Category Archives: New England

Bob Guzzo Talks Quotas, Offshore Wind, Coronavirus, and Fishing out of Stonington, Connecticut

“We’re giving up traditional fishing grounds that we’ve had for hundreds of years, that have fed the country, that are now going to light a light bulb and it’s not going to be worthwhile,” Guzzo said of the proposed wind farms located in federal waters. The location of the wind farms also destroys longtime fisheries, said Guzzo. “They’re taking away places that we’ve fished for this country over hundreds of years and we’re losing that ground,” he said.,, Quotas and Coronavirus, “I got tired of throwing fish overboard, I could never stand it. I started too long ago and never had to do this. The way they make you fish today is a crime,” >click to read< 08:01

Kingfish Zeeland seeks state permit to draw and discharge seawater for $110M fish farm proposed in Jonesport

Kingfish Zeeland, which has an agreement to develop a 94-acre site on Dun Garvan Road, east of central Jonesport on Route 187, needs approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection to draw and discharge seawater between the land-based plant and Chandler Bay. The company says it plans to filter and cool the water that is discharged into the bay to make sure it is clean and that it does not affect the water temperature in the bay, where many local lobstermen set their traps.,, Kingfish officials said Tuesday that the discharge permit will be “one of the most critical permits” for the project. The company also is expected to apply for permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and from the Jonesport planning board, which it will need to get prior to starting construction, possibly in 2021. >click to read< 09:48

Study: Microplastic fiber pollution harms lobster larvae

A study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin reports that the fibers affect the animals’ feeding and respiration, and they could even prevent some larvae from reaching adulthood. “Lobsters play a fundamental role in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem as well as the state’s economy, and it is important that we understand how pollutants impact their development.” Young lobsters grow to adulthood through four distinct developmental stages, and the researchers found that the physiology of each stage determined how the animals interacted with plastic fibers. The youngest lobsters didn’t consume them—but they were plagued by fibers accumulating under the shells that protect their gills. >click to read< 16:04

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

America Needs To Stop Relying On Countries Like China For Seafood Markets

When Americans visit a supermarket and wander past the meat counter, they see this century’s equivalent of the fishmonger’s stall: the seafood department. Laden over crushed ice in glass cases sits an array of fish products — whole snapper or shrimp, maybe, but almost always pre-sliced filets in a bevy of hues. Oysters and clams complete the display. In the rare cases where stores divulge the provenance of seafood, placards will often list Thailand, China or South American countries. Less frequently, however, will one see U.S-raised or caught seafood in such displays. This is disappointing to the patriot who wishes to ‘buy American.’ >clickto read< 07:00

Trump Memo On Lobster Aid Leaves Industry Wondering What’s Next. How about a U.S.Fish Bill?!!

In a memo, the president urged Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to consider taking appropriate action “to provide assistance to fisherman and producers in the U.S. lobster industry that continue to be harmed by China’s retaliatory tariffs.” He also asked the secretary to consider including lobster and other segments of the seafood industry in future assistance to mitigate the effects of the tariffs. But none have heard details on what Perdue might do to offset the impact on the industry of Trump’s trade war with China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also mostly quiet. >click to read< 10:01 – A reminder from Sam Parisi to those interested in creating and implementing a U.S. Fish Bill – Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of the U.S. Fish Bill. >click to read< 10:06

Can New England’s cod fishing industry survive? (How can the scientists and regulators ignore the ever increasing seal predation?!)

Gloucester, Massachusetts, grew up around cod. The waterfront teemed with boats and fishermen, heaps of fish thrashing in wire baskets. Boats were inherited from fathers and shipyards boasted of operating since 1684. As late as the 1980s, the cod were so abundant and large (30-50lb each) that the fishermen still brought in big hauls. Cod remains the state fish of Massachusetts., “We’ve been regulated out of existence,” former Gloucester fisherman Sam Sanfilippo said in 2017. “This used to be the biggest fishing community in the world. Ice companies, wharves, fish dealers, truckers, supermarkets … All through high school, I was always a fisherman. And here I am today: recycler, bike seller, furniture-maker. “I’m 50 years old and I don’t know what the hell I am.” >click to read< 07:30

Canada to ban ‘nuisance seals’ killing to keep access to U.S. market – Canada will abolish permits that allow the killing of “nuisance seals” by commercial fishermen and aquaculture in an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, Fishery management failure enacted for fish farmers >click to read<

Fishing community plans tribute to “Uncle” Andy Gove

Andrew Gove began lobstering in the waters around Deer Isle as a boy of 7, fishing with his grandfather off Eagle Island in Penobscot Bay. Last year, at the age of 89, the lobsterman universally known as “Uncle” hauled his gear for the last time and retired to his home on Stonington Harbor with his wife of 73 years, Rose. Gove died late last month and now the lobster fishing community is planning a tribute to the man who was a respected patriarch of the lobster fishing industry. Plans call for a fleet of boats to gather off Greenhead at the western end of the Deer Island Thorofare at noon on Sunday, July 12,,, >click to read< 18:15

In Lobster Town U.S.A., When the industry suffers, the pain ripples.

Blaine Olsen, a lifelong lobsterman, was navigating his 30-foot boat off the coast of Stonington, Maine, when his sternman, who’s also his wife, yelled above the diesel engine’s din about the pittance the local cooperative was paying harvesters. He shot Ginny a doleful stare for a good five seconds. “Holy sh-t, man,” he said. “It costs us $600 a day to go out.” The dock price, $2.25 a pound for soft-shell lobsters, was half what it was a year ago, making it virtually impossible to earn a profit. The novel coronavirus has barely touched the public health of this corner of rural down east Maine, with Hancock County reporting just 16 cases and one death as of June 30. Its economic health is another matter,,, >click to read< 10:50

Environmental Police Investigate Mysterious Menemsha Harbor Lobster Deaths

“It was reported that a commercial lobsterman within Menemsha Harbor discovered what appeared to be motor oil poured on top of several of his lobster crates that were tied along his mooring slip,” the report says in part. According to the report, the contamination of oil resulted in the death of “multiple” lobsters that were stored in the crates. The report also noted that the oil did not appear to have any other environmental impact in the surrounding area. >click to read< 09:09

Honoring a legacy: Commemorative tote honors Maine fishermen who died at sea

When Hayley Brown’s father Captain Joe Nickerson died at sea, she said she was in shock. And while the pain of losing her father is still with her, she’s getting creative to honor his legacy and support the causes he was truly passionate about. Nickerson and his crewmate Chris Pinkham were fishing aboard the boat named after Hayley, the Hayley Ann, off the coast of Portland when it capsized in January., Nickerson was the chairman of the Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association (MCFA), so Hayley teamed up with them and Sea Bags to create totes in memory of her father. All proceeds from the sale of the bags will support MCFA in advocating for Maine’s fishing communities and the next generation of fishermen in Maine. On Father’s Day, the MCFA introduced the totes. >Video, click to read< 18:21

Bureau of Prisons: ‘Codfather’ Carlos Rafael transferred from prison to ‘community confinement’

Community confinement indicates Rafael, 68, is either in home confinement or a Residential Reentry Center (RRC, or halfway house), according to Taylor, which is overseen by the BOP’s Philadelphia Residential Reentry Management Office. According to the BOP’s inmate database, the projected date of his release from custody is March 4, 2021. Rafael was sentenced to 46 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to 28 offenses, including conspiracy, false labeling of fish, bulk cash smuggling, tax evasion and falsifying federal records. At the time his attorney William Keating requested he serve his sentence at FMC Devens, which is a federal prison for male inmates that need specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. >click to read< 15:30

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49’11″x 20′ Lobster, Longliner, 335HP Volvo

To review specifications, information and 35 photos, >click here< Vessel is in good condition. To see all the boats in this series, >click here<11:09

Re-Deploying Observers and At-Sea Monitors: Northeast Observer Waiver Extended Through July 31, 2020

Although we had announced plans to resume observer deployments on July 1, we recognize the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and as such, has required us to re-evaluate and adapt to changing circumstances.  In response, NOAA Fisheries is extending the waiver granted to vessels with Greater Atlantic Region fishing permits to carry human observers or at-sea monitors through July 31, 2020. This action is authorized by 50 CFR 648.11, which provides the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator authority to waive observer requirements, and is also consistent with the criteria described in the agency’s emergency rule on observer waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. >click to read< 16:00

#FishermensLivesMatter: Until this pandemic is over, say no to fishery observers being placed on fishing vessels

On July 1st the Trump Administration’s agency, NOAA will require that fishing vessels resume taking fishery observers on their fishing trips. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these activities have been suspended for almost three months due to the danger of spreading the deadly disease among the
fishing industry and their families. Fishery observers are required by National Marine Fishery Service regulations to observe commercial fishing operations in almost all of our countries fisheries based on various criteria that include likelihood of interaction with marine mammals or other protected species, amount of bycatch in each fishery, adherence to regulations, and anything else they can justify to support this huge taxpayer money gobbling con game they have created. >click to read< by Jim Lovgren #FishermensLivesMatter 22:27

Maine: Not about to be trapped, captains push vessels to limit for bragging rights, top prizes

Hauling: Lobster boats make waves in watery race party – On Saturday, June 27 in Rockland Harbor just inside the breakwater, there was no time for these usual working vessels to stop and pick up a pot because the race finish was in sight and there were bragging rights on the line. In this case, the lobsters had to wait. In beautiful, early-summer weather, in front of hundreds of spectators on the breakwater and dozens of moored boats that had traveled far and wide from Maine’s watery nooks and crannies, and, on this day, combined to create a small floating city in the harbor, the annual Rockland Lobster Boat Races turned out to be a roaring, with emphasis on roaring success. >click to watch video, see more than 120 photos<13:31

Sakonnet Lobster found a way to deal with Coronavirus. Door-to-door delivery

Doug Mataronas saw what restaurants were doing during the initial weeks of the governor’s orders to stay at home, so he figured he’d give it a try. He started delivering fresh lobsters to the doors of customers in Little Compton and Tiverton, and then went as far as Boyd’s Lane in Portsmouth — all the way over the Sakonnet River Bridge — where customers who placed orders online or by phone would meet him at the Park and Ride. Mataronas thought the deliveries would only last for a short time while restaurants were closed, but he continues to get orders from people for his Saturday deliveries, though the retail delivery orders have slowed a bit since restaurants have started to open up to outdoor dining. >click to read< 08:07

Coronavirus results in falling New England lobster prices

The American lobster fishing industry, based mostly in Maine, has had to cope with a supply chain that has been disrupted by the pandemic. Wholesale prices were lower than previous years this spring, and consumers started to see lower prices at markets earlier in June. Members of the industry said prices could likely fall more in July. America’s lobster catch typically picks up in the summer, when lobsters shed their shells and reach legal trapping size. This year, fishers will likely bring lobsters to the docks in a time when restaurants are slowed or shuttered and seafood processors aren’t taking nearly as many of the crustaceans, industry members said. >click to read< 08:25

An East Coast Perspective on Coronavirus Impacts

This was initially to be about how the New Jersey commercial fishing industry was coping with the coronavirus crisis. However, there is a seemingly infinite number of websites running commentaries on the national and/or international aspects of the ongoing pandemic in general and, surprisingly, as it specifically applies to and as it affects commercial fishing and the seafood industry. Considering this, sharing more than an overview of what the New Jersey industry, or at least that part of it that I have been in touch with, would probably not have much of an impact. But happily, at this point it seems that U.S. consumers aren’t really as averse to preparing quality seafood at home (when it isn’t available or is only limitedly available elsewhere) as most of us have believed. >click to read< By Nils Stolpe 12:05

Governor Mills Urges Commerce Secretary Ross to Reject Pew Charitable Trusts prohibition petition

Standing up for Maine’s vital lobster industry and its hardworking men and women, Governor Janet Mills today urged U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to deny a petition by Pew Charitable Trusts that would prohibit the use of vertical lines in the American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries in four areas of the New England coast. In a letter sent to the Commerce Secretary yesterday, Governor Mills explained that the petition, which asks for immediate year-round closures south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and three seasonal offshore closures in the Gulf of Maine to protect North Atlantic right whales, “not only fails to provide additional protections for right whales, but contrary to Pew’s assertions, it will also cause significant economic impact to Maine’s iconic lobster fishery.” >click to read< 17:03

When Lobster Got Fancy

Once called the poor man’s protein, it was only fit for the poor, servants, prisoners and being soldiers’ staples to everyone’s idea of a delicacy, “The Cockroach of The Sea”- some 150 years ago, did become one of the most remarkable re-branding in product history.,, If today’s lobster wears a top hat, 80 years ago he wore overalls and was probably picking up garbage. The lobster is a self made creature and quite the social climber. So how did they climb the social ladder? >click to read< By Joanne Blais 12:48

A Little More Normal? Lobster boat races Sunday

According to the MaineLobster Boat Racing Association, the planned races in Boothbay Harbor, Stonington and Harpswell have been canceled or postponed. But races in Rockland on Saturday, Bass Harbor on Sunday and Moosabec Reach/Jonesport/Beals on July 4 are all set to go forward.  >click to read< 11:16

Report: 4 of 5 Gulf of St. Lawrence area right whale deaths investigated last year were caused by ship strikes

The report, compiled by the Marine Animal Response Society and Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, says vessel strikes caused four out of the five whale deaths investigated last year. A total of nine right whales were found dead in and around the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2019. The report released Wednesday focused on the necropsy results for five right whales, all found dead between June and July 2019. It found vessel strikes caused the death of four of them, but the necropsy investigation could not determine the cause of death of the fifth. >click to read< 14:42

Displacement of fishermen? Offshore Wind Could Have Major Adverse Impact on Commercial Fisheries

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft supplemental environmental review for Vineyard Wind off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts indicates that offshore wind farms could have a major “adverse” impact on commercial fisheries.,, The study also notes concern that offshore wind turbines and transmission cables could entangle with fishing vessels and gear, and that wind farms could result in the temporary or permanent displacement of fishermen in certain areas.  >click to read< 13:02

N E looks to Europe to assess environmental impacts of offshore energy facilities – “In the next 20 years there will be more than 2,000 wind turbines off the coastline,” “We think there’s lots of potential for environmental benefit of putting offshore aquaculture together with offshore renewable — from an environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view,” she said. “Sharing space is going to be the only way I think we can move forward in this industry,,, >click to read<

Island Democrats to help pick House nominee – Both women are lobster boat captains

There are few contested primaries on the ballot this year but one is the Democratic nomination to represent the House district that includes Vinalhaven and North Haven. Incumbent State Rep. Genevieve McDonald of Stonington is being challenged in the July 14 primary election by Julie Eaton of Deer Isle. Both women are lobster boat captains. McDonald is serving her first two-year term in the House, being elected in 2018.,, Eaton was born in Ellsworth, grew up in Surry, is a lobster boat captain starting her 35th season working on the water. >click to read< 08:20

It’s time to open the economy back up! Maine Lobstermen Seek Ways To Prevent Financial Crash

Anti-glut tactics might include limiting days at sea, narrowing size limits or barring the catch of single-clawed lobsters to reduce the overall haul. In an online meeting Monday, Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told Downeast lobstermen that he’s found no consensus on the best course of action. Lobsterman Jim Hanscom, of Bar Harbor, says he is wary of intervention by Gov. Janet Mills. “This governor scares me on a lot of levels, and the idea of her having the ability on shutting this fishery down or stopping dealers from buying, I think it’s just dangerous.” Keliher is scheduled to brief Mills on the issue Tuesday,,, >click to read< 10:40

Update on Fishery Observer Program Restart, Which Resumes July 1st

On May 29, NOAA Fisheries announced that on July 1, the waiver of fishery monitoring will expire, and we will begin deploying observers and at-sea monitors on vessels fishing in northeast fisheries. In a letter released today, Northeast Fisheries Science Center Director Jon Hare is providing an update on preparations  for a safe and efficient redeployment. For more details and to download the letter, >click to read< 18:30

Congressmen urge NOAA to extend at-sea monitor waiver for Northeast commercial fishing vessels

In a letter to Neil Jacobs, an acting undersecretary at the Department of Commerce, U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton and Bill Keating said a continuation of the at-sea monitor waiver is “critical to both protect the health and welfare of fishermen who are working to sustain their operations and to maintain our region’s seafood supply during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.” On March 24, NOAA Fisheries implemented the at-sea monitor waiver and took the observers off the boats. It has extended the waiver at least twice. >click to read< 07:44

Four Fishermen Saved From Sinking Fishing Dragger Off The Coast Of New England

Amazing rescue from yesterday. Sector SENE received a MAYDAY call from the Fishing Vessel F/V Rebecca Mary, a 75-foot boat taking on water 40 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The helicopter was able to safely hoist all four persons from the sinking vessel.  >photo’s, click to read< 23:26

Judge James Boasberg’s court ruling puts future of Maine lobster industry at risk

United States District Judge James Boasberg’s order found that the National Marine and Fishery Services violated the Endangered Species Act by licensing the lobster fishery. In the second phase of the case, the judge will decide what action is necessary to rectify the situation. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, an intervenor, and other industry stakeholders around the Gulf of Maine, will submit information for the judge to consider in his ruling.,, Activist Richard Strahan filed a motion in federal court in Bangor to stop fishing in Maine May 15, citing violations of the Endangered Species Act, Maine Public reported. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has no intention of curtailing lobster permits, said spokesperson Jeff Nichols. >click to read< 09:45