Tag Archives: New Bedford

Blue Harvest Refitted Codfather Trawlers going into service

Blue Harvest Fisheries this week launched the Carrabassett, the second of three refitted groundfish vessels the company is putting into service this year. The 78-foot trawler was once painted “Carlos Rafael green” and emblazoned with the “CR” logo. Now it’s refurbished, repaired, upgraded, painted deep blue, and decorated with Blue Harvest’s distinctive scallop logo. Blue Harvest purchased 12 vessels and 27 fishing permits from Rafael’s family in February. Rafael, who made millions by gaming the system before he was busted by federal agents, was ordered last year by a judge to get out of the fishing business forever and divest his holdings. >click to read< 19:08

“Hundreds if not thousands of jobs,,, New Bedford about to become hub for offshore wind

The state has announced lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind at the facility from 2023 to 2027, and are worth more than $32.5 million. “These are the two first projects that Massachusetts is involved in and they’re going to be staged their construction project from New Bedford,” New Bedford Port Authority Director Edward Anthes-Washburn said. The two 800 megawatt offshore wind projects will be over 15 miles off the East Coast, but the turbines and equipment needed to build them will be set up at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, video, >click to read< 10:50

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status – In this article, New Bedford Mayor Mitchell is concerned the port has missed the wind farm port development opportunity of being the lead development port of all ports! Mitchell said Friday that in some ways the delays to Vineyard Wind’s project have diminished the city’s “first mover” status in the offshore wind industry, which he called unfortunate. >click to read< 15:25

The fishing industry is expendable,,,

Fishing vessel taking on water at New Bedford City Pier III

First responders were down at Pier III Monday morning for a call of a vessel sinking. Upon arrival, they found the fishing vessel Tom Slaughter III taking on water, said John Ryan of the Port of New Bedford. He said the call came in just before 8 a.m. There were no immediate details as to why the vessel was taking on water. >photos. click to read< 13:28

Vineyard Wind sails forward!

Atlantic waters 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard are again poised to be the site of a milestone that potentially rivals Pennsylvania’s Oil Creek Valley in U.S. energy significance. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), an advocacy group for fishing interests, along with other fishing organizations, has pushed for four-mile-wide transit lanes through the turbines for safe mobile gear fishing and safe general navigation. In general, fishermen have been the strongest critics of the project. “Vineyard Wind alone will generate at least 3,600 jobs, and reduce costs for ratepayers by an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,” the letter states.   >click to read< 10:57

Markey touts $15 million he steered to New Bedford’s North Terminal

Senator Ed Markey brought his senatorial campaign to New Bedford Friday afternoon, touting his efforts to secure waterfront infrastructure and fisheries disaster assistance funding for the city. Markey made the stop in the Whaling City as part of the launch of his statewide bus tour, the “Leads and Delivers Tour,” designed to spotlight the accomplishments the senator says he has made for the state on Capitol Hill. The focus of the stop at City Pier 3 was highlighting the $15.4 million in Department of Transportation funding to improve the New Bedford port’s infrastructure and the $28 million in fisheries disaster assistance from the CARES Act that Markey says he advocated for. >click to read< 17:47

Mobile Coronavirus testing site now available for New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry

The Port of New Bedford has partnered with Southcoast Health to provide COVID-19 testing for the city’s commercial fishing industry. Beginning Friday, the Southcoast Mobile Health Van was on-site testing fishermen slated to leave port after their results would be made available. The mobile testing site, located along the port’s waterfront, is a trial run to see if there is an increased need for fishermen to be tested. The pilot will also help New Bedford and Southcoast Health prepare for expanded testing capabilities, including for targeted essential workers. >click to read< 08:09

Coronavirus: Seafood prices have dropped, but New Bedford fishermen still fish amid pandemic

“We’re still going out, everything’s running right along for us,” groundfisherman Antonio Cravo and co-owner of F/V United States said on Monday. Cravo, who is based in New Bedford, said the prices have dropped and he’s getting less money for the fish he catches, but it’s still worth going out on trips. “We offloaded last night and just got paid today, the prices dropped, but it’s still worth it to keep going,” Cravo said,“We still get a paycheck, not as much, but we still get a paycheck to keep up with our bills.” The price of scallops is also holding steady, according to scalloper Eric Hansen. “I wouldn’t say [the prices] are great, but they’re steady,” Hansen said. >click to read< 07:25

Coronavirus: New Bedford fishermen navigate waves of uncertainty

Danny Eilertsen owns Nordic Inc., a fleet of six scallop boats docked at Fish Island in New Bedford. He said they fish for scallops all year, but the scallop season really begins April 1. Ironically, he said, right now is great at sea — a healthy catch and cold waters. Yet when they come back with tens of thousands of pounds of scallops, they’re selling to a completely different market in the age of coronavirus. “Scallops on the menu at restaurants now are a staple, they’ve been a staple for quite a few years. Pretty much every restaurant you go to has scallops, and that’s just stopped. So the fresh market for us is gone and that’s probably where the value has lost so much this last month, couple of months here,” Eilertsen said. >click to read< 11:49

Commercial fishing industry in free fall as restaurants close, consumers hunker down and vessels tie up

The novel coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for seafood across a complicated U.S. supply chain, from luxury items such as lobster and crab, generally consumed at restaurants, to grocery staples sourced from the world’s fish farms. Now, with restaurants closed, many of the nation’s fisheries — across geography, species, gear types and management — have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent. Boats from Honolulu to Buzzards Bay, Mass., are tied up dockside, with fisheries in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska affected, throwing thousands of fishermen out of work and devastating coastal communities. >click to read< 16:52

‘Too early to tell’ impact of Coronavirus on New Bedford fishing industry

Since the fishing industry was deemed part of the food supply chain, it is allowed to keep operating as an essential service under Gov. Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory. “Immediate impacts have been minimal,” scalloper Eric Hansen said Thursday, “The market is a little bit depressed but nothing crazy. My bigger concern is the future, what’s going to happen in the next couple of months.” What worries Hansen about the future is the April 1 start of the next scalloping season, which will bring back scallopers that hadn’t been fishing because they used up their 2019 allocations. >click to read< 09:16

New Bedford Remains Top Money Port in the United States

Scallops continue to be king in the Port of New Bedford. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday released its 2018 report on commercial fishing. For the 19th consecutive year, the Port of New Bedford was the most lucrative port in the nation, with its total catch of seafood valued at $431 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska landed the most fish for the 22nd consecutive year, more than 763 million pounds. >click to read< 10:10

Fisheries of the U.S. Report for 2018 Shows Strong Year for Fishermen – According to the Fisheries of the United States report, which is compiled by NOAA using data and analysis not immediately available at the same end of a fishing year, U.S. highest value species groups in 2018 included lobster ($684 million), crabs ($645 million), salmon ($598 million), scallops ($541 million), and shrimp ($496 million). >click to read<

The Daily Catch! What’s Your Story?

All hands on deck! We are looking for fisherman, fishermen’s spouses, loved ones, family members, people who work in and around the seas who have a story to tell. Join professional award-winning storytellers for a four week workshop which will end with a live performance of stories in front of a New Bedford audience. Share your experiences and wisdom! For more information, >click to read< 11:39

Video: Millions in investment creating a boom in New Bedford Harbor

Millions of dollars are being invested in New Bedford Harbor and the result is expected to be hundreds of jobs. The port is already experiencing a boom.,, “We’re seeing double digit increases in commercial fishing vessels. “If we’re going to continue to grow as a commercial fishing port, we do need to get more dockage. Video, >click to read< 08:48

Owner of New Bedford vessel capsized off Martha’s Vineyard fears 3 crew members perished

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Cape Cod were continuing the search for the three missing fishermen Monday,,, Luis Martins, who owns a fish processing plant called Joe’s Fresh Seafood in New Bedford, said he has owned the 56-foot commercial fishing vessel for about five years. The boat was built in 1967, and Martins said it had been updated. The U.S. Coast Guard has released footage of the rescue of the lone fisherman from the F/V Leonardo. Video, >click to read< 16:07  all F/V Leonardo posts >click here<

An opinion letter from Barnacle Bill: New Bedford Number One Fishing Port In America…..Oh How Far You Have Fallen

It is no secret that New Bedford is not the fishing port it once was. If it retains it’s title as the number one fishing port in 2019 then that just goes to show how bad things have gotten in the fishing industry as a whole. There is one thing that is certain the amount of money that is actually going to the people who catch the fish is at an all time low. Between quota lease and falling crew shares due to increased costs in the difficult environment the workers are getting less and the boat owners and fish lords are getting more. >click to read<  16:45

Montigny rains on SouthCoast leaders’ wind lobbying effort

Sen. Mark Montigny takes a different view of the latest round of offshore wind bidding than New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and some 40 other SouthCoast leaders. “While we all want to see developers provide direct local investments, they must be able to do so without placing an undue burden on ratepayers,” “What matters most at this time is ensuring this nascent industry can get off the ground alongside commercial fishing, which is not guaranteed,” >click to read< 17:41

The Next Generation: Fleet Fisheries’ new scallop boat is turning heads

When you see the new fishing vessel Viking Power, you’ll know it. Due to arrive in New Bedford in early November, the unusual-looking scalloper has a hull that slopes outward at the bow. Just below the water line, it comes to a rounded point, like the nose of rocket. Fleet Fisheries owner Lars Vinjerud II commissioned the boat. He said the aerodynamic shape serves two goals: to make the boat more fuel efficient, and to make it more comfortable and safer for the crew. The boat should do less pitching in rough seas. “This boat has a lot of firsts,” Vinjerud said. “This whole boat is outside the box.” Photo’s, >click to read<  18:18

Video – Brand new scalloper F/V Viking Power maiden launch >click to watch<

Nation’s first mega-offshore wind project stalled for additional study

On most afternoons in Point Judith, Rhode Island, commercial fisherman Brian Loftus steers his trawler back into port after a 12-hour day. Loftus unloaded some 1,500 pounds of whiting, scup, skate and squid. Estimated revenue: $3,000. Loftus has fished for three decades here, but to him there’s a looming problem: Offshore wind developers plan to plop turbines more than 70 stories high into his fishing grounds. >click to read< 08:46

New Bedford – Old ‘Revere Copper and Brass’ will get new life as shipyard

After sitting vacant for over a decade, an historic mill on the waterfront is getting a new life as a commercial shipyard.,,,“We saw the site come up a few years back and we saw the potential with it,” said Michael Quinn who runs Shoreline Resources with his father Charlie. Currently the father and son own Quinn Fisheries, which has six commercial fishing vessels; Standard Marine Outfitters, a vessel supply company; and East Coast Fabrication, a ship repair company.,,, Mayor Jon Mitchell, “Establishing a shipyard at this site gives the port an increased capacity to service the fishing industry, the offshore wind industry, and others.” >click to read< 20:37

Mayor: No Answers on Vineyard Wind Approval is ‘Disconcerting’

“It’s a big deal because it’s a $2.2 Billion project. That is, to date, the largest private sector project in the state’s history. Bigger than the casinos in the state, bigger than Gillette Stadium, or you can name any of the skyscrapers in Boston, that is a big, big project and it’s being deployed from here,” New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said Thursday during his weekly appearance on the Barry Richard Show. “It’s not even clear to me that Vineyard Wind understands what the hang-up is. We’ve said, ‘look, if the hang-up has something to do with commercial fishing, we in New Bedford would be happy to play a mediated role.’  >click to read< 12:28

What About Carlos Rafael, His Permits and His Boats? [OPINION]

There has been little public talk about “The Codfather” and his fishing empire since he was sentenced to federal prison for crimes related to fishing. In September of 2017, Judge William Young sentenced Carlos “The Codfather” Rafael to 46 months in federal prison. Additionally, Judge Young fined him $200,000 and three years supervised probation after his release from prison.,,, hearing rumors that two big players have emerged as the buyers of the boats and the all-important federal permits. One buyer wants the groundfish operation and one wants the scallop operation. There is concern locally that “Wall Street money” is coming in to buy up the local operations. >click to read<08:21

Perfect port an elusive goal for East Coast offshore wind

“Developers have studied all the ports up and down the East Coast several times now. What we’re really looking for is large areas, good capacities, no bridges and deep drafts. And if someone has that, please come forward,” said Christer af Geijerstam, president of Equinor Wind US, which holds leases for offshore wind development off the coasts of Massachusetts and New York. “The problem is that it’s hard to find places that tick all of those boxes.”,,, At least part of the East Coast supply chain will meet the water in Massachusetts, where public dollars financed a port facility in New Bedford tucked away in a walled-in harbor that is already crowded with a scallop fleet that has made it the wealthiest fishing port in the country. >click to read< 11:44

Harriet Didriksen remembered as an irreplaceable fishing industry ‘icon’

New Bedford — A procession of visitors entered a hospital room at St. Anne’s in Fall River last weekend to bid farewell to Harriet Didriksen. Her son, Dana, saw his mother. With each new person who entered the room, he began to see, in many ways, the matriarch of the waterfront. Didriksen died Sunday at age 76. Dana returned to his home in Manhattan on Thursday morning. With each day he spent in the SouthCoast, though, the bond between his mother and the fishing industry grew more and more visible. >click to read<21:00

SouthCoast Woman of the Year: Canastra’s drive helping keep groundfishing alive

Among the grizzled lifelong fishermen sat six-year-old Cassie Canastra. She staked claim to the seat toward the right side of the second table in the small room where thousands of pounds of fish were auctioned off each day. Her spot faced the television and was the closest to the sweets brought by her father, Raymond. Her pastry of choice: Malasadas. “She knew I was going to go to the Portuguese bakery before work. She wanted that,” Ray said with a loud chuckle. “That’s the truth.” The malasadas certainly didn’t deter her from begging her parents to wake hours before sunrise to arrive at the Buyers and Sellers Exchange seafood auction for 4:30 a.m. >click to read<11:56

Don Cuddy – Seafood comes in many forms — how fresh is yours?

We live, as we are often reminded, in the top grossing fishing port in the United States and have some of the planet’s most productive fishing grounds right off our shores. So for those among us who enjoy and appreciate the harvest of the sea, and its clean, healthy, wild-caught protein, there is no better place to live than New Bedford. Lately however I have begun to wonder just how many people around the SouthCoast are fish eaters and include our excellent seafood as a regular part of their diet? Apart from perhaps ordering fish and chips or fried scallops in a restaurant on a Friday night that is. That counts certainly but what I have in mind is selecting some seafood at the market and bringing it home. >click to read<12:29

Don Cuddy: Sector reopenings benefit to New Bedford remains to be seen

The news emerged on July 19 that NOAA approved a plan that may now permit some New Bedford fishermen back to work. ,,,So while this decision is a small step forward for the groundfish industry here, it is not yet time to set the church bells ringing since the majority of the inactive quota is owned by inactive fishermen. When the catch share system was introduced in 2010 it gave all permit holders a slice of the pie- the “pie” being a share of the TAC, or total allowable catch, for the annual fishing year, which for groundfish begins on May 1. Individual allocations were based on a permit holder’s catch history over a ten-year period from 1998 to 2008, I believe it was. That effectively means all of the cod, haddock and flounder swimming around on Georges Bank, more than one hundred miles offshore, have someone’s name on their backs, similar to a herd of cattle,,, leased , sold, or traded,,, >click to read<20:53

First U.S. Offshore Wind Developer Acts on Fishing Gear

U.S. offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind has adopted a first-of-its-kind procedure designed to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from its activities. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm is America’s first offshore wind farm, and the company is currently in active development on utility-scale wind farms to serve Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The procedure was developed in close coordination with the commercial fishing industry and is based off extensive feedback from fishermen in ports up and down the Atlantic coast. Deepwater Wind believes that keeping fishermen informed is the key to preventing damage to fishing gear. >click to read<18:19

Seafood Processing: How robots can help local fisheries

New England is known for being an excellent source of lobster and other seafood. But while fishing is done locally, much of the processing is outsourced to other countries.,,, Northeastern University professor Taskin Padir is hoping to change that. He was selected to lead a new project to bring collaborative robots developed at the university into processing plants at America’s busiest fishing port, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The goal, he said, is to increase production and efficiency, keep workers safe, and stimulate local job growth. Called Collaborative Robotics to Foster Innovation in Seafood Handling, or the FISH project, this is one of 14 robotics-related challenges recently announced Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM). <click to read<17:09

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<