Deepwater Wind Offers Offshore Information, Fishermen Want Compensation

The Providence-based company recently announced a program to inform fishermen of where and when construction and other work occurs at the site of three wind facilities and their electric cables. The offshore wind developer hired liaisons to offer dockside information to fishermen at main fishing ports such as New Bedford, Mass., Point Judith, and Montauk, N.Y. Daily activity will be posted online about surveys, construction, and maintenance work. The updates will also be broadcast twice daily on boating radio channels, according to Deepwater Wind. Bonnie Brady, president of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the outreach by Deepwater Wind is window dressing. Deepwater Wind is “not doing anything at all. it’s a big, giant schmooze,” she said.,, Richard Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, said he speaks with fishermen daily in Point Judith and he’s hearing the fishing stocks are down around the Block Island Wind Farm. >click to read<19:53

East End forum on potential offshore wind turbine sites turns tense

A public forum on potential offshore wind farm sites turned tense as East End commercial fishing representatives railed against the renewable energy source and its potential impact on their industry. The forum, held Wednesday at the Montauk Community Center, was dominated by commercial fishermen who largely said none of the proposed sites were fitting. “These should be removed off our fishing grounds completely,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. Those who spoke declined to suggest the western sites as appropriate, saying they didn’t want to hurt colleagues’ livelihoods either. >click to read<13:56

Reckoning Day for the South Fork Wind Farm is upon us.

Though it’s been the subject of numerous public hearings and board meetings for two years — not to mention endless conjecture and innuendo — Deepwater’s Wind’s offshore wind farm is still in its infancy. Deepwater’s proposal has become controversial and contentious. Some environmentalists question the cost of the project. Fishing groups fear the turbines and underwater cable will harm some fish species and disrupt fishing around the turbines. Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a board member of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries, has been an early and persistent opponent. >click to read<10:59

The High-Stakes Battle Over Obama’s Atlantic Ocean National Monument

Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan. A federal judge is now weighing the fate of those protections in a lawsuit originally filed in March 2017 by a coalition of New England fishing groups – and it has led to a rare case of President Donald Trump defending his predecessor’s authority.  >click to read<10:27

Plans For Offshore Wind Energy Draw Criticism At Hearing In Southampton On Monday

“We know the moment [the federal government] gets a taste of wind farms in the Atlantic, we are going to be playing whack-a-mole with energy and oil companies creeping up on our fishing grounds,” Bonnie Brady said at a presentation by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, on Monday night at the Southampton Inn. Ms. Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association in Montauk, said that, like other commercial fishermen in the audience, she worries that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, which has jurisdiction over the Atlantic, will lease more ocean for wind energy development and wind up hurting the industry.>click to read<16:01

Long Island: Wind farm meetings scheduled – Politicians and fishermen have doubts about visibility and impediments to fishing

New York State on Monday will hold a public meeting in Southampton to discuss its blueprint for wind energy and the recently released federal government call for wind-energy projects along the shore of practically all of Long Island, including the East End.,, The South Fork is also home to the single greatest force in opposition to offshore wind: hundreds of fishermen who see the turbine structures and undersea cables as impediments to fishing. The Long Island Commercial Fishing Association has already joined a lawsuit contesting the federal government’s auction>click to read< 09:41

How fishermen could thwart Cuomo’s offshore wind master plan

In the mist off New England’s coast, towering alien monoliths pierce the surging waters, soaring 600 to 850 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of these titans, rising up to 200 feet taller than Trump Tower, chop the air with massive blades that are taller than Albany’s Capitol building. Offshore wind turbines like these, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says, are a critical part of his clean energy mandate to generate 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy. But those humble fishermen are threatening to derail the governor’s goals with a federal lawsuit they believe is their last best shot to save their livelihoods. >click to read<21:41

East Hampton wants more info, research, money from Deepwater

Even as Deepwater Wind indicated it was behind on its schedule to file more than a dozen permit applications for its South Fork wind farm, East Hampton Town board members and residents Tuesday doubled down on their requests for information, research and money to study and mitigate potential impacts of the $1.62 billion project. Deepwater has offered a list of “community benefits” to the town valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. They include water quality improvement and fisheries research funds, as well as offering to bury power lines that are now on overhead lines. But the town and residents want more. >click to read<21:10

Hearing – National Ocean Policy: Stakeholder Perspectives, Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a hearing titled “National Ocean Policy: Stakeholder Perspectives,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. The hearing will examine the state of the National Ocean Policy and the program’s interaction with existing laws and regulations for ocean management. Witnesses: – Ms. Bonnie Brady, Executive Director, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association – Mr. Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President, Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Mr. Dan Keppen, Executive Director, Family Farm Alliance  – Ms. Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America click here to read, and the link will open to watch the proceedings tomorrow @ 2:30 pm

The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms In The Atlantic

Fishermen are worried about an offshore wind farm proposed 30 miles out in the Atlantic from Montauk, New York, the largest fishing port in the state. They say those wind turbines – and many others that have been proposed – will impact the livelihood of fishermen in New York and New England. Scallop fisherman Chris Scola pulls out of a Montauk marina at 2 a.m. and spends the next two-and-a-half hours motoring to an area about 14 miles out into the Atlantic. Then, with the help of his two-man crew, spends about 10 hours dredging the sea floor for scallops before heading back to port.,,, “It’s not just us in New York. It’s all down the Seaboard. They want projects from Maine all the way down to South Carolina.” click here to read the story 14:57

Strained Fluke Quotas, Hurricanes and Safe Harbor

Less than a month after a bill granting vessels safe harbor in New York was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fishing vessel bound for North Carolina carrying 6,000 pounds of fluke has tested the new policy, straining New York’s federally designated fluke quotas. The F/V Rianda S., which has long been a part of the Montauk fleet, was in transit to land its fish in North Carolina, where it has fishing licenses, on Sept. 17 after fishing in federal waters when it encountered the rough seas generated by Hurricane José and requested safe harbor in Montauk. New York’s fluke fishery is closed for the month of September,  due to banner fluke landings this summer that strained the state’s already low federally mandated quotas. click here to read the story 08:25

Fishing Industry Takes More Action Against New York Offshore Wind Lease

A group of fishing organizations, businesses and communities, led by the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), has taken more action to halt the lease of Statoil’s planned wind farm off the coast of New York. The suit, filed against the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is seeking summary judgment and requesting the court to invalidate the lease, which was awarded to Norwegian firm Statoil to develop the New York Wind Energy Area (NY WEA) late last year. click here to read the story 13:23

American Backlash Against Big Wind: States Cut Subsidies & Ban New Wind Power Projects

If your understanding of the world is limited to what’s printed in the mainstream press, you’d be forgiven for thinking that rural folk can’t wait to nuzzle up to 300 tonne Vestas, with 70m blades towering 180m above them.,, To be sure, you won’t read about this in the New York Times.,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.,, As Bonnie Brady, the fiery executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association told me recently, “Destroying one environment in the name of trying to protect another environment makes no sense at all.” click here to read the story 08:53

Rural America Keeps Rejecting Big Wind

The backlash against Big Wind continues. Indeed, entire states are now restricting or rejecting wind projects.,,, The backlash is so fierce that Big Wind has begun suing small towns to force them to accept wind projects. Since last October, NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest producer of wind energy, has filed lawsuits in federal and state courts against five rural governments, including the town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population: 3,000. NextEra is funding its courthouse mugging of small-town America with your tax dollars.,,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. click here to read the story 08:56

New York DEC Will Talk About Licensing With Commercial Fishermen This Fall

State lawmakers said this week that they have persuaded the State Department of Environmental Conservation to meet with commercial fishermen to talk about expanding how many new commercial fishing licenses are issued. The DEC has agreed to meet with fishermen this fall to discuss revising the state’s policy on the transfer of licenses from one fisherman to another, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said this week. The agreement comes on the heels of lawmakers derailing a DEC request for a new three-year extension to existing commercial licensing guidelines, instead granting only a one-year extension contingent on DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and other agency officials meeting with fishermen to talk about the policy. click here to read the story 21:57

Thiele Acts for Fishermen ‘Under Siege’

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has introduced a package of legislation intended to aid the commercial fishing industry. Two of the three bills were introduced in the 2015-16 legislative session. One would direct the state attorney general to bring legal action against the National Marine Fisheries Service, or any other federal agency, to challenge existing quotas that the bill calls inequitable and discriminatory against New York State commercial fishermen. The bill is now in the Assembly’s environmental conservation committee. A second bill, also introduced in the 2015-16 legislative session, adds a new element in its current form. It would establish a commercial fishing advocate and, in its new version, create a commercial fishing jobs development program under State Department of Economic Development jurisdiction. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the bill last year, Mr. Thiele said yesterday. continue reading the story here 15:11

German company eyes wind farm project off Fire Island  

“The idea that you can just show up and stick a flag in the ocean floor and say it’s mine without regard to the fishing community it will displace is unconscionable and un-American,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.A German renewable-energy company has submitted an unsolicited bid for more than 40,000 acres of water rights due south of Fire Island for the first phase of a wind-turbine array of up to 400 megawatts. Maps submitted with the project indicate it would place 30 to 50 turbines around 600 feet tall in an area that extends from Bayport to Moriches, starting around 12 miles from shore. The project would be east of another wind-energy area that was federally auctioned in December to Norway-based Statoil for $42 million. Both projects, which would require numerous state and federal permits, are in areas considered vital to fishing interests; the Statoil project is already the subject of a federal lawsuit seeking to block it and preserve squid, scallop and bottom-fishing grounds. Called the NY4 Excelsior Wind Park, the latest project is being proposed by PNE Wind, a German developer of onshore and offshore wind projects with a U.S. base in Chicago. (we are opposed) Read the story here 07:54

New England fishermen challenge Obama’s Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument designation

A coalition of New England fishermen organizations filed suit today over former President Barack Obama’s designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument — a dictate that could sink commercial fishing in New England. The organizations filing the lawsuit are the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, and Garden State Seafood Association. They are represented, free of charge, by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations. The lawsuit challenges President Obama’s September 15, 2016, creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. continue reading the story here 14:28

Legal Fight in New York Offshore Wind Farm Case Continues on Merits; Request for Preliminary Injunction Denied

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided late Wednesday not to grant a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit brought by a host of fishing communities, associations and businesses led by scallop industry trade group the Fisheries Survival Fund against the impending leasing of the New York Wind Energy Area to Statoil Wind of Norway. The suit alleges the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing process did not adequately consider the impact of wind power development in the waters off Long Island, New York on the region’s fishermen. The fishing industry asked that the court temporarily halt BOEM from proceeding with the final ratification of a lease on the area, which was preliminarily awarded to Statoil, Norway’s state oil company, for $42.5 million. “Getting a preliminary injunction granted is difficult, given the high standards that the court applies,” said Mayor Kirk Larson of Barnegat Light, N.J., one of the plaintiffs in the case. “But our case will continue, and we are confident that we will succeed on the merits.” Continue reading the article here 17:55

Decision on preliminary injunction on offshore sale in ‘coming days’

A US court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days on a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against the development of the up to 1GW New York offshore wind farm lease area. The Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which represents the majority of the limited access Atlantic scallop fleet, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that alleges the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing process did not adequately consider the impact of wind power development on the region’s fishermen. The plaintiffs, which also include the Garden State Seafood Association and the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, argue that allowing the lease sale to go through would cause irreparable harm to commercial fishermen. Norwegian oil major Statoil won the December auction for the right to develop the 32,000-hectare site off the coast of Long Island with a bid of $42.5m. BOEM has delayed execution of the lease until the court has ruled on the preliminary injunction. Link 09:33

Montauk Fishermen Worry About Impacts From Proposed Wind Farm

A 12-to-15-turbine wind farm still will have to navigate a long and arduous regulatory approval process before it can be constructed in the waters between Montauk and Nantucket. Some Montauk fishermen say they are worried about the impacts of the turbines to be built about 30 miles offshore of their home port. “The location is definitely a concern, because of the fishery that takes place there,” said Chris Scola, a Montauk sea scallop harvester. “The draggers do a lot of fluking there. They do a lot of yellowtail flounder there. It’s a very important place for sportfishermen, too— it’s really the only place that still has cod consistently.” Montauk fishermen say they were not included in the conversations held five years ago, when Deepwater Wind and federal regulators were discussing the regions that would be leased to the company for wind farm construction. “They created a fishery advisory group … and Rhode Island and Massachusetts fishermen said, ‘You can’t go here, because we all fish here—that’s important to us,’ and they removed all these certain [areas] from the map,” said Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. “They never talked to New York. No one from Long Island was invited, as far as I’m aware.” Read the full story here 15:53

Andrew Cuomo’s wind farm plan needs 280 square miles off LI

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambition to develop enough offshore wind energy by 2030 to power 750,000 homes will require 280 square miles of ocean starting 12 to 15 miles from the Long Island shore, state officials said. In a presentation to Long Island fishing groups in Setauket last week, state officials unveiled a map outlining a massive wind-study area south of Long Island that could result in three separate wind farms in the water over the next decade. One fisherman at the meeting noted the location of that proposed array largely was determined before the Setauket meeting last Tuesday. “Why are we having outreach after the site lease is already sold?” said Mike Fogal, a Jones Inlet commercial fisherman. Read the story here 13:39

Georges Bank said to be ‘paved with fluke! Fishermen Assail NOAA Quotas – Schumer fears major job losses

Commercial fishermen on the draggers seen offshore last week took advantage of calmer seas and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s raising of the daily limit on fluke from 70 to 210 pounds. The higher limit was in effect from Dec. 18 through Friday as the state’s annual quota for the fish, highly sought by commercial and recreational fishermen alike, had not been reached.,, Mark Phillips, who fishes on the F/V Illusion out of Greenport, was once among the largest harvesters of fluke in the state, landing a few hundred thousand pounds per year, by his count. The problem, Mr. Phillips said, is that stock assessments are inaccurate because NOAA conducts surveys — such as with its ship the Henry B. Bigelow, which collects data in waters from Maine to North Carolina — when fluke are migrating from undersea canyons to inshore waters. Read the story here 14:49

Fishing advocates seek delay in new limits on fluke fishing

Fishing advocates seeking to head off what they described as “devastating” reductions in the New York quota for fluke next year are calling on federal regulators to forestall planned 2017 cuts until a more current assessment of the fish population is completed. Led by frequent fishing advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer, a group of 50 recreational and commercial fishing boat captains and advocates gathered at the Captree Boat Basin in Babylon Thursday to say a planned 30 percent reduction would threaten hundreds of businesses. Schumer said he plans to reach out to the U.S. Department of Commerce and its newly nominated secretary, Wilbur Ross, to address his concerns, including requesting an expedited fluke population assessment and a suspension of the new cuts until improved data is available. Schumer said he was hopeful that Ross, a New Yorker who was once an adviser on the Long Island Lighting Co. buyout by LIPA, could step in to forestall management moves by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees councils that manage the fluke fishery. Schumer said he would reach out to President-elect Donald Trump, Ross and “whoever I have to to get this changed.” Read the story here 20:06

As the New York wind shills rallied, one fishing advocate stood alone.

More than 100 advocates for offshore wind, comprised of environmental and labor groups and politicians, rallied outside of Long Island Power Authority headquarters in Uniondale Tuesday morning urging the agency to sign a contract to purchase power from offshore wind. LIPA CEO Thomas Falcone, who sat with several model wind turbines on the table in front of him, told activists who packed LIPA’s board room for the agency’s monthly board of directors meeting after the rally that he expected to have a big announcement about offshore wind in the new year. Long Island Commercial Fishing Association Executive Director Bonnie Brady of Montauk was the one person in attendance at the LIPA meeting Tuesday who expressed skepticism about offshore wind, where the board took about half an hour of public comment. “The reality is, this is not a clean project,” she said, adding that there is a glut of power on Long Island, but the LIPA grid is broken. Read the story here 14:35