Tag Archives: Tor Bendiksen

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

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

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

What’s fair in breaking up the empire of ‘the Codfather’?

Randy Cushman, a fourth generation fisherman in Maine, knows what the crimes of Carlos Rafael cost him.,,, Rafael, whose downfall came after he boasted of his scheme to undercover IRS agents posing as Russian mobsters, is now serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.,,,  Senator Elizabeth Warren fired off a letter in August warning of “needless, immense damage” if permits leave New Bedford. Governor Charlie Baker asked that the permits at least stay in Massachusetts. click here to read the story 07:16

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

Loss of ‘Codfather’ permits could hurt New Bedford

By late morning just before Easter weekend, three fishing vessels lined up at the docks to unload their catch, and they all belonged to one man — the local mogul known as the “Codfather,” Carlos Rafael. “It’s a good haul,” a passing auction worker at the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction said under her breath, as crew members, some still in their orange waterproof bibs, unloaded the ice-packed fish. But now, Rafael’s recent conviction on federal charges that he cheated fishing regulations to boost his profits is putting his many vessels and permits up for grabs — potentially distributing them to ports along the New England coast. That would deliver an economic blow to New Bedford and the people who depend on the business created by Rafael’s fleet. If his permits are seized as expected, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the regulatory agency known as NOAA, could reissue the permits to fishermen elsewhere in the region. “There are a lot more innocent people who could get punished by this,” said Jim Kendall, a former fisherman who runs New Bedford Seafood Consulting. click here to read the story 09:00

New Bedford: Is family tradition of fishing ending?

Tom Williams and SonsThe trials and tribulations of contemporary commercial fishermen are well known in seaports throughout New England, but while their futures appear bleak in the eyes of some, there are others who dispute that notion.,, Many fear the rich tradition of “inter-generational fishing” — the once-common trend of fishermen spawning fishermen from their offspring — is nearing the point of extinction. Read more here 08:47