Tag Archives: NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard

‘Codfather’s’ fraud leaves New Bedford fishing permits on ice, and lot of people out of work

South Coast officials and seafood industry interests were stunned by Monday’s federal decision to shut down a sector with ties to disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a decision they say will cut into the livelihoods of fishermen during the holiday season and beyond. “The ruling itself was unexpected,” said Andrew Saunders, a New Bedford attorney retained two months ago by Northeast Fishery Sector 9, one of 19 non-profit entities set up to manage fishing industry operations in the face of strict catch limits imposed by the federal government.,, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says there’s collateral damage involved for people in the New Bedford area whose jobs are tethered to the harvesting of groundfish such as cod, flounder and haddock. click here to read the story 10:48

Small-boat scallop fishermen worry about being overwhelmed by larger boats in the Gulf of Maine

Since the start of the scallop season this month, Jim Wotton has dragged heavy dredges along the seabed off Gloucester, hauling in as much as 200 pounds a day of the valuable clams, the area’s federal limit for small-boat fishermen. Now, to his dismay, dozens of larger, industrial-sized boats have been steaming into the same gray waters, scooping up as many scallops as they can. Unlike their smaller counterparts, the large vessels have no quota on the amount they can catch; they’re only limited by the number of days they can fish.,, NOAA officials acknowledge the fishermen’s concerns, but have declined to take emergency action to close the fishery.,, Representatives of the larger boats say they have every right to fish in the area, and insist their catch won’t threaten the fishery.,, “The situation this year can’t continue and support a strong fishery year in and year out in the Gulf of Maine,” said Pete Christopher, a supervisory fishery policy analyst at NOAA Fisheries. “The council needs to change the way the fishery operates.” read the story here 18:52

9PM TONIGHT ON PBS – ‘Saving New England Fisheries’

The documentary “Saving New England Fisheries” was premiered during a screening on Friday night at the Sheraton in Portsmouth. The hour-long special, created for New Hampshire Public Television, is hosted by Willem Lange. One of the fishermen featured in the film is David Goethel, owner of the 44-foot fishing trawler Ellen Diane out of Hampton. During a panel discussion after the screening, Goethel said officials often try to overcomplicate things. Things in the room got tense as NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard fought back, telling Goethel he doesn’t have a clue about what motivates him and his team. “The fact that you think we lie for a living, I think that says more about your credibility than it says about ours,” Bullard said.Goethel responded by saying, “Well, let’s have it out right now…  The documentary will air on PBS on Thursday at 9 p.m   Read the rest here 09:30

Senator Ayotte Challenges NOAA regional administrator John Bullard over fishing regulation’s.

Fishermen aired grievances face to face with federal officials they say are ruining their industry, backed in person by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who arranged the meeting at Pease Tradeport Friday. Ayotte backed fishermen, telling Bullard that the regulations fly in the face of federal law. She said the Magnuson-Stevens Act which sets parameters for fishery management requires NOAA balance the fisheries’ health with the welfare of fishing communities. Read the rest here 14:09

Good Morning, John – An open letter to John Bullard, Dave Sullivan, Gloucester

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1To NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard: As a fellow MIT alumnus, I am baffled at your stubborn adherence to a fish monitoring plan that the most cursory analysis shows is not only unsustainable, but will simply not provide the data you say you need to understand New England fish populations. Unfortunately, you have painted yourself into a corner by making enemies of the most valuable source of information on New England fish — the fishermen themselves: You have branded them as biased liars whose reports cannot be trusted — hence the need for “monitors.” Read the rest here  07:11

State leaders express concern about NOAAs “oppressive” observer funding decision

The Baker-Polito administration sent an letter to federal partners Monday expressing “serious concern” about the requirement, and urging their support in covering the costs of the At-Sea-Monitoring (ASM) program for the Northeast fishery, according to a news release from the governor’s office.  The letter encourages NOAA Fisheries to prove the cost-effectiveness of the “burdensome” monitoring program and support federal funds to pay for the monitoring. It follows a request from the New England Fisheries Management Council to suspend ASM and evaluate the program’s effectiveness, according to the release. Read the rest here 08:30

US wants struggling fishermen to pay for observers

observer coverageNow, with federal funding for the controversial program set to run out this fall, the region’s long-beleaguered fishermen are being told they have to pay for the observers themselves — or they can’t fish. “This could be the final hit that pushes us into bankruptcy, causing the collapse of the whole fleet,” said Phil Lynch, 45, a Scituate fisherman who has persisted while the number of groundfishing boats in the region has plummeted by more than 70 percent over the past decade. “The guys still left will be gone.” Be sure to read the comments at the bottom. Read the rest here 15:23

Scallop Fleet Responds to NMFS Criticism of NEFMC Habitat Recommendations

mkLast week, NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard submitted a nine-page letter to the  (NEFMC) critical of recommendations made to the full Council by the Council’s Habitat Committee on Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 (OHA2) . OHA2 is a decade-in-the-making overhaul of the habitat closures off the coast of New England, reflecting the best scientific understanding of the Northwest Atlantic seafloor. Read the rest here  Read Administrator Bullard’s letter in full here Read the FSF rebuttal to Administrator Bullard’s letter in full here. 11:57

Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 – Our View: Lift fishery restrictions to do good for all

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1The New England Fishery Management Council votes this week on recommendations by the council’s Habitat Committee to lift restrictions in three closed areas. NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard and at least one environmental group are arguing against it because NOAA scientists are saying it would harm important spawning areas for species like cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder. (Which is bull shit!) Read the rest here 08:41

Scallop Sparks flying in advance of New England Fishery Management Council meeting

mkThe scallop industry is on high alert over next week’s meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council after a long warning letter was sent to the council by NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard. The council’s Habitat Committee has issued recommendations that fishing restrictions be lifted on several areas of Georges Bank, the Gulf of Maine and the South Channel. But Bullard, backed by his agency’s scientific staff, said he believes that the relaxing of the restrictions would set back the effort to nurse fish stocks back to health. Read the rest here 22:03

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard concedes Gloucester, Scituate, and Portsmouth faces heavy hit

130307_GT_ABO_BULLARD_1“We’re trying to follow the cod and that’s going to have a disproportionate impact on these ports,” he said, naming Gloucester, Scituate and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Bullard said he expects those closures also will preclude groundfishermen from fishing for other, more plentiful species such as gray sole, dabs, haddock and flounder in the closed areas. “It’s almost impossible to protect cod while allowing the fishing of other species,” he said. “That’s one of the real difficulties.”  We’re not giving up on cod,” Bullard said. “We believe the cod stock can be rebuilt, but it needs to be protected.” Read the rest here 09:01

Letter: Stories show need to focus on NOAA science – Mike Dyer, Essex, Ma

gdt iconThe Nov. 21 Times included several illuminating items about the state of our fisheries. In his letter to the editor, Paul Cohan took NOAA regional administrator John Bullard out to the woodshed, shredding Bullard’s recent “My View” piece.  In the other, we learned that the New England Fisheries Management Council will not impose emergency restrictions on the big herring trawlers, against the protests of haddock fishermen, who say that the trawlers take too many haddock as bycatch. [email protected]  17:34

NH’s Sen. Ayotte laments cod, haddock fishing limits a Senate commerce subcommittee meeting of Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization

Sen. Kelly Ayotte expressed frustration at a Senate commerce subcommittee meeting Tuesday about the drastic effects that cod and haddock catch reductions are having on New Hampshire fishermen. [email protected]

Ayotte Questions Officials on Sustaining New Hampshire’s Fisheries – Video

Fishing interests begin to map strategy with joint meeting of the Mayor’s Ocean and Fisheries Council / Federal Fishing Advisory Board.

NEW BEDFORD — When fisheries regulation gets a makeover in the next year or two, the New England fishery intends to get into the debate early to impress on regulators how badly served the region has been under existing rules.sct logo That was the theme struck by Mayor Jon Mitchell Monday as he co-chaired a joint meeting of the Mayor’s Ocean and Fisheries Council with Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., representing the Federal Fishing Advisory Board.  continued

Letter to the Editor: This is an open letter to NOAA regional administrator John Bullard. Dear John, I’m leaving you. You’ve lost me. Paul Cohan, Captain, F/V Sasquatch Gloucester

pcohanThis is an open letter to NOAA regional administrator John Bullard.

Dear John, I’m leaving you. You’ve lost me. You’ve tripped yourself up in your misinformation too many times.

The honeymoon is over. It’s all over. My heart is broken. And I’m angry. Do you actually expect anyone to believe this gurry barge you just attempted to foist upon the public as truth? This is Gloucester. We still hear the shrill echos of your elitist “nobody is guaranteed a job for life” — unless you’re “the Shredder” and his enforcement gang. Then your callous “day of reckoning” comment! Bet you wish you could take that one back! continued

Fishermen challenge stats in limit cuts – calling out the number fudging opportunists!

gdt iconNOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard and Peter Shelley, the senior counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation, point to the table from the NOAA Science Center showing participants in the Northeast groundfishery failed last year to catch anything close to their allocation in virtually every one of the 20 stocks as a sign that the ecosystem was so weak the fishermen could not find enough fish to catch. Both Bullard and Shelley ascribed special significance to the fact that fishermen were able to take about two thirds of the allocation in Gulf of Maine cod, the most important fish for the inshore fleet of day boats. continued

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard explains stock stands

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard said Thursday fishermen’s testimony he’s heard that the inshore waters are teeming with yellowtail has made him concerned about proposed draconian catch limits for the species of flounder. Yellowtail, cod, haddock, hake, and other flounders are found in close proximity, making up the Northeast multi-species groundfishery, and low allocations of prevalent stocks create the nightmare for fishermen who must stop work once they’ve come to their limit on any single stock. Read more

Your View: Bullard has a responsibility to the law – Meghan Lapp

In recent weeks, with utter destruction facing the New England groundfish fleet, newly appointed NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard, whom it was hoped by many would be a responsive voice of reason in the midst of governmental and scientific uncertainty and chaos, has instead used it to further demean and dismantle this nation’s hardworking families. Read more here

NOAA urged to subsidize monitors

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard announced last month in advance of the December council meeting that NOAA did not have the budget for a third year of 100 percent subsidy of at-sea monitoring, a requirement on about one third of groundfish trips. Each trip that is monitored pays $300 to the contractor. Bullard’s office has said the cost of monitoring is about $6-7 million a year. Read more here

Editorial: Time to pull plug on NOAA’s joke of observer program

Speaking last week at a meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council, current NOAA regional administrator John Bullard announced that, because NOAA somehow didn’t include full funding for the observer program, New England’s fishermen will have to pick up the cost themselves. That sounded ridiculous last week. But the now-documented and continued unfit status of these observers — and frankly, those who hire them — have now carried Bullard’s and NOAA’s demand to the level of the absurd. Read more here

NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard bemoans state of groundfish at Explorium talk

The session, the third in the Explorium’s Global Voice speaking series, was low-key, especially compared to the last few New England Fisheries Management Council meetings where Bullard has taken a lot of criticism for his sct logo

management decisions. Read more here

Regional NOAA head won’t ease limits: Richard Gaines

manatthewheelClaiming his hands are tied legally, NOAA regional administrator John Bullard has rejected a nearly unanimous request by the New England Regional Fishery Management Council to give the inshore cod fishery centered on Gloucester a second year of interim relief from extreme cuts in landings. The interim action on Gulf of Maine cod for the 2012 fishing cycle, which ends April 30, reduced landing limits by 22 percent compared to the prior year, and the seafood coalition — later backed by the regional council — had hoped to extend that limit rate for another year, in part while questions are answered regarding the assessments. Read more

NOAA eyes easing redfish, dogfish rules

”Several of the new measures were conceived by fishermen, and others are the product of collaboration between fishermen, researchers and our staff,” Bullard, based in the Gloucester office in Blackburn Industrial Park, said in a prepared statement. “By working together and thinking creatively, we can find fishing opportunities even in these challenging times.” Nils Stolpe wrote that “there are approximately a million metric tons – that’s 2.2 billion pounds – of three species of catchable and marketable fish ‘available’ off our Northeast. “These three species – Acadian redfish, spiny dogfish and haddock – could sustainably support the entire out-of-work groundfish industry, and then some.” http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x2120612513/NOAA-eyes-easing-redfish-dogfish-rules