Category Archives: New England

Designs for Stonington Town Dock pier to be presented Aug. 29

The town will present possible designs to protect the south pier of the Town Dock at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the La Grua Center in the borough. According to the announcement for the event, “community leaders initiated a project to evaluate the condition of the South Pier and develop plans to ensure that this asset is in good repair for the future.” The pier is leased by the Southern New England Fisherman’s & Lobstermen’s Association, who dock their boats there and use its facilities. >click to read<  13:30

Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial Service Saturday, Aug. 24, 5 PM

Fishermen’s Memorial Service, 5 p.m., procession from the American Legion, down Middle Street and onto Stacy Boulevard led by drummers. Carry flowers or oars in memory of fishermen lost to the sea. All welcome. We will post any updated information as we find it. >click to read< in the Gloucester Daily Times 12:05

Maine: Second round of meetings scheduled on right whale issue

Earlier this week, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced that he would hold a second round of meetings with each of the state’s seven Lobster Zone Management Councils to consider area-by-area suggestions of how to deal with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s proposed rule that would require a 50 percent reduction of vertical endlines on lobster traps in much of the Gulf of Maine. >click to read<  11:27

Fishermen question settlement that could net convicted ‘Codfather’ millions

This week, Rafael was hit with more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime ban as part of a settlement agreement in a civil case brought against him by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But under the terms of that deal, Rafael could walk out of prison two years from now a multimillionaire. Although the settlement required he sell off his vessels, fishing permits and the valuable fishing quota that comes with them, Rafael may keep the proceeds — and he is marketing his fleet to the highest bidder. > click to read< 22:53

Sam Parisi remembers the Captain and Crew of the F/V Capt. Cosmo

Forty one years ago, Gloucester fishing family’s lost six fishermen, Cosmo Marcantonio, know as Capt. Cosmo, along with five other Gloucester crew members ranging in ages from sixty to twenty one, due to an unexpected storm. The vessel sank about one hundred and eighty miles east of Cape Cod. Normally in September, the weather at that time year is pretty good, not like the winter months. I grew up with Cosmo, >click to read< 22:09

Catch Shares? NOAA Seeks Comments on a Control Date for the American Lobster Fishery

NOAA is seeking comments on a control date (a date that may be used to establish eligibility) of April 29, 2019 for the American lobster fishery, as we consider ways to reduce threats of entanglement by fixed-gear fisheries to North Atlantic right whales.,,, Following the TRT meeting the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Lobster Management Board established a control date of April 29, 2019, and recommended that NOAA Fisheries do the same for federal waters. We are notifying the public that we may develop a future rulemaking to complement any actions taken by the Commission, and that future participation in the fishery may be based on participation as of April 29, 2019. >click to read< 10:39

BOURNE: Lobstermen seek help in protecting right whales, Testimony cites burden on local industry.

Commercial lobstermen urged federal regulators Wednesday to take Canada to task for its failure to protect North Atlantic right whales and to remember that local lobstermen carrier a heavier burden of regulation than others in U.S. waters. “We as lobstermen do not want to see harm come to the right whale,” Plymouth lobsterman Tom O’Reilly said at a public forum at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the eighth in a series of meetings held this month,,, >click to read<08:40

Gloucester: Lobstermen push against whale rules – ‘We’ve borne the brunt’

The evening began with a presentation from NOAA Fisheries’ Mike Asaro and Colleen Coogan that offered a historical backdrop on the status of the North Atlantic right whale stock and an explanation of the specific protectionist measures adopted in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.,, In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, lobstermen are tasked with reducing their vertical lines by 30 percent. In Maine, where there has been significant pushback by state officials and the nation’s most formidable lobster fleet, the target is significantly higher — 50 percent. Then came the comment period and the usual choosing of the sides. Photo’s,  >click to read< 22:04

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms

Oceanographer Jon Hare listed the effects of offshore wind development on the marine environment. There’s disturbance to the sea floor during installation of turbine platforms.,,,“Putting a pile into the sediment in essence is habitat alteration,” said Hare, a science and research director with Northeast Fisheries Science Center.,,The questions about offshore wind, of course, aren’t limited to the $2.8-billion Vineyard Wind project,,,,but there are more than a dozen proposals in the works all along the Atlantic Coast and plans for the Great Lakes and the West Coast. >click to read< 21:06

Wind turbines and radar mix poorly

Vineyard Wind’s 84-turbine wind farm, slated for an Atlantic lease area about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, effectively had the rug pulled out from underneath it August 9, when the Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) would hold off signing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and re-examine potential impacts posed by the project. Radar was not specifically cited as something the feds would take a second look at. However, weather and aeronautical radar are all well-documented as being adversely affected by wind turbines, and a handful of studies show marine radar is also hampered by wind turbines. >click to read< 18:17

The ‘Codfather’ was a seafood kingpin, until fake Russian mobsters took him down.

Though he estimated his net worth at $10 million to $25 million, he still walked the creaky, bait-scented wharves in flannel shirts and worn jeans every day, barking out commands and alternating between foul-mouthed English and rapid-fire Portuguese as he chain-smoked Winston cigarettes and monitored the day’s catch. That all changed in 2016, when federal authorities revealed that Carlos Rafael was at the center of a sprawling criminal investigation involving fake Russian mobsters, fraudulent haddock and duffel bags of cash. >click to read< 14:37

A page of stories about the case, like this one, “F… me – that would be some bad luck!” — Carlos Rafael : Excerpts from “The Case”>click to read<

6 to 9 p.m. tonight in Gloucester at GARFO headquarters, Forum focuses on whale protection rules

The eight-community traveling road show to gather public comment on new protections for the imperiled North Atlantic right whales hits the city Tuesday evening and is expected to draw a big crowd at NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Blackburn Industrial Park. The Gloucester session, set to run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the GARFO headquarters at 55 Great Republic Drive, is the seventh of the eight scoping meetings and the first of two in Massachusetts.The other is scheduled for the next night in Bourne. >click to read< 11:35

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay

In the letter below to two Trump cabinet secretaries, Markey, Kennedy, and others adopt a far more moderate stance, imploring two cabinet secretaries to find a way for fishing and offshore wind to coexist in “mixed-use regions offshore.” Meanwhile, the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, which represents fishing interests, applauded the Trump administration for slowing the process down and gathering more data.  >click to read<

Carlos Rafael Has Been Banned From Fishing Forever! ‘Codfather’ Civil Case Settlement

The federal government says it has settled its civil case against a fishing magnate known as The Codfather, saying he will never be allowed to return to U.S. fisheries. Carlos Rafael, based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was sentenced to prison for shirking fishing quotas and smuggling profits overseas.   >click to read< 13:59

Carlos Rafael to be banned from fishing, pay $3 million – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it settled with Rafael and his fishing captains on Monday.,,, Under the terms of the settlement, Rafael is required to: >click to read<

The Carlos stories leading to this moment in New England Commercial Fishing History>click here<

Massachusetts Lobstermen Test Ropeless Fishing Gear to Save Right Whales

Researchers say conservationists and the fishing industry must work together to save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Only about 400 of these whales are left living in the wild, and scientists say human activity is to blame. Proposed federal regulations,,, But these measures drastically reduce the number of lines lobstermen are allowed to have in the water. That’s why Massachusetts lobstermen are eager to try new technology that would enable them to set their traps without a vertical line. Patrick Ramage is director of marine conservation for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.,,, >click to read<10:33

Ropeless Fishing Gear Could Aid Maine’s Lobster Industry, Endangered Whales>click to read<

UPDATED: News Media Bungled Vineyard Wind Ocean Turbine Reporting – Vineyard Wind decision delayed until December 2020

In the past ten years, journalism has seen a sudden shift and the overwhelming urge to promote one ideology over another. The majority of news outlets have decided to back commercial wind turbines on land and sea as their contribution to the environment. When you read stories about the Vineyard ocean wind project you have to look for what was left out of the story not what is in the story.,,, Pictures in the print media over the past month show a small fishing boat near an ocean wind turbine saying that less than a mile apart leaves the fishing industry plenty of room to continue their industry. What the media is leaving out is two ESPs, Electric Service Platforms,,, cables exposed,,, >click to read< 08:59

Sources: Vineyard Wind decision delayed until December 2020>click to read<

Marine Mammal Protection Act: Incidental Harassment Authorization Regulatory “Takes” – Take a Close Look

An IHA is a legal and enforceable document presenting the terms and conditions with which a company must adhere in order to protect wildlife. In this case, the draft IHA was for Vineyard Wind, the wind energy company ready to start construction on an 800 MW offshore wind farm in the Atlantic, covering about 675 square kilometers, starting 14 miles from the coastline of Martha’s Vineyard.,,, An IHA is required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) because, obviously, a huge project like this has impacts and it’s likely that “take” of marine mammals will occur during construction. >click to read< 08:26

NOAA Seeks Nominations for Scientific Review Groups under the Marine Mammal Protection Act

NOAA Fisheries will publish a Federal Register Notice on Monday, August 19, 2019, soliciting nominations to three independent marine mammal scientific review groups (SRG). We would like your assistance to identify qualified candidates. The three independent regional SRGs, covering Alaska, the Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), and the Pacific (including Hawaii), were established under section 117(d) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. >click to read< 16:27

Lobster catch ‘slow’, cold spring may be to blame

Fishermen say lobster landings in July were noticeably less than in recent years and that so far, the catch hasn’t improved a lot in August. Fishermen and scientists are putting much of the blame on the cold weather in the spring that lasted almost to the end of June, saying that coastal water temperatures on the bottom, where the lobsters live, have been slow to warm up to make the lobsters active. Video, >click to read< 11:57

Lobster boat captain says he saw no sign of Carman’s boat or life raft

For 10 hours on Sept. 18, 2016, Alex Aucoin testified Friday, his lobster boat trawled back and forth through Block Canyon off the coast of Long Island and not once did he see the familiar silver captain’s perch of Nathan Carman’s boat, or any life rafts. “I knew his boat personally because I thought it was an attractive boat,” Aucoin said. “I would have remembered a life raft because I would have gone to assist it.” Aucoin took the stand on the fourth day of Carman’s federal civil trial,,, >click to read< 09:46

Opposition Grows Against Vineyard Wind Ocean Wind Project

Local residential groups between Centerville, Marthas’ Vineyard and Nantucket meeting Monday 8/19 to discuss Environmental oversight of the ocean wind project. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and his underling/hacks tried to railroad the Vineyard Wind ocean wind project through past the local people, past the fishermen, past the other fauna and flora, without a proper Environmental Impact Study by the federal government. >click to read< 08:40

Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races draw huge fleet

Last Saturday at the Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races, everyone who signed up for the event qualified for a chance in the annual post-race prize drawing organized by the event’s sponsors to win something to build — the bare hull for a brand new Mitchell Cove 35 lobster boat — and come they did. According to Jon Johansen, president of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association, 167 boats signed up to race at Winter Harbor and earn the right to participate in the drawing. “They came out of the woodwork,” Johansen said Monday morning. >click to read< 11:40

Nathan Carman trial: Lobsterman who was fishing in Block Canyon expected to testify Friday

The first three days of Nathan Carman’s federal civil trial have focused on changes he made to his boat, but starting today lawyers for his insurance company hope to call witnesses who will challenge Carman’s version of how the Chicken Pox actually sank with his mother on board. Among the witnesses slated to testify Friday is lobsterman Alex Aucoin, captain of the 82-foot Prudence, who is expected to say that he and his crew were fishing in the Block Canyon area off Long Island on the same day and within a few miles of where Carman reported going down. >click to read< 10:20

Once Robust, Bluefin Tuna Fishery Is In Economic Freefall

Carl Coppenrath can remember the days when it seemed bluefin tuna fishermen could walk on water. In the heyday of the 1980s, the market was so flush in Menemsha that fishermen could literally walk across a harbor packed with a fleet of commercial vessels lined up at the end of the day to sell their catch for top dollar. The mystique and allure of catching the torpedo-shaped fish that can weigh over 1,400 pounds brought glory and the prospects of such wealth that it awoke the romantic reimagination of the old whaling days of the Island. So much so that it spawned the popular cable TV series Wicked Tuna and lit up social media with photos and boastful tales of the trophy fish. “It’s like an addiction . . . >click to read< 21:29

Lobstermen, environmentalists weigh in on right whale rules

Some of the largest and most powerful animal and environmental groups – including the Pew Charitable Trust, the U.S. Humane Society, the Conservation Law Foundation and Oceana – sent representatives to the hearing. They urged National Marine Fisheries Service to take immediate action to protect the whale, including proposals that even the team tasked by the fisheries service to come up with its whale protection plan had dismissed, such as offshore closures and ropeless lobster fishing. >click to read< 20:58

Vineyard Wind, welcome to our world…

Headline – Trump admin throws wrench into offshore wind plans – The Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, a move that threatens to derail the nation’s first major project and raises a host of questions for future developments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries. Must watch video! >click to read< 17:15

New lobster boat Alyssa Noreen launched in Stonington

No one can spend a lifetime as a lobsterman without a deeply imbedded kernel of optimism. While that characteristic might not be obvious in everyone, Stonington lobsterman Clayton Joyce would seem to have it in abundance. Until just recently, lobster fishing has been slow. So slow in fact that the much anticipated shortage of lobster bait, primarily herring, hasn’t had much impact. >click to read< 12:24

Lobstermen threatened with the extinction of their way of life

The word “extinction” has been thrown around a lot lately by environmental groups,,, Large, well-funded, out-of-state environmental groups would have you believe that these whales are going extinct and that Maine fishing gear entanglement is a major reason why. These groups have proposed things like ropeless fishing and refuse to believe that ideas like this are not practical in Maine. Can you imagine how a fisherman could set his 20- to 30-trap trawl into water 300 to 400 feet deep, not knowing where any of his competitors’ trawls might have been set days before? >click to read< 11:37

Boris Johnson’s Looming Wind Disaster. Its coming here, and is being sold by huckster politicians

Boris Johnson’s government is shuffling towards a gigantic cliff edge which has nothing to do with Brexit. The looming disaster can be summed up in one word: renewables. The clue came in the form of the widespread power cuts that Britain experienced at the end of last week. Britain’s National Grid — and by extension the nation’s electricity supply — has been horribly compromised by the dash for renewable energy. >click to read< Meanwhile on Cape Cod, John Kerry, Gina McCarthy, and Dylan Fernandes hold forum as Kerry announces World War Zero. Tackling the issue of climate change – Lots of photo’s, and no John Kerry, Jane Lubchenco was no friend of the fishermen. It was another lie. Read the comments @MTV!  >click to read< 15:18

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 52′ Steel Dragger, Cat 3406, with State and Federal Permits

Specifications, information and 13 photos >click here< To see all the boats in this series, >click here<11:24