Tag Archives: Mike Gambardella

Industry expert Meghan Lapp says consumers have a role in saving local seafood

Finding fresh, locally caught fish isn’t easy, but if educated consumers are persistent, they will not only help local fishermen, they’ll also help rebuild weakened domestic seafood markets that have been deeply gouged by imports and regulations. Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Seafreeze Ltd., a producer and trader of frozen seafood in North Kingstown, explained these points and more in her presentation, “Sea to Table: Bringing the Bounty of the Sea to You,” before an audience of about 40 people at the La Grua Center Thursday night. In attendance were state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, First Selectman Rob Simmons and a number of longtime local fishermen. The Stonington Economic Development Commission sponsored Lapp’s presentation. click here to read the story 08:22

Sea to Table – Meghan Lapp to speak in Stonington July 27

On July 27 we will be hosting a presentation by Meghan Lapp, a fishing industry spokesperson and activist from Narragansett, R.I.  She will have an interactive discussion with some audience members, including Mike Gambardella of Gambardella Fish Wholesale, and some of the fishermen, on problems faced by the industry and how people can support the industry regionally and locally.  She will also explain why most of our seafood is imported while the waters off our shores are teaming with fish.  There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions at the end of her talk. The presentation will be held at the LaGrua Center on Water Street in Stonington borough and starts at 7 PM.  Admission is free.  Please come out and show your support for our local fishermen! Click here for more information 12:02

No Fish Today

The fishing industry in Connecticut in under assault from foreign fish imports. Owner of wholesale fish in Stonington/East Haven Mike Gambardella writes, somewhat frantically, that consumers don’t realize that the import seafood market is at 96 percent: “Our fishermen are throwing wild-caught healthy, chemical free, dead fish overboard daily.” The regulatory apparatus in the United States is simply crushing local fishing industries,,, Former U.S. Representative Rob Simmons, now First Selectman of Stonington, has joined the struggle to remove deathly federal regulations from New England fishermen. But other members of Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional delegation, including the state’s two publicity seeking U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal – now busying themselves seeking to impeach Trump —  have done little but console Gambardella and others with the usual political bromides click here to read the story 18:05

Fishermen make waves after Scup limits are lowered

Most of the fish caught by the Stonington fleet is processed at Gambardella Wholesale Seafood and the talk there today is about the change in Scup regulations. Two boxes of Scup processed at the plant weigh about 120 pounds which is almost two thirds of what fisherman are now allowed to haul in a day. “Two hundred pounds. We clean the net we get 200 pounds,” said fisherman Bob Guzzo. “They’re so prevalent we’re catching them with six inch mesh which is unbelievable.” Guzzo says he ends up having to throw back perfectly good fish so he doesn’t go over the daily catch limits. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection lowered the Scup limits on Sunday because the summer quota which is a lot less than the winter quota is already at 72 percent. “Back in 2005 the fishery was overfished and it’s been rebuilt since then so they just want to keep it there,” said Mark Alexander with the DEEP. “I know the fishermen are frustrated because there are a lot of fish out there.” It’s not just Scup. Fishermen say Sea Bass are also thriving. Video, click here to read the story 22:03

Fishermen oppose camera mandate – could potentially infringe on their Fourth Amendment rights

A proposed mandate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could require fishermen to purchase a camera monitoring system to ensure that they are adhering to regulations — a requirement that local fishermen and First Selectman Rob Simmons see as a violation of their rights. Based on a study done by the NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, electronic monitoring would potentially cost the fishermen around $500 per day per boat and require them to pay $60,000 for startup costs and annual maintenance of the equipment. While it’s less costly on a daily basis than the $700 per day cost of having a person doing at-sea monitoring on board a vessel, critics say the startup costs alone have the potential to put local fishermen out of business. Aside from the costs of the proposed mandate, many see it as a violation of privacy. click here to continue reading the story 08:07

Fisherman hoping bumper sticker will reel in Trump

The Stonington town dock once featured a dozen or more vibrant commercial fishing  boats. Now, it’s down to three or four. “My revenue has gone down probably 75 percent,” says Joel Hovanesian, a fisherman for 45 years. “The ocean’s loaded with fish, but they don’t allow us to catch it,” said an aggravated Robert Guzzo, another longtime fisherman.”This year, we’re only allowed 120,000 pounds of fish,” said Mike Gambardella, a fish wholesaler, with businesses in Stonington and East Haven. When business was bustling, Gambardella Wholesale Fish would ship out 5,000 cartons, with 60 pounds of fish in each, every week. Now, on a really good week, it’s 300 cartons. Gambardella says the association is hoping the President listens and, at the very least, they can schedule a meeting with Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment head, who is now President Trump’s leader of the Small Business Administration. Video, read the story here 08:00

Fishermen hope bumper sticker gets Trump’s attention

For struggling Town Dock fishermen, President Trump’s promise to eliminate regulations and spur the economy means they might finally have success in their long fight to rescind the catch restrictions they say are not only unfair and based on bad science but are putting them out of business. So in an effort to attract Trump’s attention and help spread their message in Washington, they have printed up a bumper sticker that will be appearing on vehicles here in coming days. The sticker features a picture of Trump giving a thumbs-up next to a fishing boat with the slogan “Make Commercial Fishing Great Again,” a spin on Trump’s popular campaign slogan “Make America Great Again. (Mike) Gambardella said if fishermen just had the chance to explain the long-standing problem to Trump, “his head would spin.” Read the story here 20:36

3/29/2017 As a point of clarification from the article  that was posted in the newspaper in CT about the bumper stickers being made here, I need to clear something up. There was a reference to the state allocation issues and the disparity between the quota’s allowed southern states VS northern states. I, in no way shape or form am looking for the quota’s to be re distributed from the southern states to the northern states. The idea of this campaign is to shed light on the issues that affect us all. From south to north we are all affected by the unrelenting regulatory policies that have been moved forward by our out of control federal agencies that have miss managed our industry for decades. We are all suffering from the same problems, and now may be our last chance to bring these issues to light. We must ALL work TOGETHER to turn the tide so that ALL fishermen benefit regardless of where we reside, or where we fish. I hope this clears up any confusion about where we stand on this issue. Here’s to a prosperous future! Michael Gambardella 18:20

Connecticut fishermen are upset (pissed off) with restrictions

Connecticut fishermen are afraid the industry their grandfathers and great grandfathers started may come to an end. The crew of the Regulus just returned to Stonington with a haul of squid from the Hudson Canyon on Wednesday and talked with Eyewitness News.  It’s near the continental shelf, which is a long way from their home port Regulus Captain Joseph Gilbert said they’ll be OK with their catch on Wednesday. “It’s getting tougher and tougher we end to have more fishing season in order to get by,” Gilbert said. Connecticut’s fishing fleet is one of the oldest in the country. But, now these fishermen are saying the federal regulations are killing them. “Our commercial fisherman are actually throwing more fish overboard than they’re allowed to bring in,” Mike Gambardella, who is a fish wholesaler, said. Gambardella’s family has been selling fish in Connecticut for more than a century.  He explained as federal regulators reduce the types and numbers of fish they can catch. It doesn’t make economic sense to stay in business.  Video, read the story here 07:51

Further cut in fluke quota puts Stonington fishermen, wholesaler in peril

Imagine one of the breadwinners in a typical two-earner household is suddenly hit with a 26 percent pay cut. Then, just as the family has adjusted to the leaner budget, the same worker’s pay gets lopped another 30 percent. Their landlord already has reduced their rent, and the family has cut corners wherever they could, so how will they make ends meet now? That’s basically the question Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella Wholesale Fish at Stonington Town Dock, is asking himself. He faces a new 30 percent reduction in the supply of fluke, one of his main products, next year, following the 26 percent cut he’s already dealing with this year that’s cost him about $100,000 in revenue. It also forced him to lay off one of his workers and reduce pay for himself and his remaining six workers, and negotiate reduced rent on the building he rents from the town. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “we’re fighting a losing battle. If I lose another $100,000 next year, I can’t afford to stay in business.” The new 30 percent cut in the supply of fluke — also called summer flounder — was announced Aug. 15 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fluke and other species for the East Coast along with a larger body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but the council basically has the controlling authority. Read the story here 11:14

Stonington fish wholesaler calls on Sen. Blumenthal for help

Ten years ago Gambardella Wholesale Seafood would take in fish from eight to ten boats a day. This week they only had one boat. The Stonington fish processing plant sits silent more often than not these days which is why owner Mike Gambardella invited Senatory Richard Blumenthal to meet with him and fishermen on Friday. “I need help so bad,” he tells the senator. “It’s terrible.” Gambardella says outdated federal fishing regulations are sinking his family business. The fish aren’t coming through his doors because fisherman are limited on what they can reel in. Read the rest here. 17:53