Tag Archives: massachusetts

Federal regulations to protect right whales are delayed until at least this summer

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is responsible for protecting the critically endangered species, had planned to issue the regulations last year. But they were delayed after months of criticism from the region’s powerful lobster industry, which is worried that new requirements could be harsh and expensive. >click to read< 18:03

New Hampshire: Lobstermen lament coming whale entanglement regulations

Seacoast lobstermen weighed in on the proposal at a meeting Thursday night in Portsmouth with the state Department of Fish and Game. They’re still skeptical that their fishery poses enough of a threat to the whales to merit new regulations. And they want more details and input on the new, more easily breakable lines or gear they’ll have to use to keep whales from being entangled. >click to read< 07:10

Seabrook: New Hampshire Fishermen deserve voice in offshore wind plans

Selectmen are abandoning a task force looking at offshore wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine, demanding their local fishermen have more direct inclusion.,, Fishing communities like in Seabrook have expressed strong concerns about the turbines’ impact on the ocean and the fish they harvest for a living.,,  They said in their letter to the OSI they wanted fishermen to have a direct seat on the task force, which is comprised of elected officials from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. >click to read< 18:08

Advisory: 2019 Commercial Fluke Trip Limit to Increase on November 1st

Effective November 1, 2019 through the end of the year, all commercial closed fishing days for summer flounder days will be eliminated thereby allowing commercial fishermen to fish for, possess and land summer flounder seven-days per week and the commercial trip limit will be increased to 1,000 pounds for all gear types (Declaration Notice). This will allow vessels fishing offshore to have greater access to the state’s remaining 2019 commercial summer flounder quota (about 240,000 pounds).   >click to read< 15:37

‘A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine

New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Stakeholders from the three states met today in Manchester talk about the possibilities and obstacles for that new industry. The event was hosted by the Environmental Business Council of New England at the state headquarters of Eversource, which is developing several large offshore wind projects elsewhere in the Northeast.  >click to read< 14:06

Lobster processing claws its way into Mass. law

The long-sought measure to expand and modernize lobster processing regulations in Massachusetts is now law, as of Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature on Wednesday.,,, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, who has championed the measure through more than four frustrating legislative cycles, estimated that up to 80 percent of lobsters landed in Massachusetts — the nation’s second-largest harvester of American lobsters, behind Maine — are transported to out-of-state processors only to see them return here as value-added products for retail and restaurant consumers. >click to read<  09:11

Massachusetts: Lobster bill survives budget deal

The legislation to allow the in-state sale, transport and processing of unfrozen, shell-on lobster parts — a persistent, years-long campaign by state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr — has survived the Massachusetts Legislature’s conference committee and is contained in the $43.1 billion budget awaiting Baker’s approval or veto.,,,Tarr stated that up to 80% of lobsters landed in Massachusetts are transported out of state for processing at facilities in Maine and Canada — only to see them return here as value-added products for retail and restaurant consumers. >click to read< 08:51

ASMFC Atlantic Herring Days Out Conference Call, Scheduled for July 10, 2019 at 1:00 PM

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Herring Management Board members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts set effort control measures for the Area 1A (inshore Gulf of Maine) fishery via Days Out meetings/calls. Atlantic Herring Board members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are scheduled to convene via conference call to consider changing the start date of the Area 1A fishery on: Wednesday, July 10th at 1:00 PM >click here for more info, and links<13:42

North Atlantic Right Whale – New restrictions placed on New England fishing industry to protect whales

Fishermen across New England are facing new restrictions after a panel of experts convened by the federal government agreed on Friday to a plan to step up protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group of federal and state officials, scientists, fishermen and environmental advocates created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration capped a four-day meeting in Providence by reaching consensus on a plan that aims to reduce entanglements in fishing gear, which is the leading cause of injuries to the whale and deaths. >click to read<18:20

New England Stakeholders Agree On Recommendations For Reducing Risk Of Right Whale Entanglements – >click to read<11:16

Nine US States Seek to Stop Atlantic Seismic Testing

Attorneys general from nine U.S. states sued the Trump administration on Thursday to stop future seismic tests for oil and gas deposits off the East Coast, joining a lawsuit from environmentalists concerned the tests harm whales and dolphins. Seismic testing uses air gun blasts to map out what resources lie beneath the ocean. Conservationists say the testing, a precursor to oil drilling, can disorient marine animals that rely on fine-tuned hearing to navigate and find food. The tests lead to beachings of an endangered species, the North Atlantic right whale, they say. >click to read<11:09

Northern Shrimp: Regulators set hearing on shrimp rules

Meeting in Portland earlier this month, the ASMFC’s Northern Shrimp Section approved, subject to public comment, an “addendum” to the current version of the Northern Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. The addendum would allow each of the three states that have shrimp landings — primarily Maine but also New Hampshire and Massachusetts — to allocate their annual catch quotas between the types of gear used in the fishery. The ASMFC will take written comments on the rule until Wednesday, Nov. 7. >click to read<11:46

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring.

It’s no shell game: As the price per pound has skyrocketed over the last few months, the costs of lobster dishes on restaurant menus across the city have been off the charts as chefs have been looking to claw back some of the margins. A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring, up from about $8 a pound last year.,, Federal permits mean that only 25 percent of Maine’s fleet can go out to the,, In Massachusetts, fishermen are getting $9 to $11 a pound off the boat right now, said Beth Casoni,>click to read<22:51

BLACK SEA BASS – THE NEW “WAR BETWEEN THE STATES”

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, signifying the end of the U.S. Civil War. One hundred and fifty-three years to the day, north and south are set to do battle yet again, this time over sea bass. From April 30 through May 3, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will hold its 2018 spring meeting in Arlington, VA, a city that was once the dividing line between Confederates to the South and the Union Army to the north during the bloodiest war in U.S. history. >click to read<12:41

Black sea bass quota reduction for N.Y. has local lawmakers up in arms

The decision last month by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to reduce New York’s black sea bass quota by 12 percent this year has anglers, state environmental regulators and local lawmakers up in arms. “This action discriminates against the State of New York. It would have a significant adverse effect on the Long Island economy,” State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said yesterday in a joint statement.  New York has joined Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in an appeal,,, >click to read<09:12

Coast Guard warns mariners, prepares for storm, New Jeresey and North, Hurricane Force Wind Warning for Coastal NE

The Coast Guard is advising mariners and swimmers along the New York and New Jersey coasts to use caution as a powerful storm approaches Thursday night through Saturday. Mariners are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews: “With the potential for severe weather, our overall concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work on the water,” said Capt. Jason Tama >click to read< 17:27

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING

National Weather Service – 417 PM EST Thu Mar 1 2018 .Synopsis for Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal waters… A powerful and long duration coastal storm gets underway tonight into Sat, and perhaps lingers into Sun. >click to read<17:35

Massachusetts Governor Baker releases fiscal year 2019 budget proposal

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget proposal,,, Includes $625,000 to support a new environmental police class of ten officers who will oversee protection of the Commonwealth’s natural resources, marine recreation, and hunting and fishing industries. $450,000 for the School of Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth, as well as full support for the Commercial Fisheries Industry Based Survey at $400,000 to continue enhancing the science behind the management and regulations of the Commonwealth’s fisheries. >click to read< 11:27 

Offshore Wind Technology Failure – Offshore wind is not all its cracked up to be!

Massachusetts’ ambitious goal to deploy offshore wind is supported by a 2016 Massachusetts state law that requires state utilities to purchase this power. This developer-friendly law exposes tax and ratepayers to triple current energy cost after public subsidies equal to 65 percent of project cost. The public now assumes the lion’s share of economic risks, while wind developers’ “skin in the game,” is as little as 10 percent. The United States has adopted the United Kindom’s offshore wind turbine design code. Massachusetts lawmakers wrongly assume that offshore wind is a reliable energy source. Per a landmark judgment issued by the U.K. Supreme Court in July 2017, there is fundamental failure in the offshore wind industry standard design code (J101). Barbara Durkin

Landmark Case Changes Offshore Wind Legal Landscape – >click here to read< 14:45

NMFS Proposes State Water Exemptions for Scallop Fisheries in Maine and Massachusetts

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would revise the State Waters Exemption Program under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan. Under this proposed rule, vessels holding both a Massachusetts state scallop permit and either a Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) or LAGC Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Federal scallop permit could continue to fish in state waters once the Federal Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the NGOM Management Area has been fully harvested. This action would also modify the State Waters Exemption for Maine, which already has this exemption for vessels holding state scallop permits and LAGC NGOM permits, to include vessels that have both a state scallop permit and an LAGC IFQ permit. Read the notice in the Federal Register 12:17

Massachusetts: Time to lift restrictions on state’s lobster processing industry

State lawmakers have a rare chance to give a sector of the state’s beleaguered fishing industry a boost and create a few jobs along the way. Tucked into the Senate version of the budget now being negotiated on Beacon Hill is an amendment that would allow state seafood wholesalers to expand their processing of raw and frozen lobsters, putting Bay State companies on par with their counterparts in other New England states and Canada’s Maritime provinces. Massachusetts firms operate under a confusing mishmash of lobster-processing regulations. A proposal by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, would allow for the processing of all manner of lobster tails and other parts in Massachusetts. click here to read the story. 09:16

Three Off Shore wind article’s regarding Mass, Long Island and Maryland

Massachusetts Readies for First Offshore Wind Procurement in June – Massachusetts is drawing closer to its first solicitation for wind energy in state waters, with a call for bids due in June. Click here    Offshore wind farm may not meet peak summer demand on South Fork – An offshore wind farm at the center of a LIPA plan to address spiking electric demand on the South Fork will produce excess energy when it’s needed least, and fall short of a sharply expanding summer peak load, a recent analysis found. Click here US Wind Tackles Viewshed Concerns For Maryland Offshore Wind Project – In order to resolve concerns about the visual impacts of its proposed wind farm off the coast of Maryland, developer US Wind has offered to move the first line of turbines farther offshore, as far as five miles to the east. Click here 15:55

Proposed regulations irk lobstermen

Bay State lobstermen fear that a new proposal — meant to save lobsters in warming southern New England waters — could hurt business by barring them from harvesting in prime summer months and putting tighter restrictions on the size of their catch. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will present a plan in New Bedford tonight on ways to maintain or increase the number of lobsters in waters from southern Massachusetts to Delaware. “Over the last 15 years we’ve seen a decline in lobster abundance, and we think that’s by and large a response to warming ocean temperatures,” said Dan McKiernan, deputy director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “That’s the challenge that we have — it’s trying to preserve lobster but doing it in a way that the industry can survive,” he added. Yet Massachusetts lobstermen argue that their pots are full and don’t see what the fuss is all about. video, read the story here 15:58

Scallop & Fishing Industry, Municipalities, Sue Feds to Ensure Seafood Interests Are Considered in NY Bight Wind Energy Project

new-york-wind-energy-area-boem-webThe Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which represents the majority of the limited access Atlantic scallop fleet, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to delay an anticipated lease sale for the development of a 26-mile long wind farm project approximately 11 miles off the coast of Long Island, scheduled for December 15, 2016. The story was broken today by the Associated Press.,, The filing alleges that the leasing process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) did not adequately consider the impact the proposed New York Wind Energy Area would have on the region’s fishermen. The site chosen for the 127 square mile wind farm is in the waters of the New York Bight on vital, documented scallop and squid fishing grounds,,,The lawsuit argues that fishermen’s concerns regarding the location of the lease area received “virtually no attention or analysis” from government officials ahead of the planned December 15 lease sale, despite fishing stakeholders repeatedly making their concerns known. Read the story here 11:40

How will battery of new regulations affect Southern New England’s lobster fishermen?

AR-160509878.jpg&MaxW=650Southern New England’s fading lobster fishery will be subject to a battery of new regulations, possibly closed fishing areas and stricter size standards, to try to save the crustacean’s population locally.,, But the catches on SouthCoast have not been as bad as the numbers may indicate, local lobstermen say. “The past three years have been the best I’ve ever seen,” said Jarrett Drake, a lobsterman in Marion for 26 years. “And that’s the same for everyone around me, the stock assessments are brought down by places off Virginia and Maryland that aren’t doing very well.” The overall decline, however, is here to stay, said Beth Casoni, associate executive director for the Mass. Lobstermen’s Association. “The environmental factors will continue to cause this decline, with what we know about warming,” Casoni said. “But it’s unfortunate that Massachusetts and Rhode Island Area Two, lobstermen are in this stock that is in such a downward spiral.” Read the rest here 14:47

Maine shrimp – get ’em while they’re hot!

Thanks to a study being conducted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, four trawlers and two trappers have been selected to collect samples of northern shrimp from the Gulf of Maine. Each participating trawler is required to conduct five research trips in one region, and is being compensated $500 per trip. Each would be allowed to sell up to 1,800 pounds of shrimp per trip. Good article! Read the article here 17:30

Northern Shrimp fishery could re-open on a limited basis

Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are taking comments from a series of public hearings and compiling them into recommendations. The shrimp fishery closed in 2013 and has yet to reopen because of concerns about shrimp population levels. Fishermen from harvested Maine shrimp prior to the collapse of the fishery.
Some of the guidelines being considered include establishing a system of state-by-state quotas and shortening the season to only 90 days. Video, Read the rest here 11:31

NOAA releases $8.3M to Massachusetts for groundfish disaster

cashEd Barrett, a commercial fisherman from Marshfield, thinks the money will help a lot of fishermen missed in the first round of disaster aid released last year.But, he said, it should have come sooner.“It’s been very frustrating. Our legislation worked hard to get money, but the process hasn’t gone easily,” Barrett said. “Come Christmastime, people were hoping to get it by then… People were waiting to pay their mortgage, their gear bills, their fuel bills, and it didn’t happen.” Read the rest here 14:40

Federal regulators consider lessening ban on single lobster pots

New regulations set by the National Marine Fisheries Service ban the use of lobstering equipment from Feb. 1 to April 30 off the Massachusetts coast. The goal is to reduce the chances of whales becoming entangled in the gear.The also ban single pots – or one trap per buoy line – outright starting June 1. Lobstermen would therefore have to tether multiple pots along a single line. But the state Division of Marine Fisheries is challenging the federal rules to allow single pots close to shore in three areas. Read the rest here 11:41

Rome Packing Co., Inc., of East Providence Recalls Crab Meat

 A company is recalling crab meat they sold to several states after finding it was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The Rhode Island Department of Health said on Friday that Rome Packing Co., Inc., of East Providence, issued the voluntary recall of several kinds of fresh and frozen crab meat sold under the Ocean’s Catch brand. The meat was distributed in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California to retail stores including but not limited to: Shaw’s Supermarkets, Legal Sea Foods, and Harbor Fish Market. Read the rest here 20:06

From New Bedford Harbor Development Authority – Massachusetts Groundfish Disaster Aid Update – Phase II

The Massachusetts  Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is developing the Phase 2 State Specific Plan. Read it in the Press Releases..For additional information you may call Jeffrey Stieb, Executive Director, New Bedford Harbor Development Commission 11:27

Massachusetts: “Hey ! your going the wrong way.” Renewable Energy Failures Mount, While in RI,,,

wogangsterumdieeckeknallen-hauptfotoRemember Governor Patrick (the guy fighting Commerce for Fish Aid?) wanted the Massachusetts taxpayers to build the 91 million dollar “ship to no where” in 2010? Governor Patrick proposed a specialized “jack up” vessel for installing offshore wind farms. Who exactly is determining the direction of spending hundreds of millions of Massachusetts taxpayer dollars on ocean wind turbine projects ? You’ve gotta Read more here! 19:21

Deepwater Wind critic alleges mishandling of public hearings   The complaint filed on July 11 centers on Shields’ testimony at a CRMC subcommittee hearing on Feb. 27, when he alleges the subcommittee members prevented him and two other individuals from testifying on the potential negative economic impact of the wind farm, while proponents of Deepwater Wind were allowed to comment on project costs and economics without interruption. 20:40