Tag Archives: Sector IX

Federal Delegation ‘Solidly Behind’ New Bedford in Fishing Fight

Prior to a town hall-style meeting in New Bedford on Saturday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren quietly gathered with fellow senator Ed Markey and Congressman William Keating in the Wharfinger Building on Pier 3. Inside, the three legislators sat for more than an hour, listening to representatives of the fishing community relay their present and future concerns facing the industry. About 80 fishermen out of New Bedford have been unable to fish or lease their quotas since NOAA shut down Sector IX in November. The shutdown remains in effect until the feds can estimate how much quota convicted “Codfather” Carlos Rafael depleted in his overfishing scheme. Massachusetts’ two senators have been all but crucified for what many see as inaction on the Sector IX closure. >click to read<09:12

The ‘Codfather’ is behind bars, and New Bedford’s economy is paying the price

From the icehouse to the auction house, a pall hangs over the fabled wharves in New Bedford. As the new fishing season begins, many of the city’s fishermen are unemployed, their suppliers stuck with excess inventory, and local officials are questioning whether the millions of dollars in lost revenue will cost the port its ranking as the nation’s most valuable, as it has been for the past 17 years. “It’s devastating what’s happened to us, and other businesses here,” said Tor Bendiksen, the manager of Reidar’s, a marine supply company. >click to read< 08:25

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

New England Fishery Management Council to hear Sector IX’s post-Rafael plans

The New England Fishery Management Council will be updated on the groundfish crisis involving several New Bedford-based fishing sectors when it convenes for three days of meetings next week in Mystic, Connecticut. The groundfish presentation by staff from the Gloucester-based Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be the centerpiece of the groundfish report on Wednesday and is designed to provide “an overview of (Northeast Fishing) Sector IX’s steps to address its shortcomings, as well as a summary of Sector IX’s operations plan,” according to the agenda for the meetings. >click to read<19:26

Barry Richard: Warren and Markey are AWOL from Fishing Issues

A restless waterfront is demanding the attention of elected officials on the state and federal levels, but so far there has been little but lip service. This week, Governor Charlie Baker promised to listen to the concerns of the local fishing industry, as plans proceed for an offshore wind farm that could have grave consequences for the industry if not done right. Industry reps are concerned about the impact such development could have on fish stocks. They also worry that the budding wind industry could crowd them out along the waterfront and pose safety risks,, 10 minute radio call in.>click to read<20:24

New Bedford: Industry on the Brink

Two computer screens lit Richie Canastra’s windowless office.  The co-owner of BASE (Buyers and Sellers Seafood Exchange) seafood auction scrolled through scores of financial data associated with commercial fishing landings at 62 Hassey St. The numbers that starred back since NOAA implemented a groundfishing ban last November tell a dark story in an industry already struggling to survive. “With the ban, if we’re not up and fishing by May 1, you might as well just call (groundfishing in New Bedford) over,” Canastra said. >click to read<22:52

Sector IX vessels make a move to lease quota

Fifty-five vessels have left Sector IX, but they still can’t fish.  However, they can lease their groundfish quota. The 55, including four Carlos Rafael vessels subject to forfeiture, were submitted to be included in Sector VII for the 2018-19 fishing season, according to NOAA Sector VII. The move comes after six months of negotiations with NOAA in trying to get an operational plan approved, which would have lifted the groundfishing ban. >click to read<09:17

Reidar’s, like others, part of Sector IX collateral damage

It was just before thanksgiving that NOAA shut down Sector IX after Carlos Rafael had been found guilty and sent to jail and, three months later, none of the boats or crews from the sector are any closer to going back to work. “There has been a lot of talking, but, not much action,” Tor Bendiksen told me. A number of suggestions have been out forward about how to resolve the issue, but there is a notable absence of leadership, throwing local business owners under the bus because one of their customers gamed the system is rough justice, to say the least. >click to read<09:12

NOAA Sector ban suffocating shoreside industry in New Bedford

The hits keep coming from NOAA’s groundfishing ban with financial losses spreading to business that support New Bedford’s fishing fleet. “No one ever really paid attention to our shoreside business,” manager of Reidar’s Trawl Gear and Marine Supply Tor Bendiksen said. We’re the last of the group. We all remember when there was companies like ours up and down this entire coast. The only reason that we’ve all survived in New Bedford is because we had not only groundfish but we have the scallop industry to support us., The collateral damage of the ban extends beyond fishermen. >click to read< 10:47

There’s a Repulican Running for US Senate, He’s Listening to the Industry People in New Bedford

Geoff Diehl cruised around the Port of New Bedford in an RV Tuesday that maneuvered in and out of small entrances and exits.  The red, white, and blue mobile home featured the slogan of the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, ” The Real Diehl,” as he looked to learn the reality of the fishing industry in the area. Diehl made four stops in the area, which began with Mayor Jon Mitchell and concluded with a meeting with three members on the board of Sector 9 as well as the sector’s lawyer. Diehl questioned what incumbent Elizabeth Warren has done,,,>click here to read< 18:47

Post Rafael, New Bedford Fishing Industry Looks to Move Forwad

For perhaps the first time, at least publicly, fishermen on Carlos Rafael vessels sat in the same room Wednesday as John Bullard, the former regional administrator for NOAA, who implemented a groundfishing ban for those vessels. Bullard, wearing a blue NOAA jacket, sat in the front of four-person panel brought together by Rhode Island Public Radio  The fishermen, wearing baseball caps and New Bedford Ship Supply sweatshirts, sat to the left of the panel, which discussed fishing in New Bedford after Carlos Rafael at Star Store.>click to read<21:16

Opinion: Time for NOAA and Sector IX to strike a deal

Eighty New Bedford groundfishermen. They’ve had no work now for almost three months. In the end, those are the guys and it is their families who are paying the biggest price for Carlos Rafael’s longtime conspiracy to falsify fishing records and smuggle the cash overseas. But since Rafael was the big guy on the New Bedford waterfront, the guy who owns the majority of the boats in Sector IX, the fishermen have been out of work since Nov 20 when regional NOAA administrator John Bullard ordered the sector to stop fishing. >click to read< 10:57

Don Cuddy: Sector closure angers and worries groundfish industry

It was on Monday, November 20, two days before his retirement party as NOAA regional administrator, that John Bullard abruptly ordered the shutdown of Sector IX’s groundfish operations. The boats out fishing had to return to port forthwith.,,, Bullard’s move was praised by some but it engendered some harsh criticism in the city. Click here to read the story. 23:11

Mayor Jon Mitchell: Ban costing Port of New Bedford 500K per day

In a letter addressed to NOAA, Mayor Jon Mitchell said the Port of New Bedford could be losing nearly $500,000 a day because of the groundfishing ban. Mitchell referenced analysis prepared by Professor Dan Georgiana of SMAST, which stated the 25-day-old ban caused as much as $12 million (to date) in damage to the port. Mitchell filed is letter Wednesday, the final day in which comments regarding the ban could be submitted. Andrew Saunders, the attorney for Sector IX, the Carlos Rafael fishing division that’s prevented from groundfishing, also submitted a letter Wednesday. click here to read the story 17:55

It’s devestating’: Fishermen try to cope as NOAA shuts down groundfishing

Cesar Verde only knows fishing. The New Bedford resident learned the craft in his native Portugal. For the past seventeen years, he’s worked in the fishing industry in his new home, and he’s been a captain for the past decade. However, for the last two weeks, he’s been out of the water because NOAA prohibited Carlos Rafael’s vessels from groundfishing. Verde captains fishing vessel Ilha do Corvo. “So far, (I’m) pitching in on the little savings I have. Soon I’ll run out.” click here to read the story 20:24

Fishermen voice concerns over fallout from Rafaels crimes

A century’s worth of fishing industry experience traveled from New Bedford to the Viking Hotel on Wednesday to describe the impact on NOAA’s groundfish ban on Carlos Rafael’s vessels. Richie Canastra, an owner of the New Bedford fish auction BASE, sat in front of the New England Fisheries Management Council during a public comment portion of it’s meeting and warned of “many layoffs” that will occur because of the ban. click here to read the story 21:02

Sector IX Responds to NOAA Groundfish Ban

Sector IX sent a 15 page response to John Bullard and NOAA on Saturday after the governing agency banned the sector from groundfishing two weeks ago. The documents sent to NOAA’s Northeast Regional Administrator by Sector IX President Virginia Martins included a six page letter that outlined the grievances with the decision as well as biographies of the new board members and the agenda of an Oct. 26 meeting between the sector and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. click here to read the story 22:33