Category Archives: New England

Lobster Industry Innovator Passes Away

Riverdale Mills Corporation announces with great sadness the passing of company founder, owner, and retired CEO James Knott, Sr. Mr. Knott was 88. Great innovators make their mark by challenging the status quo and finding new ways to do things better. James Knott, Sr. unequivocally fit this category as a profoundly influential innovator, whose products help millions of people. From spending summers in Gloucester, MA, Knott saw firsthand how much time and money lobster fishermen spent fixing their wooden traps. He was convinced there had to be a better way. Knott set out to build a more durable lobster trap to keep fishermen on the water making a living, instead of regularly onshore repairing their traps or building new ones. >click to read<17:56

Quick action by Rockport fisherman saves lobstermans life

A Rockland lobsterman said he thought he was going to die as he struggled Thursday to stay above water in Rockland Harbor. But the quick response by a crew member of a fishing vessel docked at the Rockland Fish Pier prevented a tragedy. Gary Kenney had come in from hauling traps and was bringing his lobster boat to its mooring about 200 to 300 hundred yards from the fish pier. He said he was at the bow when another boat came speeding by at a fast rate, despite it being a no-wake zone. The wave created by the speeding boat, which he was not expecting, caused him to lose his balance and fall into the water.,, At the same time, Andrew Banow was atop a truck on the fish pier unloading fish from the Western Sea. >click to read<16:27

Push on to brand, market Massachusetts lobster

Building on the success of its Gloucester Fresh seafood branding campaign, the city of Gloucester plans to apply the same formula to help brand and market Massachusetts lobsters to lobster lovers the world over.,, Gloucester has dominated the lobster trade in Massachusetts and the industry’s high profile here has helped mitigate some of the misery foisted upon the community by the continuing groundfish crisis.,, It is the state’s No. 1 port in both number of active lobstermen — an average of 136 annually during the past five years — and amount of lobster annually landed. Gloucester has averaged 2.94 million pounds per year over the past five years, according to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. >click to read<12:02

New England shrimp population still looks bad amid shutdown

A new analysis of New England’s shrimp population doesn’t bode well for the future of the long-shuttered fishery for the crustaceans. The Maine-based shrimp fishery has been shut down since 2013 because of concerns such as warming ocean temperatures and poor survival of young. Scientists working with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are assessing the shrimp stock, and so far it looks like little has changed. Results of the stock assessment “look fairly similar to what we’ve seen in previous years,” said Megan Ware, a fishery management plan coordinator with the Atlantic States. >click to read<08:54

MAFMC/ASMFC Public Hearings on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are seeking public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder (fluke) fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. Ten public hearings will be held between September 10 and September 27. Written comments will be accepted through October 12, 2018. >click to read<19:25

Annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service: Captain Cosmo hands, other lost fishermen to be remembered

Once again comes the Saturday to remember the men who went down to sea in boats and never came back again. Those who are too old to walk will sit, those who are too young to walk will ride on their parent’s shoulders. The rest will begin at the American Legion Hall in the late day August day to walk Middle Street to Stacy Boulevard in silent procession that will end at the edge of the Outer Harbor at Gloucester’s iconic statue of the man at the wheel.,,, Closure is not what the Annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service is about, but opening the hearts of all those present to celebrate the spirits of those who are no longer here. >click to read< What: Annual Fishermen’s Memorial Service. All are welcome to join the procession and carry oars and also flowers to cast into the sea in memory of lost fishermen. When: Saturday, Aug. 18, beginning at 5 p.m. with a procession.

A rare victory for New England commercial fishermen

The New England fishing industry is enjoying a rare victory over federal regulators as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced earlier this week that it would pick up the cost of at-sea monitoring of boats this year. What’s more, NOAA will reimburse fishermen for some of their out-of-pocket expenses from 2017. While that’s good news, there is still work to be done. There is no guarantee the new policy — less a promise of change than a one-time concession tucked in the federal budget — will continue past this year. And beyond the cost, the expensive, inefficient at-sea monitoring program, which spreads a limited number of monitors among a large number of vessels for an undetermined number of trips, must be able to provide accurate information regulators and fishermen can trust. >click to read<07:34

Dixon McGlohon, 27- ‘Wicked Tuna’ Fish buyer city’s 11th overdose of year

Lucas Pina, general manager at the Lynn-based North Atlantic Traders, sent a text message to company buyer and driver Dixon McGlohon of Gloucester on Tuesday afternoon, thanking him for putting so much extra effort into the job. “I just told him, ‘Thanks for stepping up,'” Pina said Thursday, “and he responded, ‘Just doing my job.’ Now that’s class, and that’s the kind of guy he was.” Just a few hours later, McGlohon, known for his appearances on the National Geographic reality TV show “Wicked Tuna,” was pronounced dead at the age of 27, thought by police and Fire Department responders to be Gloucester’s latest victim in the ongoing opioid crisis. Police and the Essex District Attorney’s office are still awaiting a confirmed cause of death from the office of the state medical examiner. >click to read<19:06

Maine Lobstermen’s Association seeks members

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, founded in1954, is conducting its annual membership drive and invites all lobstermen and the public to become members For more than 60 years, the MLA has tackled numerous issues with the potential to harm Maines lobster industry. .,,, During the annual membership drive, lobstermen and the public are urged to become members and help the MLA to continue the fight. >click to read<13:46

NEFMC Seeks Input From Fishermen and Research Partners on RSA Programs; Take the Online Survey!

The New England Fishery Management Council is asking fishermen and their cooperative research partners who participate in the Atlantic Sea Scallop, Atlantic Herring, and/or Monkfish Research Set-Aside (RSA) Programs to take an online survey and provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of these programs and pass along any suggestions for improvement. Other stakeholders who have an interest or role in RSA programs also are encouraged to take the survey.,,, The survey, which contains roughly 40 questions, will be available online until mid-September 2018. >click to read<17:02

A mighty wind, by Kevin Gray – The more you read, the dirtier it gets.

Jeff Grybowksi likes to tell the story about the whale.,,, For Grybowksi and his surrogates, as well as for the powerful environmental groups blowing wind into his green-energy sails, this is a handy anecdote, one they frequently recycle to journalists and policy makers. In the face of commercial fishermen’s warnings that Deepwater’s wind farms will kill their industry, Grybowksi’s parable portrays the company as a true steward of the environment. At the same time, the story underscores the brinksmanship that has propelled Grybowski’s company from startup obscurity to leading player in the booming domestic offshore wind trade: They are ready to go down to the wire for the sake of their hedge-fund investors.,,, But not everyone out here is impressed by Deepwater’s plans, or by Grybowski, or his whale. >click to read<10:52

Help us learn more about the “Michigan Bears” and the men who fished aboard Gloucester’s oldest fishing vessel, the Phyllis A.

On September 6, 1920 five small vessels arrived in Gloucester Harbor and tied up in Smith Cove near Rocky Neck. The little boats and the 20 men who crewed them, had spent 24 days traveling 2,200 miles from Charlevoix, Michigan to start a new life for them selves and their families, doing a method of fishing that had been introduced, but not welcomed, by the fishing industry on the east coast of the Atlantic in the late 1800’s,,, gill net fishing, used here in Gloucester and the East coast to this day. >click to read<21:21

EDITORIAL: All aboard for saving right whales

There are good reasons why there haven’t been any right whale deaths in waters around the Atlantic provinces this year. It’s due to a combination of good luck and good management. Last year, an alarming number of endangered whales died — 13 in Canadian waters and five more off the U.S. The bodies of another two whales have shown up in American waters this year, while several whale rescues from entanglements were carried out in the Bay of Fundy.,,, Something had to be done. Last year, Ottawa ordered ships to reduce speed in Atlantic waters to help the slow-moving marine mammals avoid collisions. Fishermen were asked to reduce rope and other gear in the water to lessen the chances of entanglements. >click to read<15:22

NOAA/NMFS to Reimburse Sector At-Sea Monitoring Costs

NOAA/NMFS will pay for all at-sea monitoring costs for fishing year 2018. Any groundfish sector trip beginning on or after May 1, 2018 that was selected for at-sea monitoring coverage is eligible for reimbursement. NOAA will also reimburse industry for an additional 25 percent of their at-sea monitoring costs in fishing year 2017 using remaining prior year funds, bringing the total reimbursement for 2017 to approximately 85 percent. This reimbursement was provided for by Congress through an FY18 funding increase for groundfish at-sea monitoring. >click to read<12:54

A Marshfield lobsterman’s impromptu whale watch, Minke whale puts on a show

A minke whale put on quite the show — including a leaping belly flop — for a Marshfield fisherman out at work on Saturday, Quincy’s Patriot Ledger reports. According to the newspaper, Patrick Hurley was bringing in his daily catch when the whale started swimming around his boat.  “Wow! He looked right at me,” the lobsterman exclaims as the whale breaches in a video shared by the Patriot Ledger. “Don’t jump on my boat, buddy.” “I gotta get to work,” he later calls to the whale. video >click to watch< 20:23

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

New England/Mid-Atlantic – Illex Squid Directed Fishery Closes August 15

Effective at noon on August 15, 2018, vessels are prohibited from fishing for or landing more than 10,000 lb of Illex squid per trip per calendar day in or from federal waters through December 31, 2018. Landings information analyzed by NOAA Fisheries projects the Illex squid fishery will meet 95 percent of the annual quota for the 2018 fishing year by August 15, 2018. NOAA Fisheries is closing the directed fishery in federal waters through the end of the fishing year, December 31, 2018. >click to read<09:18

Large pogy catch good news for Maine lobstermen who feared bait shortage

All of the landings have yet to be counted, but officials say it is likely that an unusually large pogy fleet will have caught almost 7 million pounds of the fish, which is more than double last year’s landings. This comes as especially good news for Maine lobstermen, who use pogies to bait their traps when the herring supply runs low, as it is expected to this year. “Every pogy used was herring not used,” said Kristan Porter, a Cutler lobsterman and president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, which has been working with its members to prepare them for the herring shortage. >click to read<07:09

Lobster boats race at Winter Harbor this Saturday, on Sunday at Pemaquid Harbor

Whether summer is at its peak or is beginning to wind down may be open to debate, but there’s no question that the Maine lobster boat racing season is entering its final phase. On July 29, racing returned to Harpswell for the first time in five years and drew a fleet of nearly 50 boats to the seventh event on the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association calendar. This Saturday, weather cooperating, a substantially larger number of entries is expected for the eighth event on the calendar — the 53rd annual Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races, held in conjunction with the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival. On Sunday, racing is scheduled for Pemaquid Harbor where the 32nd Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races will be a feature of the annual Old Bristol Days celebration. >click to read<11:19

Saugus lobsterman is trying to put his life back together after losing his home and his job

An orange lobster boat “Dependable” sits patiently in the Saugus River. Its captain, George Mabee, is healing from wounds sustained in a house fire two weeks ago and is unable to work. “The season is just starting to kick off now, it’s just picking up,” said Mabee. “Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to be there to do anything because I’m too prone to infection right now. Lobstering is my whole business.” July 29 started off as a normal day for Mabee, a commercial fisherman. But by the end of it, he found himself lucky to be alive. >click to read<19:29

A Fundraiser for Saugus Ma. Lobsterman George Mabee – >click to read<

A Fundraiser for Saugus Ma. Lobsterman George Mabee

George is a local fisherman that lost everything he owned in a devastating fire at his home in Saugus on July 29th. He managed to escape, suffering third degree burns. He is staying with family during his recovery. George has a long road ahead of him and we want to make his recovery comfortable so he can focus on healing. Any amount is appreciated and will make a difference. Please, if you can, >click to donate<19:20

Saugus lobsterman is trying to put his life back together after losing his home and his job – >click to read<

Exposed wind farm electric transmission line at Block Island beach causing concern

There is a controversy over a high voltage power line to and from Block Island that’s supposed to be buried. But it’s not. In fact, at low tide on Wednesday, it was just below the waterline at State Beach, which is also known as Crescent Beach and is the most popular on Block Island. You can still see the yellow covering wrapped around the 37,500-volt National Grid powerline that runs the juice generated by the Deepwater Wind turbines through a buried junction box, to the mainland, and the electricity back again to island ratepayers. National Grid released a statement, noting that shifting sediment is the cause for the lines exposure, but added that they are “confident” it’s safe. >click to read<14:02

Cable exposed near shoreline – >click to read<

Bay State Wind alters layout for offshore wind farm, but fisheries call foul

Bay State Wind LLC is changing the turbine layout of its 800-MW Bay State Offshore Wind Project to accommodate the U.S. commercial fishing industry’s ability to work between turbines. But fisheries say the changes are too little, too late and underscore their growing frustration with the offshore wind sector. However, the commercial fishing industry is not satisfied with Bay State Wind’s changed layout. Meghan Lapp, fisheries liaison for Rhode Island-based frozen seafood producer Seafreeze Ltd., said one-mile-wide transit lanes can make it dangerous for trawl vessels to fish with their nets without hitting other boats or project infrastructure. Buffer zones for each side of a transit lane are also needed due to potential radar interference from the turbines. >click to read< 09:48

Why the U.S. Needs More Worker-Owned Companies

The gap in wealth in the United States between the ultrawealthy and everyone else has reached its widest point in decades. One way to narrow the divide is through the use of worker buyouts, in which ownership of a company transfers from a single person or a small number of people to the workers of the company. Currently, about 10% of Americans hold equity stakes in their workplaces.,,,  Worker buyouts are particularly likely to blossom in industries with organized workers who transition to union cooperatives. Last year 400 members of IAM Maine Lobstering Union bought the wholesale operation of Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and turned it into a worker-owned cooperative called Lobster 207. >click to read<07:59

Passengers on whale-watching boat spot snake floating in water off Cape Cod

Passengers and crew on a whale-watching boat off Cape Cod spotted something very unusual in the water last week. The Cape Cod Times reports the Hyannis Whale Watcher was about a mile north of Race Point Beach when someone suddenly yelled “snake.” Marine biologist Joanne Jarzobski told the newspaper that an eastern hognose snake was floating alongside the boat. Herpetologist Scott Buchanan told the paper that it was “puzzling” to see the serpent so far out in the ocean but noted snakes are good swimmers and that he believes it was just trying to cool off.>link<17:41

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 43′ Fiberglass Scalloper with Ma. CAP, CAT 3406, 12 KW Northern Lights

Specifications, information and 6 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >Click here<12:50

Raimondo looks to further offshore wind, to fishermen’s dismay

Governor Gina Raimondo is promising a “greener” Rhode Island with at least 5,000 new jobs by expanding offshore wind initiatives if she’s reelected. “High-end, high wage jobs – Rhode Island ought to be the Silicon Valley of offshore wind,” said Raimondo. Raimondo eventually wants factories in Rhode Island to manufacture the equipment instead of outsourcing it. She plans to further invest in the state’s ports so they can handle the work on a larger scale. For Spencer Bode, a local commercial fisherman, this is a race he wants no part of. Bode hasn’t been impacted by the five turbines off Block Island, but the dozens more set to be built halfway between the island and Martha’s Vineyard are another story. >click to read<09:25

Derelict boat leaving mounting debts in wake

The Artemis, the derelict scalloper whose owner left a trail of woe and unpaid bills around Gloucester’s shoreside businesses, may soon be gone. But its saga could have the shelf life of a Norse legend. The 43-foot, steel-hulled vessel, which spent four months grounded on a Provincetown breakwater after being towed out of Gloucester, is tied up at a Provincetown pier, awaiting demolition. And Provincetown is paying the tab — estimated ultimately to cost about $39,000 — to haul the boat off the breakwater and cut it up. The town, according to local reports, has said it will try to recoup the costs of the salvage (about $30,000) and demolition (about $8,500) from vessel owner John Christiansen. Scott Memhard of Gloucester’s Cape Pond Ice on Monday basically said good luck with that. >click to read<21:40

Narragansett Bay – Invasive Asian Crab Outcompeting Young Lobsters

Speculation about the cause of the decline of lobster populations in Narragansett Bay has focused on an increasing number of predatory fish eating young lobsters, warming waters stressing juveniles, and a disease on their shells that is exacerbated by increasing temperatures. A new study by a scientist at the University of North Carolina points to another contributing factor: Asian shore crabs.,,, Adult lobsters live in much deeper water than the shallow intertidal zone inhabited by Asian shore crabs, so the two species seldom interact. But some larval lobsters settle in the intertidal and subtidal zones, which they use as nursery habitat. Prior to the arrival of Asian shore crabs, it was an area that had fewer predators and an abundance of food. But now the young lobsters are finding themselves in competition with the crabs for food and shelter. >click to read<09:25

After Tyler Hamlin was stripped of her crown, the Maine Lobster Festival board faced reactions ‘almost like a lynch mob.’

The 2018 Maine Sea Goddess was forced to step down less than 24 hours after she was crowned because of photos she posted on social media that were forwarded to Maine Lobster Festival organizers. – The decision by the executive board of the Maine Lobster Festival to strip the Sea Goddess of her crown created a firestorm that made festival organizers fear for their safety. More than 10,000 comments and messages have been sent to the Maine Lobster Festival since The Courier-Gazette reported Thursday evening that Taylor Hamlin, who was crowned the 2018 Maine Sea Goddess on Wednesday night,> was forced to step down< less than 24 hours later over photos she had posted on social media. >click to read<18:55