Tag Archives: New Bedford

Federal Delegation ‘Solidly Behind’ New Bedford in Fishing Fight

Prior to a town hall-style meeting in New Bedford on Saturday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren quietly gathered with fellow senator Ed Markey and Congressman William Keating in the Wharfinger Building on Pier 3. Inside, the three legislators sat for more than an hour, listening to representatives of the fishing community relay their present and future concerns facing the industry. About 80 fishermen out of New Bedford have been unable to fish or lease their quotas since NOAA shut down Sector IX in November. The shutdown remains in effect until the feds can estimate how much quota convicted “Codfather” Carlos Rafael depleted in his overfishing scheme. Massachusetts’ two senators have been all but crucified for what many see as inaction on the Sector IX closure. >click to read<09:12

Fishing company to pay $400,000 penalty following 4,200 gallon fuel spill into New Bedford Harbor

In August of 2017, the Challenge, a fishing boat owned by the New Bedford company Quinn Fisheries, sunk while docked on the city’s waterfront, causing a fuel spill that spread over a mile and killed at least five ducks. The Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Justice launched an inquiry, and found that the ship sunk when its captain failed to shut off a valve after illegally dumping bilge into the harbor and leaving the boat for the day, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court >click to read< 22:30

August 16, 2017 – Fishing vessel sinks in New Bedford Harbor >click to read<

The ‘Codfather’ is behind bars, and New Bedford’s economy is paying the price

From the icehouse to the auction house, a pall hangs over the fabled wharves in New Bedford. As the new fishing season begins, many of the city’s fishermen are unemployed, their suppliers stuck with excess inventory, and local officials are questioning whether the millions of dollars in lost revenue will cost the port its ranking as the nation’s most valuable, as it has been for the past 17 years. “It’s devastating what’s happened to us, and other businesses here,” said Tor Bendiksen, the manager of Reidar’s, a marine supply company. >click to read< 08:25

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

New Bedford: Industry on the Brink

Two computer screens lit Richie Canastra’s windowless office.  The co-owner of BASE (Buyers and Sellers Seafood Exchange) seafood auction scrolled through scores of financial data associated with commercial fishing landings at 62 Hassey St. The numbers that starred back since NOAA implemented a groundfishing ban last November tell a dark story in an industry already struggling to survive. “With the ban, if we’re not up and fishing by May 1, you might as well just call (groundfishing in New Bedford) over,” Canastra said. >click to read<22:52

New Bedford City Officials Draft New Business Plan For Fishing Port

New Bedford city officials have unveiled a draft plan to expand the business opportunities for the city’s lucrative port. The Port of New Bedford is the number one commercial fishing port in the country, hauling in $9.8 billion each year. Ninety percent of that economic value is tied to the fishing industry. However, city officials are looking to diversify the port’s business and they’re betting on offshore wind. >click to read< 09:17

Their View! Building trust with fishermen is key for wind energy companies

There’s a lot of buzz in New Bedford these days about the offshore wind industry- and for good reason. Blowing in with the massive turbines will be the promise of good-paying jobs; new activity along with the waterfront; and even the prospect that SouthCoast could become a training center for those interested in offshore wind careers.,, Amid the hubbub, however, we can’t lose track of the industry that has made New Bedford the most lucrative seafood port in the nation for 17 years in a row,  The city’s hard-working fishermen-beset by changing regulations, dwindling catches, competition from foreign fleets and the ever-present hardship of storm-tossed seas-must be given serious consideration in any changes,,,>click to read<10:40 

Post Rafael, New Bedford Fishing Industry Looks to Move Forwad

For perhaps the first time, at least publicly, fishermen on Carlos Rafael vessels sat in the same room Wednesday as John Bullard, the former regional administrator for NOAA, who implemented a groundfishing ban for those vessels. Bullard, wearing a blue NOAA jacket, sat in the front of four-person panel brought together by Rhode Island Public Radio  The fishermen, wearing baseball caps and New Bedford Ship Supply sweatshirts, sat to the left of the panel, which discussed fishing in New Bedford after Carlos Rafael at Star Store.>click to read<21:16

A Famed Fishing Port Staggers as Its ‘Codfather’ Goes to Jail

Carlos Rafael, whose initials are emblazoned on boats all over this port city, boasted that his fishing empire was worth even more than official records showed.,,Fishermen, ice houses and shoreside suppliers who once did business with Mr. Rafael are anxious, as their own businesses have slowed or stopped. As Mr. Rafael sits in prison, having pleaded guilty to lying about his catches and smuggling cash out of the country, nearly two dozen of his boats have been barred from fishing for species like cod and haddock, grinding part of the centuries-old maritime economy in the nation’s most lucrative fishing port to a halt. >click to read< 16:45 

Letter: The time is ripe for a Fishing Permit Cap

The New Bedford ground fishing fleet as been laboring under a quota system for five of more years now.  Many are  unhappy with the quota system, but it is the system we have to work with.  One of the main concerns of quota system is the concentration of fishing power in very few businesses. Currently the permit situation in New England is in a state of flux >click here to read< 19:13

‘Cod is Dead’ uses New Bedford to highlight hurdles affecting fishermen

One of the first scenes in “Rotten: Cod is Dead” opens at night in the Port of New Bedford. Spotlights atop the fishing vessels light the area. A few belong to Carlos Rafael, noted by their green color and “CR” logo.,,, The hour long show looks beyond Rafael and focuses on catch shares in the New England Fishery. >click here to read< 19:05

EDF says Rotten gets it wrong about New England and catch shares – >click here to read

SouthCoast fishermen call NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael ‘overkill’

New Bedford- Current and former area fishermen balked at NOAA’s reach in its civil action against Carlos Rafael. “It’s total overkill,” said Stephen Lozinak, captain of fishing vessel Marsheen Venture and who has been fishing for more than five decades. “The whole thing is overkill. All it’s doing is hurting the workers in the city of New Bedford.” >click here to read <21:01

“The Bomb Cyclone Storm” (explosive cyclogenesis) – Its a Mess Everywhere!

Gloucester – Water and whiteouts: Homes, businesses flooded; thousands without powerclick here00:41

New Bedford – Carlos Rafael continues to give Feds headaches as boat breaks freeclick here

Maine – Storm triggers Maine’s worst tidal flooding since historic Blizzard of 1978click here

PHOTOS: Massachusetts Flooding During Blizzard 2018click here

New Hampshire – Bomb Cyclone Pounds Seacoastclick here

Nova Scotia – Powerful storm surge rips up roads as it slams into Nova Scotia coastclick here

Winds of worry: US fishermen fear forests of power turbines

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, the onetime whaling capital made famous in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” fishermen dread the possibility of navigating a forest of turbines as they make their way to the fishing grounds that have made it the nation’s most lucrative fishing port for 17 years running. The state envisions hundreds of wind turbines spinning off the city’s shores in about a decade, enough to power more than 1 million homes.,, “Fishermen are losing ground one a nibble at a time,” said Joseph Gilbert, a Stonington, Connecticut fisherman who owns boats that range from Virginia to Maine. click here to read the story 12:30

What’s fair in breaking up the empire of ‘the Codfather’?

Randy Cushman, a fourth generation fisherman in Maine, knows what the crimes of Carlos Rafael cost him.,,, Rafael, whose downfall came after he boasted of his scheme to undercover IRS agents posing as Russian mobsters, is now serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.,,,  Senator Elizabeth Warren fired off a letter in August warning of “needless, immense damage” if permits leave New Bedford. Governor Charlie Baker asked that the permits at least stay in Massachusetts. click here to read the story 07:16

New Bedford again grieves for its sons lost to the sea

The loss of two fishermen in the sinking of a clamming boat this week stunned this port city long familiar with the dangers of the sea. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell called the Misty Blue tragedy “a stark reminder of the dangers inherent in commercial fishing,” adding that it “underscores the respect and appreciation we have for those who make their living at sea.” He said the city pledges its support for the families of the lost crew members of the Misty Blue — Jonathan Saraiva and Michael Roberts. click here to read the story 11:38

Senator Warren: New Bedford should keep Rafael’s fishing permits

And another voice enters the fray. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has weighed in on the debate over the ultimate fate of Carlos Rafael’s seized commercial fishing permits, saying in a letter to NOAA Fisheries the permits should remain in New Bedford. “It has been reported that (Rafael’s) fishing permits may be cancelled or seized by the federal government and I am urging you to do everything possible to ensure that those permits stay in the port of New Bedford,” Warren wrote to Chris Oliver, NOAA Fisheries’ assistant administrator for fisheries. “Not doing so has the potential to devastate the local economy and effectively punish numerous innocent workers and businesses in New Bedford for Mr. Rafael’s crimes.” click here to read the story 18:57

New Bedford meeting brings wind, fishing industries together

Jim Kendall painted the city’s streets with snow when he articulated how fishermen may feel about offshore wind during a meeting Wednesday that brought both sides together. As a child on SouthCoast, Kendall spent his snows days sledding on the streets. “You just can’t do stuff like that anymore,” he said. He’s seen the same influx in traffic on the ocean in his evolution from fisherman to fishermen representative for Vineyard Wind. Time has added stock limits, marine monuments and the latest is offshore wind. More traffic equates to more difficulty fishing. click here to read the story 11:08

Don Cuddy: There’s profit for New Bedford in processing all of the fish

On September 21, New Bedford officially joined the Icelandic Ocean Cluster, a business incubator in Reykjavik, focused on fostering innovation in ocean-related industries. The cluster, which focuses on marine biotechnology, aims to demonstrate that the seafood industry can extract more value from its fisheries as part of this network. The bottom line is getting people to look at organic waste as a product that has value and not simply as waste. Mayor Jon Mitchell signed the agreement with Thor Sigfusson, the main man from Iceland, at a ceremony held at the Whaling Museum. click here to read the story 08:27

New Bedford: Working Waterfront Festival September 23, 2017 On Steamship Pier and at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

Join us in New Bedford, America’s largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a fishing vessel, dine on fresh seafood, see fishermen’s contests, and watch a cooking demonstrations. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate. The Working Waterfront Festival presents performances of music, dance and poetry; demonstrations and contests of industry skills; tours of workboats; documentary films and footage at sea; cooking demonstrations; author readings; children’s activities; tug boat muster; whaleboat races, and more! click here for more info 10:08

Jose forces New Bedford fishing fleet to stay in port

The incoming storm has essentially shut down the fishing industry in New Bedford for at least a day or two. Fishermen are not taking any chances with Jose, and it appeared that nobody was heading out onto the water Tuesday morning. Tony Soares, who works for Carlos Seafood, spent the past 24 hours overseeing the massive effort of tying up and securing almost 40 fishing vessels in the Port of New Bedford “I call everybody [and] make sure everybody tied the boats,” said Soares, who was checking the lines by hand around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Video, click here to read the story 09:09

New Bedford Hurricane Barrier Schedule – Please monitor Channel 16 for actual closure times

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Fishing vessel sinks in New Bedford Harbor

The fishing vessel Challenge sank early Wednesday on city’s waterfront, officials said. Fire Chief Michael Gomes said the Fire Department found the 65-foot fishing vessel had sunk by its stern and was leaking diesel fuel and lube oil into the harbor when they arrived. The Fire Department was notified about 4:30 a.m. Fire officials deployed 600 feet of containment boom to contain the spill and multiple bundles of absorbent to absorb the oils once they were contained inside the booms. click here to read the story 12:50

Coast Guard oversees fuel spill cleanup in New Bedford Harborclick here to read the story 17:43

Don Cuddy: Port of New Bedford needs more dredging if it’s going to grow

It remains hugely frustrating that no one at the state level seems to recognize just how important this port is. When the Seastreak ferry recently broke down, it had to tie up at the State Pier for repairs. This in turn displaced the Voyager, a 130-foot fishing vessel, which had to move to Leonard’s Wharf, where boats are already moored five-deep. “We need updated infrastructure. When you have a 130-foot boat tied to a pier designed for 70-80 foot boats your infrastructure isn’t going to last long,” Ed Anthes-Washburn, the affable executive director of the Harbor Development Commission, told me as we toured the working waterfront in a HDC launch last week. “We also need to activate the rest of our waterfront.” click here to read the story 13:01

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

Fire in the fo’c’sle: Heavy smoke but no injuries on scallop boat in New Bedford

The bunk room of the scallop boat Double Diamond caught fire on Leonard’s Wharf Tuesday afternoon, probably from welding, firefighters said. No one was injured. Smoke was coming from the vessel’s interior when New Bedford firefighters arrived, according to District Chief Steven Beaulieu, the incident commander.  “There was heavy smoke pouring out of the back hatch, just below the pilot house,” he told The Standard-Times. “We had heavy smoke pouring from the forward vent on the fo’c’sle. The guys advanced lines. We had talked to the workers. They were working forward doing welding operations, and something must have started.” The fire was reported around 2 p.m. Maurice Lemieux of Dartmouth owns the 84-foot scalloper; click here to read the story 21:52

New Bedford Mayor Mitchell sends NOAA letter requesting Rafael permits stay in New Bedford

Mayor Jon Mitchell penned a letter to NOAA regarding Carlos Rafael’s permits, (click here to read the letter) a day after Maine’s congressional delegation signed a letter regarding the permits. In an argument consisting of four pages, Mitchell provided legal precedent for the Department of Justice and NOAA to punish Rafael, while also keeping the 13 fishing permits in question in New Bedford. He likens Rafael’s case to those cases involving wrongdoing by the head of a large business. He states, “It is common for the government to tailor punishment so as to avoid harm to others who were not involved.” Rafael’s business employ 285 fishermen. Mitchell suggested Rafael sell his entire business to other New Bedford companies, forfeiting the proceeds to the government. It would entirely exclude Rafael from fishing despite possessing more permits than the 13 in question.  click here to read the story 11:33

Can offshore wind revive America’s ports? This town hopes so

New Bedford – This salt-caked fishing port has been flush with wind prospectors ever since Massachusetts legislators passed a law for massive wind development in the shallow waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, States up and down the Atlantic coast are rushing to become the capital of America’s burgeoning offshore wind industry, hoping the massive turbines will breathe new life into ports mired by a shrinking fishing industry and a flagging industrial base. Maryland officials last month approved renewable energy credits for two developments totaling 368 megawatts off their shores in a bid to transform Baltimore and Ocean City into the industry’s manufacturing and maintenance hub in the Mid-Atlantic (Climatewire, May 12). Lawmakers in New Jersey are counting down the days until Gov. Chris Christie (R) leaves office early next year, when they plan to restore their own credits for offshore wind developments (Energywire, June 9). In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wants to bring 2,400 megawatts of wind power online by 2030 (Energywire, Jan. 11). But few places are betting on offshore wind quite like New Bedford. click here to read the story 11:58

Devon fishing port invited to twin with America’s top port

America’s top fishing port has approached Brixham, which was recently crowned the UK’s port of the year for the second year running, to see if it would be interested in twinning. The port of New Bedford, in Massachusetts, USA, has much in common with the South Devon port. Torbay councillor Vic Ellery gave a presentation to Brixham Town Council at its meeting on Thursday evening. Cllr Ellery said he had been approached by South Western Fish Producers Organisation chief executive Jim Portus, at the request of the director of New Bedford Harbour Development Commission, to enquire whether Brixham Town Council would be interested in setting up a twinning arrangement. “The mayor’s office of this city of New Bedford is very keen to arrange a civic, tourism and economic partnership to the benefit of both ports.” click here to read the story 09:48

What’s next for Carlos Rafael’s fishing permits?

New Bedford – Almost a week ago, City Council members asked for their names to be attached to a late file agenda pertaining to Carlos Rafael’s groundfish permits. Behind Ward 4 Councilor Dana Rebeiro, Council President Joseph Lopes and Ward 5 Councilor Kerry Winterson, the council requested “that the Committee on Internal Affairs meet with Attorney General Maura Healey and NOAA to discuss how current owners and mariners operating in New Bedford have the first right of refusal to acquire licenses to be auctioned as result of the plea agreement in the case of The United States vs. Carlos Rafael… The written motion was a bit premature. Following Thursday’s council meeting, Rebeiro acknowledged the measure was “to get ahead of the ball” in terms of where the permits may land. So what’s next? click here to read the story 19:11