Tag Archives: new england

Maine’s booming seal population concerns local fishermen, biologists. Cod predation isn’t mentioned

Biologists say there are three points to consider: While the increase in harbor seals is creating a healthier ecosystem for the Gulf of Maine, it’s also creating problems for local lobstermen who say they’re a threat to their livelihoods, and it’s drawing new and potentially dangerous fish into our waters at a rate the state has never seen before. “I’ve had guys call me and say, ‘Are you having a problem with bait bags being ripped out because of the seals?’ and I say, ‘Yeah. I’ve had five or six.’ he says, ‘Rusty, I just had twenty traps in a row right, in a row. The seals went bang bang, bang, bang, bang right down through and ripped all the bags out,'” Court said. >click to read< Bait bags? What about cod fish bellies?!!

A Lobsterman Slogs On Through the Pandemic

Mike Dawson (self-employed) Location: New Harbor, Maine Employees: 1 Status: Open, essential industry.  During the summer, “catch landings are probably down. But we can gain quite a lot in October, November, and December,” says Mike Dawson, a lobsterman who fishes off the coast of Maine. “August was kind of slow. Not an overabundance of lobster.” But Dawson this year is still grappling with the tepid demand and disruption caused by the pandemic. Lobster recently fetched $3.60 a pound for soft-shell, down from $4.05 a year ago. The occasional hard-shell lobster—which is rarer to catch at this point in the growing season for lobster—got $4 a pound, down about 25 cents a pound from a year ago. >click to read< 09:41

A Greek tragedy? New England lobsters caught in perfect storm of warming seas and save the whales activism

Climate change, ocean acidification,,, it’s nothing compared to what will become of the industry if the self-coronated “Prince of Whales,” New Hampshire’s Richard “Max” Strahan, has his way. To lobstermen, though, Strahan has proven himself far more than a vaudevillian nuisance. The kicker, says Strahan, who gets more animated as our conversation goes on, is that the whales are pretty much doomed no matter what. In 2017, the North Atlantic right whale population didn’t reproduce at all, usually considered the death knell for an endangered species. In late June, a six-month-old right whale calf was found dead with propeller wounds off the coast of New Jersey. Lobstering had nothing to do with it, but it won’t help the industry’s case. “It’s not really that they’re being caught in fishing gear,” Strahan admits. “It’s the fact that they don’t reproduce anymore. That’s what’s killing them.” >click to read< 08:07

Can New England’s cod fishing industry survive? (How can the scientists and regulators ignore the ever increasing seal predation?!)

Gloucester, Massachusetts, grew up around cod. The waterfront teemed with boats and fishermen, heaps of fish thrashing in wire baskets. Boats were inherited from fathers and shipyards boasted of operating since 1684. As late as the 1980s, the cod were so abundant and large (30-50lb each) that the fishermen still brought in big hauls. Cod remains the state fish of Massachusetts., “We’ve been regulated out of existence,” former Gloucester fisherman Sam Sanfilippo said in 2017. “This used to be the biggest fishing community in the world. Ice companies, wharves, fish dealers, truckers, supermarkets … All through high school, I was always a fisherman. And here I am today: recycler, bike seller, furniture-maker. “I’m 50 years old and I don’t know what the hell I am.” >click to read< 07:30

Canada to ban ‘nuisance seals’ killing to keep access to U.S. market – Canada will abolish permits that allow the killing of “nuisance seals” by commercial fishermen and aquaculture in an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, Fishery management failure enacted for fish farmers >click to read<

Four Fishermen Saved From Sinking Fishing Dragger Off The Coast Of New England

Amazing rescue from yesterday. Sector SENE received a MAYDAY call from the Fishing Vessel F/V Rebecca Mary, a 75-foot boat taking on water 40 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The helicopter was able to safely hoist all four persons from the sinking vessel.  >photo’s, click to read< 23:26

Point Judith fishermen optimistic as Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument restrictions ease

Removal of restrictions for an underwater national park sealed off from commercial fishing trawlers and lobstermen will now provide a bonanza of opportunities for fishing boats in Point Judith, said Fred Mattera, advocate for commercial fishing. According to Mattera, executive director of the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island, this once lucrative fishing spot will now again enable them to bring back large hauls to be sold to for restaurants, grocery stores and ingredients for other foods. Last Friday President Trump removed those restrictions and opened the area once more to fishing, but the decision has produced an outcry from various environmental groups warning of the potential destruction to unique marine life. >click to read< 14:49

Squid Fishery Responsible for Over 2,500 Jobs, $240 Million in Economic Impact in New England and Mid-Atlantic region

Fishing for longfin squid brings in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue and supports thousands of full-time jobs, according to a new study from the Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCEMFIS).  “Loligo squid is a significant part of our business and is also a Marine Stewardship Council-certified, sustainable fishery with its products in demand in the U.S., Europe and Asia,” said Jeff Kaelin, Director of Sustainability and Government Relations for Lund’s Fisheries, in Cape May, New Jersey. “This study shows the extent to which our fishery has grown in size and economic importance, which needs to be considered by both fishery and wind-energy regulators making decisions impacting our future.” >click to read< 16:44

Coronavirus impacts New England seafood industry as wholesale demand fades

The spread of the coronavirus has upended the seafood industry as restaurants close, fishermen tie up their boats and even big-money catches like lobster see lower demand, industry leaders say. Robert Nagle, vice president of Boston-based seafood wholesaler John Nagle Co., said the industry is trying to do all that it can as more fishing boats are tying up because of a decrease in demand. “If a boat can’t get enough money, they can’t pay their bills, they can’t pay their crews, the boat is not viable,” Nagle said. Live lobsters, which are usually sold to restaurants and exported around the world, have been essentially shut down with no one to buy catches, Nagle said. >click to read< 12:03

Letter: Shaheen stands by fishermen

Commercial fisherman up and down the coast are fortune to have Jeanne Shaheen on our side. When you take into consideration that her home port is New Hampshire, a small fishing state, you ask why does she come out fighting. I tell you why she cares — after a fisherman from her state took the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to court and lost regarding paying for monitoring, she came out swinging to help him and others. >click to read< 09:09

New England: Crackdown needed on fishing violations

The local fishing industry has seen itself beset with a seemingly never-ending barrage of challenges during the past few decades. Collapsing fishing stocks, rising fuel prices, and strict government oversight have created an imperfect storm that has decimated what was once a thriving and vibrant industry. Now a new report by the United States Coast Guard has revealed an extensive series of efforts by some to circumnavigate those restrictions,, >click to read< 09:46

The Gulf of Maine cod fishery is in rough shape. The fishermen aren’t doing much better.

In December of 2011, five days before Christmas, cod fishermen in the Gulf of Maine received a letter from government regulators.,,, Over the next four years, catch limits would decrease by more than 95 percent, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of fishermen across New England.  Since 2013, researchers from Northeastern have been working with these fishing communities to understand how the failure of the cod fishery affected the fishermen’s well-being. >click to read< 09:24

Sam Parisi invites “Good Morning America” to Bring America Back to Gloucester and New England!

Good Morning America did a nice little story about Captain Joe Piscatello, and his family, the people of the Fishing Vessel American Eagle, which is Sam’s family, and their story of choices that found the vessel sold and converted into a wind jammer (around 1986) video.,,, Good Morning America was in Gloucester, May 13, 1992, and it was shot on the day the NEFMC was cutting days at sea for conservation. video,  The issues from fish shortages to whale issues haven’t changed much. Sam would like to invite Good Morning America back,,, Under the circumstances of the issues that continue to cause stress and uncertainty for New England fishermen, lobstermen, and their support infrastructure, perhaps it is would be a good time to get Good Morning America to come back to New England. >click to read< 20:18

Fishing industry could be endangered by planned wind turbines

Whatever the future for large scale off-shore wind farms in New England, New Bedford and its first in the nation fishing industry will feel the effects. Renewable energy from sources which include off-shore wind, are an undeniable part of our future. It’s a fair question though whether commercial fishing as it now exists in southern New England, will survive the installation of the largest and most extensive array of ocean based wind turbines in the world. The offshore wind lease areas in federal waters overlay some important fishing grounds and navigation transit areas for the commercial fishing fleet which sails from our coast. The project furthest along in the leasing process is being pursued by Vineyard Wind,,, >click to read<21:41

A rare victory for New England commercial fishermen

The New England fishing industry is enjoying a rare victory over federal regulators as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced earlier this week that it would pick up the cost of at-sea monitoring of boats this year. What’s more, NOAA will reimburse fishermen for some of their out-of-pocket expenses from 2017. While that’s good news, there is still work to be done. There is no guarantee the new policy — less a promise of change than a one-time concession tucked in the federal budget — will continue past this year. And beyond the cost, the expensive, inefficient at-sea monitoring program, which spreads a limited number of monitors among a large number of vessels for an undetermined number of trips, must be able to provide accurate information regulators and fishermen can trust. >click to read<07:34

New England: Centuries-old cod fishery had worst year in history in 2017

One of the most historic fisheries in the country hit an all-time low last year as cod fishermen continued to struggle with choking quotas and low abundance of the fish. Maine’s cod fishery has existed since at least the early 17th century, and it was once one of the strongest in the country. The fishery peaked at more than 21 million pounds of cod, a fish often used with the fish and chips dish, in 1991.,,, One reason for the collapse is that federal quotas for cod are so low many fishermen are just avoiding them altogether, said Terry Alexander, a veteran fisherman out of Portland and Boston. Cod fishermen typically also seek other species, such as haddock and flounder, and they must stop fishing altogether once they reach quota for cod, per the rules. >click to read<11:15

Forget Lobster: The Scallop Is the Real Seafood King

When I tell people that I’m a part-time resident of Maine, I often get an enthusiastic, “Wow, you must get sick of lobster.” And, yes, it’s true. I do get sick of lobster. But not from eating too much. I get sick of lobster cultists, that roving band of hard-shelled Hare Krishnas who loudly express devotion to the crustacean as they wander the Maine coast in search of shrines they call “pounds.”,,,   The central tragedy of their endless rovings is the long and pernicious shadow they cast over the region’s true and absolute delicacy. I am talking, of course, about big, flavorful sea scallops, which are the north’s bona fide maritime royalty.,,, Fundy scallops are massive; some are the size of filet mignons. Often, two or three scallops per person are enough for dinner. >click to read<12:56

Wind Turbine Development and the future of fishing? Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

Let’s start with commercial fishing perspectives on wind farms in the North Sea: Seventeen fishing vessels docked in the centre of Amsterdam, a city that built its wealth and prosperity on the herring fishery. Between 600 and 700 fishermen from Holland and Belgium arrived in the city for a peaceful but highly visible protest that was followed by dozens of journalists.,,, In spite of the fact that in the U.S. our experience with producing electricity with offshore wind turbines is virtually nonexistent, we are apparently well on the way to committing billions of dollars to the effort – and most of that effort is going to be in the waters off New England and the mid-Atlantic. How much experience do we have with offshore wind turbines in the United States? >click to read<12:23

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

Michelle Malkin Investigates – Preview: Fishing Wars | Drowning in Regulations

Commercial fishing boats in New England are going under at an alarming rate and hard-working families are being demonized by a multi-million-dollar environmental industry whose only product to sell is fear. In this edition, Michelle Malkin travels to the northeast to meet with those in the fishing industry to learn more about how they are drowning in government regulations. click here to watch the preview 16:47

New England, Mid-Atlantic States Lead Nation in Volume and Value of Several Key Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released the Fisheries of the U. S. 2016 report, and once again New Bedford, Mass. was the leading U.S. port by value and American lobsters were the nation’s most valuable landed species. Alaska led all states in the value and volume of commercial landings, with 5.6 billion pounds valued at $1.6 billion. Maine and Massachusetts ranked second and third in the value of landings at $633.6 million and $552.1 million, respectively. American lobsters were the nation’s top-valued species landed, with crabs second and scallops third. Alaska pollock ranked first in volume of landings, followed by menhaden and Pacific cod.  click here to read the story 17:39

Controversy over New England region’s cod population – Now fishermen spend more time avoiding cod than catching it

Three letters to the editor, one from from Jackie Odell, Executive director Northeast Seafood Coalition, Re “dwindling” cod population no fluke in Mass.” (Editorial, April 5): Small family-owned fishing businesses operating in New England rely upon sound science. In recent years, reports for stocks like Gulf of Maine cod have gone from being overly optimistic to overly pessimistic, seemingly overnight. This flip-flop has justifiably created doubt and suspicion among those who participate in the fishery.,, a joint letter from Reps Keating, Lynch, and Moulton, We represent the Commonwealth’s coastal communities and their hard-working fishermen and -women as well as the scientists working to better understand how the fishery is evolving. We share a common goal: understanding the science that can get us to a sustainable fishery.,, and Peter Dorfman. The cod, which used to be abundant and a staple of our economy, are now scarce and possibly on the verge of extinction. It is a genuine shame that the people responsible for this situation cannot bring themselves to accept what has long been scientifically established fact. Click here to read them, and check out the comments. 19:23

Fisherman Reaching Out to New England Congressional Delegation to Support Senator Murkowski’s S.B. 437

Recently, President Obama declared a large area of the Continental Shelf closed to fishing by Executive Order designating New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument. As a retired fisherman, I am very concerned with more and more Monument area’s that forbid our fisherman from fishing in those waters. I fished these waters back in the 60’s for whiting in March, April, and May. This was good because we laid off fishing for haddock cod flounder groundfish. There were also off shore lobster men there. We had a 90 foot dragger and we saw one the first off shore lobster boats out there. When my Dad saw him in that 45 foot boat, he said he was nuts! Lobster and Red Crab will continue fishing there for seven years, while fishermen were excluded in mid-November. I would like to reach out to our Senators and Congressmen in New England and ask them for their support of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Senate Bill 437, the “Improved National Monument Designation Process Act” that in essence would have input from each state before going to Congress.

It says, “The President may not declare any area of the exclusive economic zone to be a marine national monument unless: it is specifically authorized by Congress, the President has certified compliance with NEPA, and each state legislature within 100 nautical miles of the proposed monument has approved it. Neither the Department of the Interior nor the Department of Commerce may implement a restriction on the public use of a marine national monument until the expiration of an appropriate review period providing for public input and congressional approval.”

Thanks to Senator Murkowski, we might put a halt to more monuments. After all, those in the fishing industry and the consumer they serve have the most to lose. Senator Murkowski has twenty-six senators on board and I commend her and Senator Sullivan for their efforts to help our fisherman all over.

Thank You, Sam Parisi ,Gloucester Proud to have been a fisherman

A Look Back At Cape Cod’s Fish Traps

Captain Steve Karras – My father was a commercial tuna fisherman in the 1940s and 50s, when the predominant way to catch tuna in New England waters was using weirs, or “fish traps.” Weir fishermen rely on nets and nature to make their catches. These weirs consist of long poles driven into the ocean floor, with nets strung from them. A long, straight line of poles and nets running in an offshore direction from shallower water toward deeper water would create a barrier, and at the deepest point of this barrier, there would be a heart-shaped chamber with a purse seine strung from it. The fish would swim along the coast until they were blocked by the trap. Their natural instinct to swim toward deeper water would bring them into the heart of the net. Once there, they would get disoriented and, unable to find an exit, be trapped until the fishermen returned to harvest them. More images, read the story here 10:33

Fishermen Oppose National Marine Monument Off New England

112_sr_ct_blumenthal_richardA plan announced Thursday that would designate a unique undersea area 150 miles off the New England coast as the nation’s first Atlantic marine national monument was met with immediate opposition from commercial fishermen. The proposal would dramatically restrict commercial fishing in that area and is drawing fierce opposition from commercial fisherman like Stonington’s Bobby Guzzo, who owns and operates two boats “That’s just the government trying to take all our water,” Guzzo said Thursday from aboard his fishing vessel. “I’m dead set against it.” Joseph Gilbert’s Empire Fisheries operates four fishing boats out of Stonington, and he also has problems with the proposed undersea sanctuary. “Fishermen are conservationists, too,” Gilbert said, explaining that he believes the proposal “is well intentioned” but simply “goes too far” without considering the impact on commercial fishing operations and supplies of fish for consumers. “A lot of these areas are protected already,” Gilbert said. Read the rest here 08:45

Editorial: Drowning in regulations

no_bullshit_hardhat_sticker-r292a06754eb14e5d84d299ecaac82d10_v9waf_8byvr_512President Obama is poised to designate two large areas off the New England coast as national marine “monuments,” to the delight of conservationists who seem much more interested in protecting the ocean than they are in protecting people. Gov. Charlie Baker has written to President Obama to express concern about the impact on the region’s fishermen if the federal government turns part of the New England coastline into a sort of undersea museum — one that only scientists are likely ever to lay eyes on. Baker in his letter raises reasonable concerns about the process — or lack thereof — that led to this point. Read the rest here 12:00

Baker to Obama: Monument plan contrary to regional ocean planning

Governor Charlie Baker today directly addressed his concerns to President Obama about the potential designation of one or more National Marine Monuments off the coast of New England, saying the process has lacked stakeholder involvement and threatens to undermine existing fishery management systems. The Obama administration, under significant pressure by environmental groups, is considering using the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate areas of deep-sea canyons and seamounts — and possibly an area on Cashes Ledge,,, Read the rest here 08:22

Measuring the Effects of New England Catch Shares – Indicator: Crew Employment and Compensation

The total numbers of groundfish vessel crew positions and crew trips, by fishing year, for all home port states have decreased through the baseline period and into the initial years of the catch share program. The number of crew positions serves as an indicator of the available jobs, whereas the number of crew trips is the number of trips available for crew to work, or the total opportunities for crew to earn a share of the landings revenues. States with the highest involvement in the fishery (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine) experienced an overall decrease in crew trips and the number of crew positions per vessel remained relatively constant. Read the rest here   San Francisco – Catch shares leave fishermen reeling Read the rest here 19:12

As Black Sea Bass Stake New England Claim, Fishermen are Concerned.

As waters warm off the coast of New England, black sea bass are moving north and, fishermen say, threatening the region’s most valuable aquatic species: the lobster. The influx of sea bass — among a number of species that are appearing in greater numbers off of Maine and New Hampshire as ocean temperatures climb — has some fishermen and lobstermen saying the best solution is to ease restrictions on catching the newcomers. The sea bass prey on lobsters, a much more economically important commercial species and a key,,, Read the rest here 12:18