Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Commercial Lobsterman Donald A. Devine of Rhode Island has passed away

Donald A. Devine, 64, a Charlestown resident for many years, passed away unexpectedly on March 7, 2022, in Florida. He was born on April 24,1957. He was the son of Lorraine (Boulanger) Devine and the late George Devine. He worked on many lobster boats in Point Judith, before becoming Captain on the F/V Prudence for over 20 years. He had many friends that he enjoyed spending time with in RI, NY, and FL. He was always called Don or Donny, as Donald was reserved for his best friend “Donald” Houle. The two words that best described him were humble and kind. >click to read< 15:16

10 years in prison for fishy scheme involving theft of $830K worth of lobster, shrimp and ribeye

Paul Diogenes used stolen bank info from Rhode Island restaurants to buy pricey delicacies which he then sold back to the eateries he had defrauded. This fishy scheme has landed a seafood scammer a 10-year term upriver. A one-time aspiring chef-turned fraudster has been sentenced to a decade behind bars for using stolen bank information from Rhode Island restaurants to buy $830,000 worth of lobster, shrimp and steaks which he then resold, sometimes to the businesses he had just ripped off, federal prosecutors said. >click to read< 13:37

Atlantic Herring: New England to get $11M in disaster relief funding

Disaster-level instability in the Atlantic herring industry has prompted the federal government to give $11 million to commercial fishermen and shore-side infrastructure in four states. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said Thursday that the herring industry in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will get the assistance. More than $7 million is slated for Maine. Raimondo said the assistance “will help affected fisheries and communities recover from disasters and make them more resilient to future challenges.” >click to read< 15:49

NEFMC to hold first scallop leasing meeting in Gloucester

Scallopers, Gloucester will be the scene of the first of seven in-person meetings and two webinars over the next two months as the New England Fishery Management Council conducts scoping for a limited access Atlantic Sea scallop program. The meeting will take place Wednesday, April 27, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester, 6 Rowe Square. The Newburyport-based council “is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from 3 to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut,” with major ports Gloucester, New Bedford, and including Portland, Maine, according to its website. >click to read< 10:48

R.I. Truckers Back $46 Million Plan to Upgrade Commercial Fishing Port

The Rhode Island Trucking Association backs the governor’s request to invest $46 million to add decades to the life of a major East Coast commercial fishing hub in the Port of Galilee while improving freight movements. The port, operated by the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM), occupies 38 acres in the town of Narragansett. It has two port terminals, 240 commercial fishing boats and 40 docks and piers. Businesses that support the commercial fisheries there include seafood dealers, fish processors, fuel, ice supplies, fishing gear and truck transportation. >click to read< 13:02

R.I. innovator develops ‘ropeless’ lobster fishing technology

Traditional lobster and crab traps operate through a simple mechanism, using ropes and buoys. Vincent “Bud” Harold, president of DBV Technology LLC in North Kingstown, believes he has the solution: one of his company’s signature products, the RISER. While traditional lobster and crab traps are rigged by rope to a buoy, the Ropeless RISER uses underwater acoustics to send signals from a fishing vessel to gear on the ocean floor. This signal triggers an underwater bag on the trap to inflate with air,,, >click to read< 14:41

Newport Rhode Island’s commercial fishing industry faces challenging times

“Different? How are things different? Just look at it.” Gazing out over the water toward downtown Newport from a dock on Long Wharf, Denny Ingram, the burly captain of Blue Moon, is answering my question with a question. “Nothing’s the way it used to be. Nothing.” We’re standing on the last remaining pier dedicated to the city’s commercial fishing industry. The view is crowded with pleasure boats, mid-rise condos and high-end hotels. When Ingram started fishing nearly 40 years ago, the scene was quite different. Today, all of the businesses serving the commercial fishing industry have evaporated. You can’t even get ice locally. >click to read<  17:21

Rhode Island: Calamari Market Leader Town Dock Relaunches Retail Offering

With a 40-year commitment to overseeing its product from eco-friendly catch to delicious cuisine, The Town Dock solidified itself as a market leader in foodservice calamari. It announces an expanded and redesigned retail product line rolling out throughout winter and spring, allowing more consumers to find that same restaurant-quality product online and retail stores across the nation. A family-owned company, The Town Dock is one of the largest calamari suppliers in the United States and a key player in the international marketplace. For more product information, and where to purchase, nationwide, >click to read< 13:29

Electronic Monitoring: Hearings set for new electronic lobster boat tracking rules

An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering implementing the tracking requirements for lobster and Jonah crab boats that have federal permits. A Jan. 19 hearing will be held via webinar and in person at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The other hearings will be held virtually. Others are slated for mid-Atlantic states, Maine and Massachusetts and Rhode Island. >click to read< 16:15

Windfarm plans for Atlantic coast hit fishermen hard and threaten US food supply

Tom Williams, a lifelong fisherman whose sons now captain the family’s two boats, doesn’t scare easily—not after the storms, regulations and economic ups and downs he’s weathered. But the wind farms planned for much of the nation’s Atlantic coastline do scare him. His own extended family began fishing in Rhode Island in 1922. “What’s going to be left for my grandchildren?” he asks. “It’s a way of life, and this is the biggest threat we’ve faced.” >click to read< 21:00

My Friend’s Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis Showed His Remarkable Strength

Tom Hoxsie, captain of the fishing vessel North Star, sat cross-legged beside a woodstove in his toolshed. It was late February in coastal Rhode Island, gray inside and out,,, The last phase of his life had begun in pain and misjudgment. Tom was used to discomfort; his hands were a mass of calluses and scars; he labored in an industry of endless punctures, cuts, and strains, where the mentality is to wrap a wound in electrical tape and get back to it.,, This meant cancer crept up on a man with high tolerances for hardship and pain. He had had a chronic cough since at least early 2018, But that summer, he delayed getting a chest X-ray because, in the inshore fishing business around here, the warmer months are when a commercial fishing operation makes much of its money. “We were working,”,,, >click to read< 15:41

Rhode Island Fishermen Eligible to Apply For $255 Million in Coronavirus Relief Funds

The Rhode Island Congressional Delegation and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announce that commercial fishing and charter/for hire businesses, qualified aquaculture operators, seafood processors, and dealers are eligible to apply for an additional $255 million in assistance funding provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The funding will support activities previously authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. >click to read< 21:37

Commercial Fisherman & Coast Guard Reserve Veteran, Harold A. Loftes, Jr., Dies

Harold A. Loftes, Jr., 78, passed away on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. He was the husband of Mary (Littlefield) Loftes and the son of the late Virginia (Bossard) Loftes and Harold Loftes, Sr. and brother to the late Bruce Loftes. Harold built and owned many boats during his 60+ years of commercial fishing, including the vessels Mary Elena, Min Terse, Amanda Lee, Kevin + Mandy, and others. Fishing was his life and passion. A graveside ceremony will be held at New Fernwood Cemetery, Rt 138, Kingston Monday, >click to read< 07:33

Narragansett: More than 80 boats take to the sea for Blessing of the Fleet

Fishing trawlers, pleasure yachts, Coast Guard vessels and even the Block Island ferries all received a benediction as they passed through the Galilee breachway Saturday afternoon for the annual Blessing of the Fleet. “Lady Frances, may almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all those who sail upon you,” the Rev. Francis Kayatta, pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Narragansett, intoned while making the sign of the cross as the Lady Frances passed by.,, “Proud Mary, may almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all those who sail upon you,” he repeated. “And your little dog too,” he added to a passenger holding a small dog. The passengers yelled back, “Thank you, reverend.”>click to read< 14:32

The calamari comeback state, part 2? Fishing industry booming in RI following pandemic

Restaurants are packed, outdoor dining has expanded, and tourists are flocking to Rhode Island for the seafood the state is known for. Although the local fishing industry is booming, prices are skyrocketing and it’s all because of the pandemic. During the peak of the virus, prices dropped, and fishermen had a hard time selling what they caught. “Narragansett just happens to be the home port for the world’s largest squid producers,” Operations Manager at Seafreeze Shoreside Rich Fuka said. “In fact, Rhode Island leads the world in squid production.” >click to read< 08:49

RI Coastal Resources Management Council backs South Fork Offshore Wind Farm, fishermen object

The vote by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council in favor of the wind farm was made over the objections of fishermen, who argued that a mitigation package agreed to with developers Ørsted and Eversource would fall well short of adequately compensating them for losses caused by the installation and operation of the project’s 12 turbines. Certification that the wind farm is consistent with state coastal policies also came despite concerns raised by Save The Bay and others about the council’s permitting process for the wind farm, which would be built in an area called Cox Ledge in Rhode Island Sound that is home to a rich diversity of fish, including species of tuna and Atlantic cod. >click to read< 16:29

In New England, “The resource keeps diminishing.” Clammers Dig Through The Pandemic For Fewer Shellfish

In Maine, the largest clam producing state, fishermen produced their lowest haul in more than 90 years at a little more than 1.3 million pounds in 2020. Nationwide totals aren’t compiled yet, but Maine’s haul typically accounts for more than half the U.S. total, and hauls in other clamming states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York have been trending downward in recent years. “The resource keeps diminishing.” The clamming industry has had to contend with more marine predators of clams such as green crabs and milky ribbon worm in recent years. >click to read< 13:33

South County Museum honors the legends of the Point Judith commercial fishing industry

Imagine walking into a new exhibit at the South County Museum that lists as many local commercial fishermen as can be identified, past and present, and features stories of notable fishing families, artifacts of the fishing industry, a parade of historic photographs on large video screens, and even an oral history booth where present-day fishermen and their families can tell their stories. “Point Judith was once the No. 2 commercial seaport on the East Coast, and it needs to be celebrated and show how it’s changed. Commercial fishermen are the most adaptable, industrious individuals who are running a business, but are also doing it because it’s a passion in their life.”>click to read< 12:38

Public Information Sessions for Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Proposed Rule Begin Tonight

To give the public an opportunity to learn about the proposed rule and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, we are holding 4 public information sessions. The information sessions run from 6:30-9 pm,,, We will be opening the sessions at 6 pm for troubleshooting, so please log on early. The sessions are focused on the proposed requirements for particular areas, though you may attend any session, and ask questions about any area. Tuesday, January 12: Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, LMA3, Wednesday, January 13: Outer Cape Massachusetts, LMA1 Massachusetts and LMA1 New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 19: Maine, southern focus ,Wednesday, January 20: Maine, northern focus. >click to read, and for links< 12:15

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his commerce secretary

The Biden transition team announced the president-elect’s choice of Raimondo for this key economic position Thursday night. The agency has a critical role in everything from technology policy to climate change to promoting American industry. Beyond that, the statement said she has “worked to quickly bring the state economy back from the depths” of the pandemic; “expanded clean energy jobs and put Rhode Island on a path to achieving 100% renewable energy.” >click to read< 10:40

New Jersey Offshore wind developer is hosting a webinar for recreational fishermen this coming Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting is to get feedback from recreational fishermen. The group has brought on for-hire vessel operator Captain Adam Nowalsky as the recreational fisheries representative and liaison. >click to read<

NCLA Seeks Summary Judgment in Case Challenging NOAA’s Unlawful at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, has filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to award summary judgment in favor of NCLA’s clients in Relentless Inc., et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, et al. NCLA argues that the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Marine Fisheries Service have no power to make fishermen pay for monitors the government puts on their boats. So, NCLA is asking the Court to declare NOAA’s regulation seeking to implement an industry-funded, at-sea-monitor mandate on the nation’s Atlantic herring fishermen unconstitutional and set it aside. >click to read<20:31

Progress expected for Rhode Island’s offshore wind farm plan

Much was made of the Raimondo administration’s selection in 2018 of a proposal for a massive offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast that would power as much as a quarter of the state’s electric load. But a Biden presidency is expected to boost renewables overall, and a decision could come in a matter of weeks for the benchmark Vineyard Wind project,,, A favorable ruling on the proposal could break the logjam for Revolution Wind. Orsted and Eversource are gearing up,,, >click to read< 09:21

R.I., feds spending $5.2 million to rebuild 3 sagging piers at Port of Galilee

The Port of Galilee is an economic engine for Rhode Island, bringing in $66 million in seafood last year and supporting 200 commercial fishermen and other businesses in the fishing industry. But Rhode Island’s largest fishing port has been looking the worse for wear for a long time now. Bulkheads are rotting, piers are sagging and asphalt is crumbling. In the latest effort to address the problems, the state is set to begin work on a $5.2-million project to rebuild three 40-year-old piers,, No matter how much is invested in dockside facilities to process and package seafood, if the piers aren’t up to par, it makes it difficult to offload the catch, said Meghan Lapp, general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside,,, “The docks are the lifeblood of the port,” she said. >click to read< 10:41

Hot Air And The Offshore Wind Industry – Claims it will invigorate these state economies are thin gruel

Seven Atlantic Coast states—Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Virginia have enacted mandates to subsidize the development of thousands of megawatts of offshore wind turbines. In addition to making bold claims about environmental benefits, proponents promise the mandates will create new offshore wind manufacturing and service industries that will create jobs, and lots of them, along the eastern seaboard.,, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority claims that developing 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind will create 5,000 new jobs and $6.3 billion in infrastructure spending. Similar claims of economic grandeur have been made in New Jersey and Virginia. Not to be outdone, the American Wind Energy Association claims the offshore wind industry will create between 45,000 and 83,000 new jobs by 2030. >click to read< 12:05

As Wind Farm Proceeds, So Does Pushback – Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, which are developing the proposed South Fork Wind farm, filed a joint proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission,, Commercial fishermen are almost universally opposed to the wind farm, fearing an impact on their livelihood, >click to read< 13:47

‘Comeback Calamari’ – Cranston Chef Star In Democratic Convention

As appetizing as calamari might be to foodies across the country, its off-the-charts popularity among Rhode Islanders likely wasn’t known to the rest of the nation until Tuesday night. Calamari, typically prepared in Rhode Island with garlic, parsley and sliced cherry peppers, found its unlikely way onto the national stage during the Democratic National Convention. As states cast their votes for Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders in a series of 30-second videos, Cranston native John Bordieri, the executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk Lobster and Clam Bar in Warwick, appeared on a beachfront with state Democratic Chairman Joseph M. McNamara, who cast 34 of the state’s 35 votes for Biden. Video, >click to read< 16:10

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

Most of R.I.’s calamari catch is processed in China. A local group wants to change that.

Also known as loligo, squid is Rhode Island’s most valuable fishery, worth about $28 million a year. More than 22 million pounds of squid are landed each year, most of it at the port of Galilee. But while the official appetizer of the Ocean State may arrive at a fishing port just a few miles away, most squid is shipped to the other side of the world, and all the way back again, before anyone gets to eat it. “One of the reasons that food policy councils exist, and there are some 350 food policy councils around the country, is to promote the growth and strength of local food systems,” she said. >click to read< 08:48

Rhode Island: New Temp License Allows Commercial Fishermen to Sell Seafood Directly to Consumers, Retailers

“There is a growing demand for local seafood during this critical time, and we’re fortunate that our commercial harvesters are able to meet the needs of residents with the abundant seafood resources available off our coast,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Rhode Islanders can take pride in knowing that when they purchase fresh local seafood, at local retailers or right off the boat from harvesters, they are helping to keep a vital part of our economy – our commercial fishing and seafood industry – up and running.” The new direct-sale opportunity supports the development of new, local supply chains for RI seafood. As an emergency regulation, the measure will remain in effect for up to 120 days. >click to read< 08:46

Coronavirus: Rhode Island’s commercial fishery and aquaculture industry hit hard

Until the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island aquaculture industry had been expanding. In 2019, the the total value of shellfish crops was $5.8 million and the industry employed about 200 people. Coastal Resources Management Council Aquaculture and Fisheries Coordinator David Beutel said the consequences of the evaporation of the major markets for shellfish are now being felt at all levels of the industry. “They can’t sell product because most of it goes to restaurants,” he said.  The fin fishery is also suffering. Christopher Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said the impact varied according to vessel size and catch. Social distancing is difficult, if not impossible, on a boat. >click to read< 10:17

New Commercial Fishing License Opportunities Available This Year For RI Residents

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is accepting applications for new and renewed commercial fishing licenses through Friday, February 28. New endorsement opportunities for Rhode Island residents are as follows: 36 new quahog endorsements will be issued on the Commercial Fishing License (CFL) that allow for the commercial harvest of quahogs. Six new soft shell clam endorsements will be issued on the CFL that allow for the commercial harvest of soft shell clams. In addition, 15 new restricted finfish endorsements, available to both residents and non-residents, will be issued this year on the Principal Effort License (PEL). For more, >click to read< 07:22