Tag Archives: Point Judith:

On the fishing docks of Point Judith: Sales are down, but they still work hard in the heat

She was surrounded by 450-pound barrels of the bottom fish, brought in by draggers. Despite wholesale lobster prices being down from the pandemic, boats are still going out to scratch out a paycheck. It’s all they have. Andrea was wearing orange oilers and rubber boots in the sun, driving a huge needle through four frisbee-size skates at a time to make a “string.” The bait not only lures lobsters but is good eating for them during the days they’re in traps before being hauled. Andrea joked that her skates are what makes lobsters taste good. I asked how old she is. She smiled and said, “None of your business,” then allowed she might be in her mid-60s. She’s a longtime fixture on the docks, having started “The Bait Company” there 36 years ago to serve the big boats that go out to sea. photos, >click to read< 22:15

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

Lost trawler Mistress found on sea floor

The Point Judith, R.I., trawler Mistress, which sank in foul weather on New Year’s Day morning and triggered a large Coast Guard search for two of its crew, has been located, according to Richard Fuka, Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance president. Fuka said he’s been in regular contact with Michael Ansay, uncle of John Ansay, who along with the Mistress’s owner, Oscar Diaz, went missing when the trawler sank; both are presumed not to have survived. Diaz’s son, Tim, was the only member of the Mistress crew to be rescued.,, >click to read<16:24

The Blessing is more than the race

I have been a commercial fisherman in and out of Point Judith for going on 50 years. I was there in 1972 for the first Blessing Of The Fleet, and I’ve hardly missed one since. In those 40 odd years I’ve watched Galilee and Point Judith both undergo radical transformation. We went from being a small fishing port where Captains lived along the docks, to a massive powerhouse in the 80s, to the near collapse in the early aughts and now back to something of a revival. And of course, in that time, we became a parking lot for Block Island.  But the one thing that has remained constant has been the tight knit community of fishermen and their families. I am writing because I feel that the fishing boats, the basis of the entire event, are slowly falling by the wayside in the media. >click to read<11:19

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

Cooperation between fishermen, regulators not just a fluke

Fisheries management is only as good as the science that it’s based upon. The better the science, the more effective the management. For the past three years, Point Judith fisherman Chris Roebuck has partnered with federal regulators to get a better handle on fish stocks, taking scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration out to sea on his 78-foot Western-rig stern trawler the Karen Elizabeth to help figure out where groundfish are and in what numbers. This summer’s trip wrapped up this week when the team of five researchers led by John Manderson, a senior ecosystem field scientist with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and a four-man crew headed by Roebuck returned to port in Galilee with new information on summer flounder, red hake and other species. click here to read the story 21:48

Narragansett Fishermen Part Of New England Photography Exhibit at Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford

hauling_twineConnecticut-based photographer Markham Starr has dedicated almost a decade to documenting New England’s fishing industry. His photos, featured in an exhibit at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, include a type of fishing unique to Rhode Island. Starr photographed fishermen across New England and says he took a special interest in the trap fishers of Point Judith in Narragansett. “It’s an ancient type of fishing,” said Starr. “They’ve been doing it probably 150 years in Rhode Island, and other traps like it go back even earlier. But there’s only three practitioners left, really, because it requires a lot of manpower.” The Fishing Heritage Center exhibit features black and white photographs of the Point Judith fishermen, as well as the commercial fishermen of Massachusetts and Maine. The exhibit at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford is on display through January 17th Read the rest here 19:39

At Point Judith, Capturing The Fishing Industry’s Past and Present

Fishermen and industry advocates say there’s a real hunger among people to learn more about how fishermen do what they do. That’s why they’re planning to install interpretive signs around the fishing docks at Point Judith to answer people’s questions.  “Those signs will speak to the variety of seafood landed in this port, some of the methods that fishermen use to catch that seafood, and all the support businesses,” said Sarah Schumann, one of the project organizers. Those support businesses include seafood processors and the bait and fuel industries at Point Judith. The Point Judith fishing port is considered the top port along the eastern seaboard for landing squid, adds Captain Rodman Sykes, who has been fishing for nearly 50 years. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that so much happens right in this little neighborhood we’ve got here and to be able to explain it to them better would be a help,” said Sykes. Audio, Read the rest here 12:17

Freedom, danger is in R.I. fisherman’s wheelhouse – Mark Patinkin

AR-160529654.jpg&MaxW=650&MaxH=500I got to wondering what it’s like these days for commercial fishermen so I drove to the Point Judith docks, walked up to the trawler Elizabeth & Katherine and asked the captain, Steven Arnold, if I could come aboard. It was at 11 a.m. and he’d already put in a long shift with plenty more to go — he’d steamed out for squid at 4:30 a.m. He was back because his net tore on rocks while dragging the bottom of Rhode Island Sound so the crew had come in to repair it. I climbed over the rail and followed Arnold, 52, to the wheelhouse. He wore jeans, boots, a sweatshirt, hadn’t shaved for a few days and seemed to belong there in the captain’s seat. Squid is his biggest species but that morning, they weren’t there. He mostly had scup when the net came up torn. You have good days and bad, Arnold said, but he still loves fishing for the same reasons that first drew him to it after a childhood in South County and two years at New England Tech. Read the story here 11:01

Coast Guard crews tow disabled fishing boat to Point Judith, RI

Coast Guard crews towed a 52-foot disabled fishing boat safely to port in Point Judith, Rhode Island, Saturday morning. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center watchstanders received a call via VHF-16 radio from the captain of Mistress reporting his boat was disabled due to a main engine casualty Friday at approximately 2:30 a.m.  Mistress was 70 nautical miles east of Montauk, New York at the time. Read the post here 20:02

Raising The Profile Of An Undereaten Fish

Fishermen are facing tougher quotas and declining populations for some of the most popular fish species, most notably Cod, a New England favorite. That’s one reason why environmentalists and fishermen have been working to promote more locally-caught seafood. Some, like lobster, quahogs, and other shellfish are catching on. But there are other fish that teem the waters of Narragansett Bay. There’s one effort underway to raise awareness about scup, an abundant local catch. Audio, Read the rest here  06:54

Tagged Bluefin Tuna Recaptured After Sixteen Years at Large – From 14 to over 1,200 pounds!

Al Anderson, a charter boat captain out of Point Judith, Rhode Island, participates in the NOAA Fisheries Cooperative Tagging Program, which provides free tags to fishermen so they can contribute to our scientific understanding of fish. One of the fish he tagged, a bluefin tuna, was recently recaptured after 16 years. In the history of the program, only two recaptured fish had been at liberty so long. Read [email protected] 22:28

Sad news from Point Judith – The Passing of Harold A Loftes Sr, Commercial Fisherman

December 31, 1917 – October 20, 2013 Harold A. Loftes, Sr., 95 of Normandy Rd., Wakefield, passed away  Saturday, October 20, 2013. He was the husband of the late Virginia May  (Bossard) Loftes. Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Alvin  and Sigred Loftes. Mr. Loftes was builder, owner, operator of many  fishing vessels and a commercial fisherman out of Pt. Judith all of his  life. He was a founding member of the Pt. Judith Fisherman’s CO-OP and a member of Hope Lodge #25 AF & AM, Wakefield. He was the father of  Harold Loftes Jr. and his wife Mary of Wakefield; father of the late  Bruce Loftes and his wife Connie; grandfather of Brian, Brent, Amanda  and Kevin Loftes and great grandfather of six. Funeral services and  burial will be private. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may  be made to The Pt. Judith Fisherman’s Memorial Foundation, Box 3315,  Narragansett, RI 02882. 19:11

MARINE SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN [MSIB # 16-12] 13 November 2012 Rhode Island Fishermen”s Alliance

Mariners navigating the waterways of Point Judith and Block Island Old Harbor, RI should be aware of the following aids to navigation discrepancies:
Point Judith:
1. Tower #8 on the east side of the entrance channel; light is reported to be extinguished and all signage on the tower is reportedly missing.
Block Island:
1.      Old Harbor tower #3, including its light and sound signal, is reported to be missing.
2.      Old Harbor buoys #5, #6, and #7 are reported to be off station.
3.      Northeast bell buoy #5 is reported to be off station.