Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Rhode Island starts mandatory wild shellfishing education and certification program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has introduced a mandatory education and certification program for commercial harvesters of wild shellfish. A DEM press release describes the new program as one that will enhance the safety of shellfish sold to consumers. “The goal of the program is to ensure that shellfish harvesters deliver a safe product to shellfish dealers and, in turn, to shellfish consumers,” the written statement reads. All commercial wild shellfishing license-holders will have to comply with the new certification, beginning this year. >click here to read< 14:44 

Caiozzo Questions Langevin’s Support for Fishing Industry in RI

Republican candidate for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District Sal Caiozzo is questioning the support being offered by Congressman Jim Langevin for the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island. “For the past two years I’ve gone to D.C. and fought for Rhode Island’s commercial fisherman. I’ve made several day-long trips on commercial fishing vessels, I’ve met with fishermen, industry leaders and congressmen from states with a commercial fishing industry urging them to hear the plight of fishermen and stop over-regulating the industry. click here to read the story 09:02

Possible wind farm sites 17 miles off Hamptons identified

A federal agency has identified a swath of the South Shore 17 miles off the coast of the Hamptons as a potential area for new offshore wind farms. If selected, the site would encompass 211,839 acres of ocean waters 15 nautical miles from land, from Center Moriches to Montauk.,,, LIPA has approved a 90-megawatt project off the coast of Rhode Island, New York State has a plan to inject 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind into the state grid, and Norwegian energy giant Statoil has a lease for more than 70,000 acres 15 miles from Long Beach for an offshore wind farm that could be completed by 2024. click here to read the story 12:43

Rhode Island Congressional Delegation opposes squid buffer zone

From the letter: We write to urge you to reject the proposed creation of a squid buffer zone in federal waters in the vicinity of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and have enclosed the attached letter from Janet Coit, Director of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, expressing the states opposition to this proposal. We have consulted with state regulators and fishermen from Rhode Island who have emphasized that in the words of Director Coit’s letter “there is no biological basis for considering buffer zones to protect or rebuild the squid stock.” click here to read the letters 17:20

Rhode Island Commercial Summer Flounder Fishery Closure

Effective 0001 hours November 14, 2017, fishing vessels issued a Federal moratorium permit for the summer flounder fishery may no longer land summer flounder in Rhode Island for the remainder of the 2017 calendar year. The 2017 commercial summer flounder quota allocated to Rhode Island has been harvested.  This closure is concurrent with the State of Rhode Island’s closure of its commercial summer flounder fishery to state permitted vessels and dealers. click here to read the notice 08:42

R.I. commercial fishing landed $93.9M in 2016

Approximately 82.5 million pounds of seafood were commercially landed in Rhode Island in 2016, an increase of 9.1 percent year over year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries of the United States 2016 report Monday. The year’s haul in the Ocean State was worth a combined $93.9 million, an increase of 14.7 percent… Rhode Island caught 22.5 million pounds of squid in 2016, 16 percent of the national supply and second most in the country to California. click here to read the story 07:21

Selling shark fins is now banned in Rhode Island.

A law took effect Sunday that makes it a crime to own or sell a shark fin unless it’s used for scientific research or in preparing a shark for ordinary consumption. Rhode Island became the 11th state to ban shark fin sales when Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed legislation into law in June. Hawaii was the first in 2010. Shark fin soup is popular in Chinese cuisine but animal rights activists say the practice of slicing off a shark’s fin and leaving the fish to die is cruel. The Humane Society of the United States says the laws will help global shark populations recover. The ban is one of several state laws taking effect on the first day of the year. This is a law of waste. There is nothing conservative about throwing legal shark fins into the landfill.Link 20:21

Guest speaker Lobsterman David Spencer reviewed the state of the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island

As the guest speaker at Seamen’s Church Institute’s annual meeting on Monday, Nov. 14, Newport’s David Spencer, David Spencer, a lobsterman and president of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, reviewed the state of the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island. Spencer has run his 85-foot lobster boat Nathaniel Lee out of Newport’s State Pier since 1973, and graciously supplies free lobsters for Seamen’s annual Rock the Docks fundraiser. “Back then, this was a vibrant fishing port, from south to north. It had many boats that docked here,” he said. “It was a good place to fish out of.” According to Spencer, present-day fleets gather quahogs, lobster, crabs, conch and a little known kind of shrimp in these waters.  Working “out front” in Rhode Island Sound waters and beyond, the lobster and crab fishery becomes one, “with an explosion of Jonah crabs, which has been a godsend for much of the fleet,” said Spencer. “There is a tremendous demand for these crabs,” which augment a depleted annual lobster catch. In the Ocean State, squid, lobster and crab “are king,” he continued.  Squid fishing off Martha’s Vineyard was unparalleled this year. Fishermen can see the bottom almost daily in 12 feet of water, Spencer said, giving the impression that the local sea is sterile rather than filled with organisms. Is this an unintended consequence of the chemicals that treat wastewater? “I don’t know, and neither do they,” he added, noting that starfish are “now gone.” Read the story here 16:09

Shellfish harvested from RI waters test negative for toxins

domoic-acid-massWhile Rhode Island’s shellfishing industry is still on hold as toxin levels in area waters remain high, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management reported Friday that shellfish meat tested negative for toxic phytoplankton. “Every time we have found toxicity in the water column, we’ve never found it in the shellfish,” Angelo Liberti of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management told NBC 10 News. A harmful algae bloom forced a precautionary closure of Narragansett Bay, Mt. Hope Bay, Kickemuit River, Sakonnet River, as well as their tributaries, on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7. Authorities hope that the shellfishing industry will be fully operational again soon. That’s good news for shellfishermen, who have been out of work since the closure was enacted. If the remaining shellfish samples come back negative, they could be back in business as soon as next week. Read the story here 15:05

Rhode Island Cod fishermen will benefit from federal cash

cashThe state of Rhode Island has received nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to help fishermen affected by the 2013 groundfish disaster. The $705,658 in federal money, which will provide direct assistance to fishermen, was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The money also will help recruit and train the industry’s work force. “Fishing is vital to our history and our economy, and we need smart policies and investments that will help set the fishery on a more viable, sustainable path for the future,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Jamestown resident and a member of the appropriations subcommittee that led the effort. Read the rest here 08:31

Why Does the ‘Calamari Capital’ Import the Frozen Stuff from China When Buying Local Supports the Economy?

Globalization has hit Rhode Island hard. Those manufacturing jobs that allowed my immigrant parents and generations of other Rhode Islanders the opportunity to raise their families in modest comfort are long gone. It’s not just manufacturing, either. Our state is touted as the “calamari capital” of the world. Yet, walk into any local supermarket today and you will find packages of frozen calamari from China competing with offerings from Galilee, often at a lower price. Now, we can sit around and lament the impact that globalization has had on our local economy, or we can personally change this troubling societal trend by taking a very simple action. Read the article here 10:08

Fishermen can catch more butterfish; Rhode Island lands half of the catch + video

seafreeze vesselsFederal fishing regulators say fishermen can catch more butterfish in 2015 because the condition of the fish stock is improving. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials say they are increasing the butterfish quota from 3,200 metric tons in 2014 to 22,530 metric tons in 2015. Fishermen caught 1,333 metric tons of butterfish up and down the East Coast in 2013, the most recent year for which federal statistics are available. Rhode Island had the largest fishery in the country, with more than 700 metric tons. Video, read the rest here 13:03

Where have all the ice smelt gone? N.H. ice shanties are empty, the catch in Maine is down, environmentalists struggle for answers

surveys smelt fishingThe fishermen are gone now because the smelt are gone. Catches of 60, 70, 100 smelt on a tide — the six-hour period between low and high tides — were routine. What happened? Some say it’s just a cycle, though the decline has been steady since the state began smelt surveying in the early 1980s. Studies blame the high levels of nitrogen washing into the bay from septic systems, lawn fertilizer and sewage treatment plants. The nitrogen prompts algae blooms that smother the grass and quite possibly smelt eggs clinging to the bottom in tidal headwaters. Read the rest here 09:48

Rhode Island commercial fishing license applications now being accepted thru March 2nd

Applications are now being accepted for commercial fishing licenses. The Department of Environmental Management is taking the requests for new and renewed commercial fishing licenses for 2015. You only have until March 2. The application period has been extended from the February 28th deadline set forth in commercial fishing regulations because that date falls on a Saturday. Read the details here 18:16

Federal regulators consider lessening ban on single lobster pots

New regulations set by the National Marine Fisheries Service ban the use of lobstering equipment from Feb. 1 to April 30 off the Massachusetts coast. The goal is to reduce the chances of whales becoming entangled in the gear.The also ban single pots – or one trap per buoy line – outright starting June 1. Lobstermen would therefore have to tether multiple pots along a single line. But the state Division of Marine Fisheries is challenging the federal rules to allow single pots close to shore in three areas. Read the rest here 11:41

Rhode Island Seafood Scene: Make room calamari, crabs are moving in

Another ocean-dwelling species, crab, has scuttled into a prominent position in the Rhode Island seafood scene, providing a welcome boost for beleaguered southern New England lobstermen. Brownish, with large, often black-tipped claws, Jonah crab are most abundant between Georges Bank off of Cape Cod to the North Carolina Outer Banks. They are caught mostly by lobstermen in the same traps used for lobster. Read the rest here 08:23

Rome Packing Co., Inc., of East Providence Recalls Crab Meat

 A company is recalling crab meat they sold to several states after finding it was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The Rhode Island Department of Health said on Friday that Rome Packing Co., Inc., of East Providence, issued the voluntary recall of several kinds of fresh and frozen crab meat sold under the Ocean’s Catch brand. The meat was distributed in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California to retail stores including but not limited to: Shaw’s Supermarkets, Legal Sea Foods, and Harbor Fish Market. Read the rest here 20:06

Rhode Island Seeks to Join Mid-Atlantic Council, but Politics are in Play

RI delegationThe Ocean State has no voice in governance, despite being a major player in those waters.  A Case of Political Failure? Richard L. Fuka, president of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, says the problem is inherently political—perhaps due to the current Democratic presidential administration, and certainly the ineffectiveness of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. He particularly called out Sen. Jack Reed, who he feels should be able to get things done after his long tenure in Washington. Read the article here  20:24

New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal: Dirty Little Secret

tweedledee beenie duvalWhile researching the latest Cape Wind story and the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. I get the sense that the Patrick administration sold the Legislature on the NB terminal using Cape Wind.,, The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will not comment on any finances with the ongoing terminal project. Generally when state officials refuse comment on finances the projects are financially out of control. Read more here, and learn just who is Sally Reynolds! 11:55

Salty Dames – Women in Fishing

Google “women” and “fishing” and up will pop lots of calendar images of smiling ladies in bikinis, cradling impressive marine specimens they probably didn’t catch. But women have long been part of the seafood industry around the world: mending nets, landing fish, stocking aquaculture ponds, harvesting shellfish, working in markets and processing plants, running seafood companies, Read more here 16:31

Ruling rejects Massachusetts and New Hampshire challenges over science, economic impact

shame“In our brief, we cited Justice (Antonin) Scalia’s view that an amount of deference is a permission slip for an arrogation of power,” said Brian Rothschild, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries, which joined the state of Rhode Island in filing amicus briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs. “The problem is that in cases like this, judges are left with really difficult technical decisions. That’s the reason for the deference.” Read more here  07:35

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

Mass AG Coakley’s Fish suit picks up new steam – Rhode Island Attorney General has not ruled out the possibility of joining.

gdt iconWith Massachusetts and New Hampshire onboard, at least one other coastal New England state is tracking the federal lawsuit that accuses NOAA of wanton disregard for the catastrophic economic impact its catch quota policies have inflicted on the region’s fishing communities. ”Rhode Island has not signed on to the lawsuit, but we continue to closely monitor the status of that case,” said spokeswoman Amy Kemp. [email protected] 03:37

Fishing aid package eliminated by U.S. House panel

The decision, made Monday night, was expected by many, but it leaves Gloucester, New Bedford and lesser groundfishing ports without the hope or expectation of short-term financial aid even as the commercial fleets continue to consolidate in the face of reduced catch limits and potentially catastrophic constrictions in opportunity looming in the 2013 fishing year. Read more

Senate Republicans seek to remove funds to assist fishermen from a Hurricane Sandy relief package.

Battle brews over disaster relief for Maine, New England fisheries

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., pointed out that five states in the middle of the U.S. received nearly $40 billion in funding for 68 federally designated disasters between 2004 and 2011. “We have more than five states asking for $150 million,” Kerry said in response to an earlier attempt to separate out the fisheries money. “I will just say point blank: This legislation is not going to pass without the inclusion of fisheries money.” Read more