Tag Archives: Mayor Jon Mitchell

New Bedford launches seafood branding campaign and website

For generations New Bedford fishermen withstood the elements to do their jobs. Through rain storms they fished. In choppy waters they fished. Against harsh winds they fished. So it was fitting that the unveiling of the city’s newly-created seafood brand was delivered in the rain at the Custom House Square in downtown New Bedford Thursday evening. “We are the biggest, the baddest, the most comprehensive fishing port in America,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We are going to scream from the mountain tops that we are the biggest fishing port in America. We are a real seaport and real fishing port. We want everyone to know that.” click here to read the story, click here to visit www.NewBedfordSeafood.org 09:31

Court documents suggest Carlos Rafael may sell all permits

Documents filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday suggest that Carlos Rafael’s time as the New Bedford’s “codfather” may be coming to an end. As part of a motion requesting a sentencing delay, Rafael’s attorney sought “additional time to resolve a critical component” in the case, specifically, “the possibility of a global settlement, which may involve Mr. Rafael exiting the commercial fishing business.”The request suggests not only the 13 permits subject to forfeiture, but all of Rafael’s fishing permits may wind up with someone else before the sentencing. click here to read the story 21:23

Loss of ‘Codfather’ permits could hurt New Bedford

By late morning just before Easter weekend, three fishing vessels lined up at the docks to unload their catch, and they all belonged to one man — the local mogul known as the “Codfather,” Carlos Rafael. “It’s a good haul,” a passing auction worker at the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction said under her breath, as crew members, some still in their orange waterproof bibs, unloaded the ice-packed fish. But now, Rafael’s recent conviction on federal charges that he cheated fishing regulations to boost his profits is putting his many vessels and permits up for grabs — potentially distributing them to ports along the New England coast. That would deliver an economic blow to New Bedford and the people who depend on the business created by Rafael’s fleet. If his permits are seized as expected, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the regulatory agency known as NOAA, could reissue the permits to fishermen elsewhere in the region. “There are a lot more innocent people who could get punished by this,” said Jim Kendall, a former fisherman who runs New Bedford Seafood Consulting. click here to read the story 09:00

Carlos Rafael’s guilty plea in federal court draws mixed reactions

There was a mixture of emotions and reactions among members of the local fishing industry over the guilty plea Carlos that “The Codfather” Rafael entered in Federal Court Thursday. Some expressed a certain amount of sympathy for Rafael in the highly regulated business. Some didn’t. This doesn’t come as a surprise,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. Ever since Carlos’ arrest became public it was clear the government had him dead to rights.” “The more important question is what will happen to the permits. That determination has been left up to NOAA. Jim Kendall, president of New Bedford Seafood Consulting, had the same concern about the permits. He noted that other boat owners have been stripped of their permits. “But I am not sure that it means anything for us,” he said. Read the story here 18:18

Mitchell set to testify to Congress about impact of marine monument this morning

Weather permitting, Mayor Jon Mitchell on Wednesday will be in Washington giving testimony to Congress about an underwater marine monument which former President Obama created with a stroke of the pen in 2016 over the protests of the fishing community. The spans nearly 5,000 square miles 150 miles off Cape Cod, and it was hailed by environmentalists for preserving enormous underwater mountains and vast, deep canyons only now being explored. Three years earlier, an underwater remotely-operated vehicle sent back pictures of incredible life forms and geological features. The NRDC was among the leaders of many organizations that jumped at the opportunity to preserve the monument against human activity, fishing in particular. read the rest here 07:18

Mayor Jon Mitchell: Rafael arrest not the end of New Bedford fishing industry

Mayor Jon Mitchell said he does not believe that Carlos Rafael’s arrest for conspiracy and falsifying records to skirt federal fishing quotas will result in the demise of New Bedford’s fishing industry. “I’ve heard a lot of talk that this is the death of fishing in New Bedford but I think that is wildly speculative and way overstated,” Mitchell said Monday. “This is not going to shake out in weeks, but years.” Mitchell said that the fate of New Bedford’s fishing industry will be in fuller focus after the criminal case against Rafael is decided. Former Mayor Scott Lang said that Rafael’s practices are not at all reflective of the many smaller fishing operations in the area and praised the efforts the region’s fishermen who have complied with what he described as two decades of challenging regulations. Read the rest here 08:19

Fishing mogul’s arrest ripples across New Bedford waterfront – What about the quota?

AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Frustration and sadness moved across the waterfront Friday as news spread that Carlos Rafael and his bookkeeper had been arrested by the Justice Department and charged with making false filings to the government as a means of skirting fisheries laws. One waterfront business manager who did not wish to be identified said that Friday was a “sad day” for the fishing industry, one that is going to hurt in a lot of ways. Seafood consultant James Kendall said he is worried about the effect Rafael’s arrest is going to have on the reputation of the city and its important fishing industry. Mayor Jon Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor, said he had read the affidavit from an undercover agent on the case. “Based on my experience if the allegations are true, then he’s going to federal prison for a long time,” he said. Read the rest here 08:23

Mayor Jon Mitchell: New Bedford would be great home for Northeast Fisheries Science Center

If NOAA Fisheries should decide to move the Northeast Fisheries Science Center out of Woods Hole, Mayor Jon Mitchell said New Bedford would be just right for a new home. Mitchell calls the city “the best place in the Northeast by far.” For about a year, the Commerce Department, which contains NOAA, has been assessing the adequacy and the condition of the various buildings that constitute the laboratory. NOAA spokeswoman Teri Frady said repairs, renovations or replacement are all possible options and any definitive direction is still a long way off. Read the article here 08:00

Fishery disaster relief a difficult effort – A Story of the Have’s, and the Have Not’s

sct logoFormer Mayor Scott Lang, who criticized NOAA for setting up a slow process, said the aid plan is becoming “a Christmas tree, trying to do too much with too little for too many people.” “Only 100 or so permit holders of the approximately 700 federal groundfish permit holders in Massachusetts would receive direct federal assistance,” Keating wrote. “The plan also neglects the crew members and supporting shoreside industries who continue to struggle to stay financially solvent as a result of the groundfish disaster.” What a mess! Read more here 07:42