Category Archives: New England

New Bedford: Working Waterfront Festival September 23, 2017 On Steamship Pier and at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

Join us in New Bedford, America’s largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a fishing vessel, dine on fresh seafood, see fishermen’s contests, and watch a cooking demonstrations. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate. The Working Waterfront Festival presents performances of music, dance and poetry; demonstrations and contests of industry skills; tours of workboats; documentary films and footage at sea; cooking demonstrations; author readings; children’s activities; tug boat muster; whaleboat races, and more! click here for more info 10:08

Two years of loss, frustration, anger for Peggy Krupinski, widow of fisherman killed in collision with yacht

It’s been two years since Peggy Krupinski’s life changed in a horrible way. Officers from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management knocked on her door on Sept. 22, 2015, and told her that her husband of 55 years, Wally, was the victim of a boating collision earlier that morning. Wally was 81 at the time of the collision. He was in his 23-foot outboard off Napatree Point, near Watch Hill Light. In an incredible scenario when you consider all that water out there, a 60-foot yacht ran over Wally’s boat. The yacht, as determined by the investigation that followed, was being operated by Cooper W. Bacon, 76, a licensed captain — who was transiting this popular fishing area on a beautiful day in September on autopilot and with no lookout. click here to read the story 08:32

New Projects for Boksa Marine Design

Florida based naval architecture and marine engineering firm Boksa Marine Design said it has kept bust over the past few months, with many of its 2017 projects having progressed from design and engineering phases on some and build-to-water on others. Boska provided an update on several of those projects. (Of special interest) The Two Dukes, a 70’ lobster boat, got her feet wet for the first time in the inlets leading into the Pamlico Sound of North Carolina.The Two Dukes was built by Custom Steel Boats in Merritt, N.C.  click here to read the story 17:18

Commerce chief Ross makes waves, roils fisheries rules

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has wasted little time in giving a jolt to the nation’s fisheries. In June, the 79-year-old billionaire investor who now oversees NOAA Fisheries singlehandedly extended the fishing season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, ignoring protests from scientists and environmentalists that it could spur overfishing of the popular species. Then in an unprecedented decision in July, he handed a big win to New Jersey fishermen and the state’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, by overturning catch limits for summer flounder that had been approved by an interstate fisheries commission.,, “Secretary Ross finally challenged them — the first time in the history of the commission they got challenged — and they don’t like it,” said Donofrio, who gave the president a “Fishermen for Trump” bumper sticker at a recent event. “I love it. … The commission got kicked in the balls, and they don’t like it. That’s just too bad.” click here to read the story 12:27

Op-Ed: Westerly Sun is complicit in environmental deception

I was disappointed to see that the Westerly Sun would put a misleading editorial authored by the ecoRI “news” staff on the front page of its free weekly publication, The Express, (Northeast Canyons and Seamounts on D.C. hit list, 9/7/17), as if it were truly factual news. (read it, click here) There is absolutely no factual basis for the claim that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendations to President Trump regarding the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument would “lead to the destruction of treasured lands and marine ecosystems.” EcoRI calls the area an “undisturbed underwater ecosystem” that would “once again be exposed to threats from commercial fishing.” One has to ask, if the area remains undisturbed and “pristine” after decades of commercial fishing, why would restoring fishing rights in the area suddenly threaten these ecosystems? click here to read the op-ed by former fisherman Richard Allen 08:20

The Latest – Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose Updates 800 PM AST

At 800 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located near latitude 39.4 North, longitude 68.6 West. Jose is moving toward the northeast near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through tonight. A slow westward motion should begin by Thursday night. On the forecast track, the center of Jose is expected to meander off the coast of southern New England during the next few days. click here to read the advisory

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located by an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 18.9 North, longitude 67.5 West. click here to read the advisory 20:23

Unconstitutional? Carlos Rafael argues against vessel forfeiture, poses new buyer for fleet

New Bedford, Massachusetts-based fishing magnate Carlos “Codfather” Rafael has challenged the government’s proposal to seize his fleet of 13 groundfish vessels, arguing that the act is unconstitutional, according to court documents filed by his legal team. Forfeiting the vessels and their corresponding permits, which are allegedly worth more than USD 30 million (EUR 25 million), would be a violation of the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Rafael’s lawyers said in court documents submitted for review to U.S. District Court judge William Young in Boston. click here to read the story 15:22

Local buyer for Carlos Rafael’s fishing permits, court documents say – Two prominent businesses in New Bedford possess the means to acquire the permits based on financial means and ability to operate a fleet of that size: Whaling City Seafood Display Auction and Eastern Fisheries. Neither returned requests for comment. click here to read the story 9/21, 16:09

Lobster boats collide off South Bristol, one sinks, no injuries reported

Two lobster boats collided off South Bristol the Tuesday morning, and one of the vessels sank, according to U.S. Coast Guard Station Boothbay Harbor. There were no injuries. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England is investigating the cause of the accident. The names of the individuals and vessels involved are not being released, according to William Armstrong, officer in charge at Coast Guard Station Boothbay Harbor. Around 8 a.m. Tuesday, the boats collided “3-4 miles” offshore, Armstrong said. The second vessel sustained only minor damage. click here to read the story 14:20

Jose forces New Bedford fishing fleet to stay in port

The incoming storm has essentially shut down the fishing industry in New Bedford for at least a day or two. Fishermen are not taking any chances with Jose, and it appeared that nobody was heading out onto the water Tuesday morning. Tony Soares, who works for Carlos Seafood, spent the past 24 hours overseeing the massive effort of tying up and securing almost 40 fishing vessels in the Port of New Bedford “I call everybody [and] make sure everybody tied the boats,” said Soares, who was checking the lines by hand around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Video, click here to read the story 09:09

National Hurricane Center – Hurricane Jose – Hurricane Maria Public Advisory’s At 800 PM EDT

Public Advisory At 800 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Jose was located by an Air Force reconnaissance plane near latitude 37.5 North, longitude 71.2 West. Jose is moving toward the north-northeast near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue tonight. A turn to the northeast is forecast to occur by Wednesday morning. On the forecast track, the center of Jose is expected to pass well offshore of the Delmarva peninsula later tonight, pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday, and pass offshore of southeastern Massachusetts by Thursday. click here to read the update 20:06

Hurricane Maria Public Advisory – 800 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017 …EYE OF CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE MARIA MOVING CLOSER TO ST CROIX IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS …PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL …FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION click here to read the update 20:12

Governor Baker: Codfather windfall should fund electronic monitoring

Baker, in a letter to federal fishing regulators late last month, sided with a dozen state lawmakers and local officials who are urging the proceeds from the forfeiture of Rafael’s fishing fleet and any financial penalties tied to his case to be used to pay for electronic catch monitoring. The money to pay for monitoring would relieve a major financial pressure on the state’s fishermen who have to pay for at-sea monitors who ensure compliance with catch-quotas designed to protect the health of groundfish stock. click here to read the story 18:25

Fishermen riding out storm in CT

The storms have forced commercial fishermen to seek a safe harbor in Stonington. The fishing fleet was in on Tuesday morning. Their holds are empty and will stay that way until they go back out next week. Ocean-going fishing vessels such as the Mackenzie, Paige 2 out of Belford, New Jersey, have tied up to the docks in Stonington to stay clear of the storm. Video, click here to read the story 17:49

National Hurricane Center – Hurricane Jose Public Advisory

At 800 AM EDT, the center of Hurricane Jose was located by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 36.3 North, longitude 71.6 West. Jose is moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue through today with a turn to the northeast anticipated tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Jose is forecast to pass well offshore of the Delmarva peninsula later today, pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday, and pass offshore of southeastern Massachusetts by Thursday. click here to read the update 08:12

New Bedford Hurricane Barrier Schedule – Please monitor Channel 16 for actual closure times

18:09

If Trump Doesn’t Revoke ‘Illegal’ National Monument Created By Obama, The Courts Might

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended President Donald Trump change the boundaries or management of 10 national monuments, including ocean monuments created by the Obama administration. Zinke asked Trump to allow commercial fishing at Obama-designated ocean monuments in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but five of those monuments the Department of the Interior reviewed could be declared unlawful. Earlier this year, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed suit against the Trump administration on behalf of New England fisherman opposed to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument off the New England coast. click here to read the story 14:03

National Hurricane Center – Hurricane Jose Public Advisory

Interests elsewhere along the U.S. east coast from North Carolina northward to New England should monitor the progress of Jose. At 800 AM EDT, the center of Hurricane Jose was located near latitude 33.5 North, longitude 71.2 West. Jose is moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Jose is forecast to pass well offshore of the Outer Banks of North Carolina today, pass well east of the Delmarva peninsula tonight and Tuesday, and pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday. click here to read the notice 10:12

Hang him! Hang him high!

OK, OK, I get it! Carlos Rafael, aka, “The Codfather,” has done some pretty reprehensible things while amassing what seemingly is the largest percentage of ownership of the US multispecies groundfish fleet. I am not going to try to defend his actions, or his reasoning, but I would like to point out that there is plenty of guilt to go around and some people should not be so quick to point their finger at him alone. What is it that they say about casting the first stone? Apparently, among his sins is his aforementioned ownership of the largest fleet of multi-species groundfish vessels, as well as some scallop vessels. While this may be true, let us ponder what enabled, abetted, and allowed him to gain such an advantage over everyone else. At this point, he wasn’t breaking the law, he was only taking advantage of it, and of those who most fervently wanted it! click here to read the op-ed 09:27

Zinke tells Trump – Shrink at least 4 national monuments and modify a half-dozen others

The secretary’s set of recommendations also would change the way all 10 targeted monuments are managed. It emphasizes the need to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of local officials or affected industries, saying the administration should permit “traditional uses” now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing.,, The White House is reviewing the recommendations and has not reached a final decision on them. click here to read the story 08:58

Hurricane Jose Expected to Bring High Surf to the Eastern Seaboard in the Upcoming Week; Tropical Storm Conditions Possible

Jose, a Category 1 hurricane in the western Atlantic, will continue to produce dangerous high surf and rip currents as it moves parallel to the Eastern Seaboard in the upcoming week. Rain and tropical storm-force winds could also brush portions of the East Coast. Jose is currently located around 355 miles southeast of the Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving north at near 10 mph. At this time, the majority of forecast guidance still shows Jose curling north, then northeast off of the U.S. East Coast. click here to read the story 13:09

Make way for Maine-New Hampshire trawl survey!

The fall groundfish trawl survey conducted by the state of Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is scheduled to begin Oct. 2 in New Hampshire, working east to Lubec. Ahead of the survey, the DMR hopes to move lobster traps and other gear within the area that will be surveyed. The Maine-New Hampshire trawl survey provides valuable information for the management of important commercially harvested species. Not completing all of the proposed tows could jeopardize the use of DMR data for state and federal lobster and finfish management. click here to read the story and contact info 11:36

Don Cuddy: NOAA scientist says manage fishery as a whole, not by individual stocks

It was interesting therefore to hear a presentation in Plymouth last Thursday by Dr. Russell Brown, a career NOAA Fisheries scientist with a specialty in population dynamics. In 1994, Brown said, the haddock stock on Georges Bank was estimated to be at a critically low point, around 10,000 metric tons. Fishermen had a 500-pound trip limit and were trying to avoid them to catch cod.,, Today the biomass is estimated at 280,000 metric tons and fishermen are trying to avoid cod catching haddock. Unfortunately they are not enjoying a lot of reward because cod have become what is known as a “choke species.” click here to read the story 22:40

CETA: Canada-European Union pact worries US lobster industry

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S. click here to read the story  11:06

Lobsterman tagged for fishing untagged traps, faces 10 year suspension

The Marine Patrol has charged a Hancock County lobsterman, William Haas, 55, of Lamoine, with fishing more lobster traps than authorized, fishing untagged gear and fishing more traps on a trawl than allowed. Under legislation adopted earlier this year, Haas faces a suspension of his license of three to 10 years for fishing 44 more traps than the 800 allowed by law. The new law, LD 575, changed the penalty for fishing over the trap limit from a possible one-year suspension to a mandatory minimum three-year suspension with the possibility of a 10-year suspension. “The law change this past legislative session puts teeth in the penalties,” Department of Marine Resource Commissioner Patrick Keliher said in a statement announcing the charges against Haas last week. click here to read the story 14:31

Trade groups want 10-year requirement removed from Magnuson-Stevens Act

As Congress gets ready to address reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, representatives from commercial fishing interests are urging lawmakers to revisit some of the current law’s regulations they feel have hindered the industry. In particular, they’re urging officials to do away with language that caps rebuilding plans for overfished species to 10 years. It’s an arbitrary figure that has too rigidly applied across all federally managed species, said Lori Steele, the executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, at a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. click here to read the story 10:50

The Magnuson Stevens Act and its Ten Year Rebuilding Timeline: Science or Fiction? By Meghan Lapp – click here to read the article

Save the Working Waterfront: Fishermen resist as proposals for Portland waterfront projects mount

A spurt of hotel, office and shopping developments planned for Portland’s waterfront is rekindling concerns that space for fishermen and other traditional marine businesses is disappearing as Commercial Street becomes a shopping and dining mecca. Commercial fishermen who have unloaded lobster and groundfish on Portland’s wharves for decades see the changes as the next step in a long process to change the face of the waterfront, to their disadvantage. “They just don’t get it,” said Willis Spear, who has berthed his lobster boat on Custom House Wharf for 40 years. “We said in the beginning that this would happen, we’d just get squeezed out. It is going way faster than anyone knows.” click here to read the story 10:56

Squid fishery shutdown won’t affect local calamari

The federal government is limiting squid fishing in certain areas, so what does this mean for Southern New England? As of this Friday, a short fin squid fishery, much of which sits offshore from Rhode Island, will shut down until Dec. 31. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says this is because 95 percent of the quota for that type of squid has been caught, so this is actually standard procedure. Richard Fuka of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance says it’s a sign that squid fishing has been hot this year, so it’s actually a good thing. “The Illex fishery, or the fishery in question that just closed, was a very large number and we actually had a very robust season to be able to meet the benchmark,” Fuka said. video, click here to read the story 09:06

NOAA Fisheries Announces Illex (Shortfin) Squid Fishery Closure on September 15

After reviewing new landings information, we now project that the Illex squid fishery will reach its domestic quota for the 2017 fishing year on September 15. NOAA Fisheries is therefore closing the directed fishery in federal waters effective September 15 through the end of the fishing year, December 31, 2017.click here to read the notice 12:24

Orange, yellow, blue, and even ‘Halloween’: The rarest lobster colors, explained

It may feel like a new, brightly colored lobster has been pulled off the New England coast and onto your social media feeds every other week over the last few months. Maybe you’ve seen a rare, blue lobster before. But what about yellow? Or the ghostly, one-in-100-million white lobster caught last month in Maine? However, according to New England Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse, this has actually been a “slow summer.” Ever wonder why lobsters come in so many distinct colors? Here’s why.  click here to read the story 09:01

Hearing! 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday – MSA Reauth – Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene the hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The hearing is the third of the series and will focus on the perspectives of commercial, charter, and recreational fishermen on the state of our nation’s fishery laws. click here to read the press release This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. 23:24

Northern Shrimp plan changes advance

Meeting in Portland at the end of August, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section selected several final measures for inclusion in the latest revision to the Fishery Management Plan for northern shrimp. Known as “Amendment 3,” the latest version of the plan will bring about a number of significant changes to the way the fishery is managed — if indeed the northern shrimp fishery is ever resuscitated. Because fisheries scientists believed that the northern shrimp population had collapsed, commercial shrimp fishing on the Gulf of Maine has been banned since 2014 with only an extremely limited harvest for scientific data collection purposes permitted. click here to read the story 08:52