Tag Archives: New Bedford

‘It’s the big guys that want it’: New Bedford scallopers leery of leasing proposal

“A typical full-time [Limited Access] scallop vessel harvests its annual scallop allocation in approximately 70 days, leaving vessels inactive and tied to the dock more than 80 percent of the year,” the organization wrote in a July 2020 letter to the NEFMC. “The only growth option is to buy another permit, which means buying another vessel. “Although one vessel could easily harvest the allocation of two LA permits, the fleet has no flexibility to do so,” it continues. “In the absence of a leasing program, smaller, independent owner/operators are not able to grow their operations in reasonable increments.” But to Manuel Vieira, owner and captain of The Guidance, arguments revolving around flexibility were merely pretty words. “They say there will be flexibility because that’s what they think the [council] wants to hear,” Vieira said in Portuguese. “But it won’t pan out well for the little guy.”Video, >click to read< 15:39

America’s biggest scallopers want changes to regulations preventing consolidation

“The bottom line is this proposal is about global control, from the switch to the fish to the dish,” said Alan Cass, a former New Bedford scalloper who began his career as a deckhand and retired as a boat owner. “The resource will be at the mercy of a consolidated effort by these corporations to control ocean-to-table and economically injure the small entities in this industry.” For nearly 30 years, scallopers like Cass and his son, who followed him into the industry, have gone to sea under a set of regulations that limit both the amount of scallops that can be harvested each year and the share of that harvest that belongs to the industry’s biggest players. Roy Enoksen, the president of Eastern Fisheries and a co-owner of the nation’s largest scallop fleet, said leasing would allow him to stack scallop allocations onto more efficient vessels and save on maintenance costs. >click to read< 13:10

Straus speaks out against proposed changes to scallop permit leases

Plans to allow scallopers to lease out their fishing permits to others have been criticized by South Coast legislators, including Mattapoisett State. Rep. Bill Straus. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker dated May 6, the representatives wrote that they are “urging caution regarding the practice of fishing permit leasing”, the practice where scallop boats lease out their fishing days to other vessels rather then go out to sea themselves. The letter was also signed by Reps. Antonio Cabral, Chris Hendricks, Paul Schmid, and Chris Markey. Current regulations limit one permit per vessel. The state plan, from the New England Fishery Management Council, could allow fishermen to extend those leases and time at sea. > click to read < 13:15

‘I don’t want to be a Wal-Mart fisherman’: Scallopers sound off about permit leasing/consolidation

The New England Fisheries Management Council held a scoping meeting Wednesday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on its proposed Scallop Fishery Management Plan adjustment. Should it go through, the plan would allow scallopers to lease out portions of their days at sea license to other boats, causing concern among small fisherfolk and portside business-owners alike. “I was born a fisherman’s daughter and became a fisherman’s wife,” said Evelyn Sklar at the meeting. “And now I’m a fisherman’s mother and a fisherman’s grandmother. “I hope I can die in peace, because this doesn’t belong in the fishing family industry.” “When consolidation happened [in the groundfish fleet], the community dried up around it,” “As consolidation happened with draggers, they were forced out of business,” said Justin Mello, captain of the Temptress. “I can see the same thing happening. >click to read< 08:12

New Bedford Scallopers tell fishery managers they don’t want leasing

More than 110 attendees, a mix of fishermen, shoreside business owners, marine scientists, attorneys and vessel owners, filled a meeting room at the Whaling Museum on Wednesday for the first of two public meetings in New Bedford on the leasing proposal. Those who spoke in opposition drew loud applause, while those who spoke in support drew little or none. “There was a time in this industry when a father owned a boat and he taught his son, and his son was able to rise up … buy and operate his own boat, and you know, those days are gone,” said Tyler Miranda, a New Bedford captain of two scallopers. “I think that if [leasing] does move forward and is developed, it will take even further away from the family and community dynamic that fishing is and always was — and will make it more corporate.” >click to read< 13:50

Gear to Go Fishing Supply opens in New Bedford’s Kilburn Mill

Kilburn Mill has added an experienced fisherman to its roster of knowledgeable vendors with the opening of Gear to Go Fishing Supply on the first floor. “I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Peter Farland, co-owner of the new fishing gear shop. “I’m out there fishing and using the products myself.” Farland comes from a family of fisherman. His father, as well as eight of his uncles, all fish commercially. The New Bedford native remembers his first fishing trip with his dad when he was only 9 years old: a three-day scalloping excursion out of Gloucester. Farland’s fiancè, AnaMaria Baptista, 34, co-owns the store. “She’s like my manager slash everything,” he said sweetly. >click to read< 08:27

Mayor Mitchell brags about New Bedford’s port status, but endorses projects that hurt fishing industry

“This was a really sad day for us. After 24 years of docking our lobster/fishing boats at Marine Hydraulics, the City of New Bedford has decided to eliminate 15 small commercial fishing berths to build the North Terminal. Ironically, the mayor said the project will add much-needed commercial fishing berths. Please explain??! I understand the need for the city to expand and adapt to future technologies but don’t totally displace the industry that put us on the map for the last 22 years and longer, especially small family businesses. >click to read< by Jarret Drake 16:34

How to Be a Paid Extra in New Bedford-Based Movie ‘Finestkind’

In between major stories about the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge getting a redesign and parking at the Noah’s Place Playground remaining free for another summer, the Paramount Pictures film Finestkind is quietly staying in the headlines here on the SouthCoast Finestkind is, in fact, looking for some local people to help fill in some busier scenes. The movie’s casting agency is accepting submissions. In part, Kendall Cooper Casting is looking for authentic New Bedford-area fishermen with real-life experience. The post asks for “experienced commercial fishermen and local New Bedford people of all ethnicities who are interested in working as extras on the film. >click to read< and access the “Extra” sign up page. Best of luck. Remember us when you hit it big! 13:04

Commercial Fisherman Ronnie Lee White has passed away in New Bedford

Ronnie Lee White, age 63, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, February 10, 2022 in New Bedford. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia to Cecil Ronald White and the late Shirley Estep on April 26, 1958. Ronnie’s love for the ocean started at the young age of 16. For almost 50 years he was a commercial fisherman who served on many fishing vessels in Newport, RI. For the past 15 years, he served on multiple vessels out of New Bedford, MA. He was truly one of the best at what he did and worked extremely hard throughout his life spending weeks at sea doing what he knew best and loved the most. >click to read< 10:57

Mayor wants New Bedford voice on NEFMC

The last New Bedford voice on the council was John Quinn who left in 2021 and was replaced by Michael Pierdinock of Plymouth. Eric Hansen is looking to be the New Bedford voice on the council. “We’re the largest valued fishing port in the nation and to not have a voice on the council is just wrong,” Hansen said. Hansen has been a scallop fisherman, like his father and grandfather before him, for 44 years. He doesn’t go to sea anymore but his scallop vessel F/V Endeavor does and these days his son is at the wheel, serving as captain. >click to read< 09:12

New Bedford fishing fleet ties up ahead of Nor’easter

As a nor’easter moved closer to Southern New England Friday, some commercial fisherman in New Bedford said they’re tying up their boats and preparing to spend the weekend on land. “They’re all going to dock their boats. They’re going to get fuel. They’re going to get water, get prepared for the next trip, sell all their scallops Sunday at 12 o’clock when it’s ready. Monday, they’re all probably expected to head right back out,” said David Fish, a deck hand. >click to read< 20:55

Supply chain issues? Maine lobstermen can’t find gear to comply with new federal regulations

David Tarr, a Brooklin lobsterman, has called around to supply stores and they’re not sure when the gear is supposed to come in, possibly in a couple months. “We can’t get the things that will meet their criteria,” he said. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has received numerous reports that there isn’t a sufficient supply of approved ropes or weak links, a spokesperson said. The department plans to share the reports with federal regulators so they’re aware of the potential challenges with fishery-wide compliance. >click to read< 07:55

New Bedford Fire Department respond to reports of a fishing vessel on fire

“This morning at 1055 hrs, the New Bedford Fire Department received 911 calls reporting a fishing vessel fire at the southeast end of Leonard’s Wharf. Upon arrival, Command reported smoke extending from the F/V Prowess which was moored to two other fishing vessels. Crews advanced one handline and extinguished the fire. Crews performed ventilation and checked for fire extension with the assistance of battery-powered rotary and reciprocating saws. Marine 38 responded and was used to push the three vessels together due to the wind separating them making climbing between them hazardous. photos, >click to read< 19:16

The heroic efforts of the Ernestina’s crew during the No Name storm of 1991

The 1991 No-Name Storm became a “where were you when” moment,,, Two of our close friends, Brad Anderson and Alexandra de Steiguer, were out in the storm, having set sail from Buzzards Bay two days earlier. They were part of a professional crew on board a 100-year-old tall ship, the 114-foot Ernestina, a teaching vessel carrying 24 first-time student sailors on a six-month voyage. The Ernestina was en route to the Cape Verde Islands and, unlike the other sea dramas associated with the Perfect Storm, this story is little known. >click to read< 08:39

Newly Launched New Bedford Foundation Aims to Keep Fishermen Safe

A new charitable foundation in New Bedford is getting started on its mission to keep fishermen safe by supporting the creation of safety standards in one of the most dangerous industries in the country. Board members yesterday announced the launch of the Seaworthy Foundation, which advocates for safe working conditions on fishing vessels. The foundation was started by family members of fishermen Michael Roberts and Jonathan Saraiva, who died in December 2017 when their boat, the F/V Misty Blue, sank off the coast of Nantucket. >click to read< 15:20

Offshore Wind Farms: As turbines rise, small-scale fishermen have the most to lose

David Aripotch is 65, a weathered man with gray hair, just tall enough to see over the helm. He has been fishing for almost a half-century, but he still gets excited every time the net is lifted from the ocean. It’s all the other things that eat at him. The federal fishing quotas that sometimes make him steam as far south as North Carolina to catch fish he can find off Long Island. The mind-boggling expenses of running a fishing boat: $5,000 a month for insurance, $30,000 for a new net, $60,000 for a paint job. Worst of all are the wind farms. “There’s so many things going against you as a commercial fisherman in the United States,” he said. “And now these wind farms, it’s almost like that’s the final nail in the coffin.” >click to read< (2nd article of 2 parts, >part 1<) 09:20

Life Long Scalloper Daniel Jean Joseph Lareau has passed away

New Bedford – Daniel Jean Joseph Lareau, 64, went to meet our Lord on Monday, August 30, 2021. Daniel’s love of the sea was only surpassed by the love for his children, Danielle and Eric Lareau. A life long scalloper, he spent his final years with his grandson Ocean James, who was the light of his life. Daniel was know for his massive heart, he was the type of man who would give the shirt off his back, a man who bought the entire neighborhood ice cream, pack the car full of his nieces and nephews on a hot summer day and go on adventures. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 11,,, To leave a note of condolence, and details, >click to read< 20:32

Waterfront businesses’ lawsuit against New Bedford and Port Authority dismissed

Marine Hydraulics and Nordic Fisheries sued the city in January, alleging it was breaching a 99-year lease contract and misleading the companies regarding the expansion of the North Terminal, located on the west side of the harbor. Nordic Fisheries bought Marine Hydraulics’ assets and lease in 2015 according to court records, but both companies filed the lawsuit. The city filed a motion to dismiss it in March. The businesses stated in their complaint that much of their work depends on immediate access to the water to haul, service and store vessels, and that without direct access, their companies would be irreparably harmed. >click to read< 10:05

Search suspended for crewman who went overboard from New Bedford fishing vessel

The Coast Guard on Monday morning responded to a call for a man overboard from commercial fishing vessel F/V Blue Wave, a scalloping vessel belonging Blue Harvest Fisheries. CEO Keith Decker said the vessel returned to port Tuesday morning, where crew members will meet with Coast Guard officials. He said they are waiting for the investigation to determine what happened. There were seven crew members on the vessel, including the captain and the man who went overboard. The Blue Wave left port around Friday, Decker said, and was scheduled to return after eight to 10 days. >click to read< 15:07

New Bedford mayor unhappy with Baker pick for council pick

Plymouth resident Michael Pierdinock was named to a seat representing Massachusetts on the New England Fishery Management Council, a panel that sets rules for the fishing industry such as catch limits. It is one of eight such regional councils nationwide. Pierdinock will replace former state Rep. John Quinn, a Dartmouth resident and longtime member who had years of expertise regarding commercial fishing issues in Greater New Bedford. “When it comes to commercial fishing in Massachusetts, New Bedford should be top of mind, not an afterthought,” Mitchell added.  >click to read< 09:46

New Bedford is America’s number 1 fishing port for 20th straight year

The National Marine Fisheries Service released its annual report on the health of the nation’s fishing industry on Thursday,,, New Bedford ranked No. 1 for the value of seafood landed at its port for the 20th consecutive year in 2019, with $451 million worth of fish hauled in by its boats. That was up by $20 million compared with the year before, and far outpaced the second-ranked Port of Naknek, Alaska, which had $289 million worth of landings. NOAA officials said New Bedford’s dominance remains driven by sea scallops, which account for 84% of the value of all landings there. >click to read< 14:21

New Bedford Fish processing workers worried about respiratory health

Workers are complaining of respiratory issues due to a fish processing machine that releases vapors.  Worker advocacy groups sent a letter last week to a city seafood processing facility detailing concerns about worker health.  The letter, delivered April 19 in person and by email to North Coast Seafoods, discusses “troubling symptoms and illness” among current and former workers. The workers believe it is caused by a machine they say cuts and debones fish with hot water and pressure.  “It produces and releases a smoke-like vapor that contains fish particulates. There has been some effort to channel the vapor out of the building, and while filters are used, they are often clogged,” >click to read< 14:25

New Bedford Port Authority Probed by Feds Over Grant Application

A federal grant application submitted by the New Bedford Port Authority is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The probe was initiated in October of 2020, according to Port Authority General Counsel Blair S. Bailey. Bailey did not say if the investigation is continuing, or what findings, if any were rendered by the OIG. Another source confirmed that the probe is ongoing. >click to read< 09:37

Five Years After His Indictment, Carlos Rafael’s Fishing Vessels Are Part of a New Era in New Bedford

It’s been a little more than a year since this vessel was among the last big group of fishing boats sold off from the fleet of Carlos Rafael, the man known in the New Bedford fishing industry as “the Codfather.” Rafael went to prison in 2017 for dodging catch limits, smuggling profits overseas, and evading taxes. Some of his former vessels have become part of a new era on the New Bedford waterfront that started before he was indicted but has accelerated in the five years since, Blue Harvest Fisheries bought 12 of Rafael’s groundfish boats, including the Glaucus, last year. >click to read< 09:01

Vineyard Wind hopes to have offshore wind farm up and running by 2023

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its final environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project Monday, which included a favorable assessment of the proposal. Vineyard Wind’s proposed 84-turbine offshore wind farm would generate 800 megawatts of clean energy and power 400,000 homes. The final step in the lengthy federal assessment of the project, according to the company, is an official decision from the BOEM, which could come as early as this spring. >video, click to read< 20:05

America’s largest scallop company sues New Bedford over waterfront expansion

Roy Enoksen and his business partner own the largest scallop fleet in the world. Their 27 fishing vessels bring more than 80,000 pounds of seafood into New Bedford each day, employing more than 400 captains, fishermen and support staff. But a construction project planned by the city’s port authority would cut off water access at one of Enoksen’s boat maintenance facilities. A lawsuit filed by Enoksen last month has blown the lid off a simmering conflict between New Bedford and one of the largest employers along its waterfront. >click to read< 08:40

CARES Act relief funds for New Bedford fisheries topped $5 million

In May 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an allocation of $300 million for fisheries assistance. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Massachusetts received the third-highest amount in funding with about $28 million. Alaska and Washington received the most with $50 million each and Maine was fifth with about $20.3 million. New Bedford alone received about $3.8 million, or approximately 13.6% of the state’s allocation. The funds provided much-needed relief for an industry seeing up to a 49% drop in landings revenue,,,  >click to read< 08:12

A legal dispute over the sale of boats owned by Carlos ‘The Codfather’ Rafael is heading to court

Carlos Rafael, whose fishing operations were based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was once the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the U.S. Rafael was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in 2017 for dodging quotas and smuggling profits overseas. The case against Rafael included forced divestiture of his assets,,, Rafael complied, but a New Bedford fish auction house sued him with a complaint that he didn’t honor a right of first refusal agreement to buy boats. BASE Inc., filed suit claiming it suffered millions of dollars in damages because it wasn’t able to buy the boats. >click to read< 15:04

Capt. Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford has passed away

Captain Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford died January 12, 2021 peacefully at home. He was the husband of Claudette E. (Verville) Swain. Born in New Bedford, son of the late Robert J. and Helen F. (Goss) Swain, he lived in New Bedford all of his life. He was formerly employed as a fisherman for many years retiring as captain of F/V Ambassador. Doug had a great relationship with his crew and the owner Geir Tonnessen. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Doug received the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars. >click to read< 10:40

New Bedford: The Codfather should get a Trump Pardon

Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael and all the good he’s done will most likely agree with me that he’s worthy of a presidential pardon. He was convicted on federal charges that he bilked fishing regulations to increase his profits. Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael understands the thousands of local families who depended on the capital and labor that his fleet created, sustaining generations of fishermen, workers’ salaries, the fish house jobholders, lumpers, ice-packers, fuel suppliers,,, by Phil Paleologos, >click to read< 08:22