Tag Archives: Meghan Lapp

Video: Fishing industry expresses concern over the increase in offshore wind farming

>click to watch< 10:32

Wind turbines and fishing nets fight for offshore space

Vineyard Wind,,,  In 2010, BOEM launched an initiative dubbed “Smart from the Start,” which aimed to steer wind development away from prime fishing areas, shipping lanes and sensitive marine habitat prior to leasing.,,, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “There are some squid fishermen, mostly from Rhode Island, and some lobstermen who fish in there, but the value of the area’s annual fish landings is modest, especially compared to the lease areas proposed off of New York.”,,, Also important: Few members of New Bedford’s scallop fleet fish in the waters off Massachusetts.,,,But if scallopers can live with offshore wind development off Massachusetts, others are vehemently opposed. Rhode Island fishermen trawl for squid in the area.  >click to read< 09:19

Vineyard Wind and R.I. strike bargain. R.I. Fishery Advisory Board chairman doesn’t like settlement. Nobody does.

“I just think it was a [expletive] deal for the industry, but it’s the deal that we got,” Newport, R.I. lobsterman Lanny Dellinger, chairman of the Rhode Island Fisheries Advisory Board, told The Times.
“I just don’t think the negotiations were set up fairly,” he said.,, Richard Fuka, Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance president, said squid fishermen, who comprise the most lucrative part of the Rhode Island fishing industry, weren’t represented on the board and were therefore cut out of negotiations. When asked if Vineyard Wind was aware squid fishermen may have not had a seat at the table for negotiations, Vineyard Wind spokesman Scott Farmelant declined to talk about any part of the deal and referred The Times to the Vineyard Wind release. >click to read<16:20

Rhode Island Approves Vineyard Wind Project, but, the fishing industry sure don’t like it.

The offer to compensate Rhode Island fishermen harmed by the latest offshore wind project was disliked by just about everyone in the packed auditorium, but the deal was ultimately approved for fear it might slip away. “We’ve been backed into a corner. Is there a way out of it? No,” said Grant Moore, fisherman and president of the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association.,, Meghan Lapp from fish processor Seafreeze Ltd. of North Kingstown and Point Judith submitted a petition signed by 170 workers in the commercial fishing industry who oppose the compensation plan. Various video’s, >click to read<13:54

Fishermen Approve Controversial Compensation Deal

“Many of the commercial fishermen gathered at the Holiday Inn on Route 1 were displeased with the agreement. Dockside buyers of seafood felt excluded from the process and wanted compensation for the loss of squid and other seafood moving through their fish houses. Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., which owns four fishing boats and two processors at Davisville Pier in North Kingstown, said the new offer was only made known two days earlier and the fishing industry needs to comment. “There has been no public meeting that has heard public comment on the proposal that is before the FAB today,” Lapp said before Dellinger cut her off.” (Go to minute mark 24 to watch). Fishermen who showed up were not allowed to speak. Their livelihoods are on the line and they weren’t given the time of day. The FAB finalized negotiations with Vineyard Wind on Feb 15 and CRMC signed on Feb 21, without anyone knowing. The final documents were made public on Feb 22, and this meeting took place on Feb 23. >Video, click to read<09:19

Squid fishermen in Narragansett concerned about offshore wind farm

With calamari being Rhode Island’s official appetizer, there’s no doubt squid is a lucrative industry in the Ocean State. Ask a group of squid fishermen what it’s worth and they’ll be the first tell you that it’s priceless. Then they’ll say it’s worth about $1.2 billion. However, those fishermen and the fish houses that process and freeze the squid are concerned about an offshore wind farm that will be built in the waters where they make their livelihood. “Getting the public aware of what is potentially happening to their food source is crucial,” said Meghan Lapp of Fisheries Liason of SeaFreeze Limited, one of the many fish houses in Narragansett. >click to read<18:18

RI fishing professionals worry offshore wind farm would harm industry

Fishermen across the Ocean State are worried a proposed offshore wind farm in the Rhode Island Sound would harm the state’s fishing industry. The Coastal Resources Management Council will vote on Jan. 22 whether to approve Vineyard Wind’s proposal to install 84 wind turbines off of Martha’s Vineyard to supply power to Massachusetts. “This is a losing proposition for the fishing industry- big time,” said Lanny Dellinger, who is the chair of the state’s fisheries advisory board. >click to read<20:33

Fishing industry says it doesn’t endorse Vineyard Wind’s ‘consensus plan’ for transit lanes

The fishing industry said Vineyard Wind distorted its words on Monday. A release by Vineyard Wind said the offshore wind company endorsed a “consensus” transit corridor plan supported by the fishing industry, but multiple people within the fishing industry told The Standard-Times they didn’t support or endorse the plan. The consensus within the industry is a 4-mile wide transit lane. Vineyard Wind’s endorsed plan called for 2-mile wide corridors. “It’s frustrating for the fishing because we’re coming with options even though we’re losing tremendous ground and we’re losing a lot of traditional transit (lanes),” said Meghan Lapp, a fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd. “But we’re still trying to come to the table to make something work and in light of this press release, it doesn’t really seem like it’s being reciprocated.” >click to read<09:46

Vineyard Wind loses backing of a fishing board, decision may have serious consequences for proposed offshore wind farm

The Fishermen’s Advisory Board, which advises the Coastal Resources Management Council on fishing issues related to offshore wind, voted unanimously Monday to deny its support out of fear that the layout of the project’s 84 towering wind turbines in Rhode Island Sound would close off fishing grounds that are considered some of the most productive for the state’s commercial fleet.,,, The disagreement could have broader implications for the offshore wind industry and its relations with fishing communities all along the Northeast coast that are already fearful of being shunted aside in the interests of new energy development. >click to read<20:53

New England Fishery Management Council scale back Atlantic herring catch

The New England Fishery Management Council unanimously approved a new management approach that will dramatically cut the catch limits for herring over the next three years, but the regulatory board stopped short of temporarily shutting down the fishery, as one option on the table would have required. The new rules adopted by the council, which put in place a formula for setting annual catch limits, were applauded by some environmental advocates as recognition of the fish’s key role in the larger ocean ecosystem. But the decision was made over the objections of groups representing commercial fishing boats that catch herring and lobstermen who use the fish as bait. >click to read<08:02

Atlantic herring quotas may be cut again

Later this month, fisheries regulators will decide whether to adopt a new set of regulations, known as Amendment 8, that could include restricting fishing areas for the herring and could, for the first time, account for the fish’s place in the larger ecosystem. The New England Fishery Management Council’s Atlantic herring committee will meet next week to vote on a recommendation to the full council, which meets the following week. Consideration of the new management system, and the restrictions it would bring, follows the announcement in August that next year’s quota for Atlantic herring had been cut by 55 percent from its original level. >click to read<16:06

Bay State Wind alters layout for offshore wind farm, but fisheries call foul

Bay State Wind LLC is changing the turbine layout of its 800-MW Bay State Offshore Wind Project to accommodate the U.S. commercial fishing industry’s ability to work between turbines. But fisheries say the changes are too little, too late and underscore their growing frustration with the offshore wind sector. However, the commercial fishing industry is not satisfied with Bay State Wind’s changed layout. Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Rhode Island-based frozen seafood producer Seafreeze Ltd., said one-mile-wide transit lanes can make it dangerous for trawl vessels to fish with their nets without hitting other boats or project infrastructure. Buffer zones for each side of a transit lane are also needed due to potential radar interference from the turbines. >click to read< 09:48

Why the fishing industry is against offshore wind farms near Ocean City

Representatives say wind farms could cause harm by driving marine wildlife away, disturbing the ocean environment and making navigation more difficult for fishers and mariners. “Now with the current offshore wind leasing process, we have these fishing grounds being sold right out from under us,” said Meghan Lapp during a recent presentation to the Ocean City Town Council. But marine biologists and wind farm officials say the impact won’t be that severe. “I think they took an emotional approach to the problem. … So there was some degree of misinformation,” said Salvo Vitale, general counsel for U.S. Wind, one of the offshore wind energy companies involved in the Maryland project. The town’s officials feel very strongly that this project was misrepresented to them because the size of the wind turbines has increased since the initial proposal,,, >click to read<10:18

Offshore Wind Projects’ Impact on Fishing Grounds off the Ocean City Coast Discussed

After hearing a strong presentation from a noted expert on the impacts of wind farms on commercial fishing, the Mayor and Council seem inclined to strengthen opposition to the wind farms off the resort coast in general.,, Monday’s presentation was spearheaded by Meghan Lapp, who is the fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., a Rhode Island-based company that is the largest producer of sea-frozen fish on the east coast. The highly-decorated Lapp also serves on numerous fishery management councils up and down the east coast including the mid-Atlantic region. Joining Lapp during Monday’s presentation to the Mayor and Council were a handful of local commercial fishermen, most of whom have been working the seas off the Ocean City coast for generations.  >click to read<09:46

Offshore wind topic blows back onto Ocean City agenda

Offshore wind farms near Ocean City’s coast will again come up for discussion at Monday’s Town Council meeting. Meghan Lapp, a fisheries liaison for Seabreeze Seafreeze Ltd. in Rhode Island, will outline concerns with how wind farms may affect commercial fishing, according to the agenda document. The presentation will also feature local fisherman George Topping. The addition of wind farms could restrict fishing areas, according to the presentation outline in the agenda documents. Deepwater Wind and US Wind received approval in 2017 to construct two wind turbine projects off of Ocean City. >click to read<09:56

New MA Offshore Wind Farm Could Jeopardize Squid Fishery

Members of the commercial fishing community are worried a proposed utility-scale offshore wind farm in Massachusetts could impact Rhode Island’s lucrative squid industry. Massachusetts recently selected a project bid from Vineyard Wind to construct and deploy 100 turbines about 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in a federal wind energy area. However, Meghan Lapp, spokeswoman for a Rhode Island-based commercial fishing company called Seafreeze Ltd., said the project, which requires underwater cables to connect the project to the regional electricl grid, was sited directly through and adjacent to squid fishing grounds. >click to read<07:52

‘Just one more nail in the coffin,’ Fishermen react to Vineyard Wind announcement

Ed Anthen-Washburn, the Director of The New Bedford Port Authority, received a constant stream of calls Wednesday afternoon after the announcements of offshore winf contracts.,,,”I think its fair to say to say the general reaction in the fishing industry is shock,” Anthes-Washburn said.,, The Vineyard Wind award for the power purchase agreement with Massachusetts was the worst-case scenario for Rhode Island commercial fishing vessels, for all squid vessels and really for the worlds calamari supply,” said Meghan Lapp, a fisheries liason for Seafreeze Ltd, which owns vessels that harvest squid, mackerel, butterfish, and herring. Lapp said Rhode Island lands more squid than the rest of the East Coast combined. >click to read< 00:08

Washington must come to grips with offshore wind conflicts

Offshore wind energy developers have momentum building for them in East Coast waters. But other maritime industries want to ease up on the throttle. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently held another round of public meetings in New Jersey and New York, gathering information for what could be a future round of lease offerings in the New York Bight. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has promised to help fast track future permitting. .,,, Commercial fishermen have a case in federal court over the Statoil lease, and litigation seems certain to reignite.  “We have the Magnuson Act (federal fisheries law) because we want to have American fishing grounds for American fishermen,” said Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for fishing company Seafreeze Ltd., North Kingstown, R.I. “BOEM is plowing ahead regardless. They have not slowed down.” >click to read<22:42

Plans to line the shore of Rhode Island with wind turbines threaten fishermen livelihoods

When Greg Mataronas steams out of Narragansett Bay as early as 3 a.m., he is headed for grounds he knew as an eight-year-old.,,  there is a new force threatening Mataronas’ ability to provide for his wife and children: offshore wind energy.,,, “All of our concerns fall on deaf ears,” Lapp said. “I personally have been meeting with BOEM for three years.” Lapp added that she gave “confidential business information” from over 20 fishing vessels to BOEM to demonstrate that there was heavy fishing activity on one particular lease site, but she said BOEM issued the lease regardless. >click to read<10:29

Support local seafood before it’s too late

“Fishermen are the farmers of sea,” (March 17), states fisheries liaison Meghan Lapp in the documentary “Fishing Wars: Drowning in Regulation.” Oppressive federal regulations, inaccurate science and low quotas are crushing commercial fishing in Stonington and other communities. Fish stocks are at healthy levels, yet 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. And 97 percent of those imports are not inspected by the FDA. Are you worried yet? I am. >click to read< 08:18

Forum in Mystic focuses on the plight of local fishermen

Local third-generation fishermen are on the brink of losing their businesses because of over-regulation by the federal government, but the public can help by writing to their legislators and buying locally caught seafood.  That was the message of a public forum and panel discussion organized by Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, held Wednesday at the Mystic Luxury Cinemas. The forum began with a presentation from Meghan Lapp, an expert on the commercial fishing industry and its regulations.  “Fishermen are not anti-regulation, but when the regulatory burdens >click to read<08:35

Fishing Wars – Drowning in Regulations, Viewing and Panel Discussion, Mystic Ct., March 14

Pushing Propaganda: Underwater video shows marine life growing at wind farm

Offshore wind proponents are touting new undersea footage that suggests a vibrant marine habitat is growing around the nation’s first offshore wind farm — a five-turbine operation off Rhode Island’s waters.,, The brief underwater footage is juxtaposed with longer testimonials from local recreational fishermen and charter boat owners who say the wind farm has been a boon for them since Deepwater Wind opened it more than a year ago. But commercial fishermen are notably absent from the video and it doesn’t acknowledge the experiences of Rhode Island fishermen who have had their trawling gear damaged by buried power cables,,, >click to read< >click to watch video<14:00

Feds vote to protect more corals in Atlantic Ocean

Federal fishing regulators on Tuesday approved a compromise they said would expand the amount of coral habitat preserved in the Atlantic Ocean while also protecting fishing interests. The New England Fishery Management Council voted on coral protections in an area south of Georges Bank, which is one of the most important commercial fishing areas in the Northeast. The decision came about seven months after the council approved protections in another key New England fishing area, the Gulf of Maine, in June. >click here to read< 17:50 

Scare-mongering Big Brother on America’s fishing boats hurts those who know the industry best

The plague on the commercial fishing industry isn’t “overfishing,” as environmental extremists and government officials claim. The real threats to Northeastern groundfishermen are self-perpetuating bureaucrats, armed with outdated junk science, who’ve manufactured a crisis that endangers a way of life older than the colonies themselves. Hardworking crews and captains have the deepest stake in responsible fisheries management — it’s their past, present, and future — but federal paper-pushers monitor them ruthlessly like registered sex offenders. >click here to read<09:47

RI Delegation Commends Mid on Squid, introduce legislation in House and Senate – The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Fairness Act

After the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) recently voted 16-4 against a proposed squid buffer zone framework off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts that would have negatively impacted Rhode Island fishermen, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline commended the council. And this week Reed introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate and Langevin introduced identical legislation in U.S. House of Representatives to give Rhode Island a seat at the council table going forward so that the state and local fishermen have a direct say over matters that impact them. The Rhode Island Fishermen’s Fairness Act, which is cosponsored by Whitehouse and Cicilline, would add Rhode Island to the list of seven states with voting representation on the MAFMC, click here to read press release 19:42

Vote against fishing restrictions seen as win for RI, Galilee

At its meeting Tuesday, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted 16-4 to discontinue a proposed squid buffer zone framework off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, according to Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd “There were a good number of commercial fishermen, squid fishermen present. There were also a good number of people from Nantucket present. Basically everybody that wanted to speak got a chance to speak, and the council did the right thing,” she said. All members of the Narragansett Town Council had signed a letter Dec. 4 requesting the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council “reject further discussion of a buffer zone for the summer squid fishery off Nantucket.” click here to read the story 15:46

Environmentalists Are Wrong About Menhaden Fishery

Fishing companies are at odds with Rhode Island environmental advocacy groups over proposed changes for the menhaden fishing industry, Changes to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden are up for a vote at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Maryland this Monday and Tuesday. Meghan Lapp, fishery liaison for the Rhode Island-based Seafreeze Ltd, said that temporary plan shouldn’t be implemented because it’s based off of science that isn’t applicable to menhaden. click here to read the story 12:19

RNC SUPPORTS THE NORTHEAST COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY

RI National Committeewoman Lee Ann Sennick sponsored a Resolution Supporting the Northeast Commercial Fishing Industry at the recent Summer Meeting of the Republican National Committee.  Receiving widespread support, the resolution (full text of which can be seen (click here) was passed unanimously by the 168 person body. Sennick, who has professional ties to the industry, has formed a Republican Fisheries Coalition along with Richard Fuka, President of the RI Fisherman’s Alliance and Meghan Lapp, political liaison for Seafreeze Ltd. “Rich and Meghan reached out to the RI Republican Party because they have serious concerns for the future of the industry and the economic impact on our state. Those concerns have not been satisfactorily addressed by RI’s Democrat Congressional Delegation,” stated Sennick. click here to read the press release 07:10

Trade groups want 10-year requirement removed from Magnuson-Stevens Act

As Congress gets ready to address reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, representatives from commercial fishing interests are urging lawmakers to revisit some of the current law’s regulations they feel have hindered the industry. In particular, they’re urging officials to do away with language that caps rebuilding plans for overfished species to 10 years. It’s an arbitrary figure that has too rigidly applied across all federally managed species, said Lori Steele, the executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, at a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. click here to read the story 10:50

The Magnuson Stevens Act and its Ten Year Rebuilding Timeline: Science or Fiction? By Meghan Lapp – click here to read the article