Category Archives: New England

Nil’s Stolpe writes, The Magnuson-Stevens amendment I want under the Christmas tree

OVERFISHING! This has become one of the oceans branch of the doom and gloom prognisticator’s (aka Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or ENGOs) principal calls for alms. To wit, they have collectively raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from big business-supported foundations and trusting members of the public to persecute (generally commercial) fishermen who they preach are the cause of “overfishing,” the major threat to the sanctity of the oceans. (I’ll note here that the Pew “Charitable” Trusts was the multibillion dollar foundation that initiated the war on fishermen.) This purposeful misuse of the term “overfishing” has been one of the most subtle and most effective weapons in the anti-fishing activists’ arsenal. Nils Stolpe FishNetUSA >click to read< 18:00

The Women Bringing Sustainable Lobster Fishing Into the Future

For Heather Thompson, lobster fishing is the family trade. As a fourth-generation lobsterman, she captains an all-female crew aboard Gold Digger, her fishing vessel in Harrington, Maine. Using sustainable practices that help Red Lobster maintain its commitment to traceable, sustainable and responsible seafood, Thompson helps ensure that future generations will live a life where the sea provides. >click to watch< 15:40

Ex Accused of Systematic Smelly Seafood Scheme in Tolland

A Trumbull woman is facing a felony charge for a series of actions against an ex-boyfriend from Tolland and the accusations include vandalism and strategically placing seafood in his home and car to create smelly situations, an arrest warrant indicates. The man said their relationship had been deteriorating and they went on a cruise together regardless and things did not go well, according to a warrant. She allegedly told him she once put sardines in an ex-boyfriend’s car air conditioning vent for revenge, a warrant states. >click to read< 12:50

Their View! Building trust with fishermen is key for wind energy companies

There’s a lot of buzz in New Bedford these days about the offshore wind industry- and for good reason. Blowing in with the massive turbines will be the promise of good-paying jobs; new activity along with the waterfront; and even the prospect that SouthCoast could become a training center for those interested in offshore wind careers.,, Amid the hubbub, however, we can’t lose track of the industry that has made New Bedford the most lucrative seafood port in the nation for 17 years in a row,  The city’s hard-working fishermen-beset by changing regulations, dwindling catches, competition from foreign fleets and the ever-present hardship of storm-tossed seas-must be given serious consideration in any changes,,,>click to read<10:40

Cape Cod environmentalists plan to wreck their lobster Industry to save the whales

Scientists trying to convince New England lobstermen to invest in “ropeless fishing” to cut the risk current fishing methods pose to northern right whales, The Boston Globe reported. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say ropeless fishing will allow lobstermen to continue in their livelihood, but without long ropes running from buoys on the ocean’s surface to lobster traps on the ocean floor.,,, Scientists warn if this technology is not pursued, the only other option to save the whales is government regulation of fishing seasons and areas, which would devastate the industry much more than ropeless fishing. >click to read< 09:07

GARFO AA Pentony taking on whale crisis – Lobstermen wary of more environmental regulations

South Shore Lobstermen wary – Traps dropped to the bottom of the ocean by lobstermen are currently connected to a buoy at the surface by a long, taut rope. Fishermen use the buoys to mark where traps are and use the rope to pull up them from the ocean floor, but researchers think the same thing could be achieved by ditching the ropes and using a GPS-like tracking technology and acoustic communication. >click to read< 16:20

Pentony taking on whale crisis – The number one issue right now is the right whale crisis,,, It will occupy our resources and energy for the next several years until we can reverse the trend. Thats going to be a significant challenge. >click to read<

NMFS Weighing Privately Funded Assessment of Summer Flounder Stock

For the first time, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will consider privately funded science in formulating regulations for summer flounder. Funded by the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF) and its contributing partners, a groundbreaking sex-structured model created by Dr. Patrick Sullivan of Cornell University was presented in January to the NMFS’ Stock Assessment Workshop in the hope of obtaining a clearer picture of the summer flounder population. The ultimate goal is to improve the accuracy of the next stock assessment,,, >click to read< 23:14

Hit TV series ‘Wicked Tuna,’ filmed off Cape Ann, releases a new season

The fishing tales of six captains on the hunt for giant tuna swim through the airwaves starting next month, when National Geographic’s hit series “Wicked Tuna” premieres its seventh season. The stakes are always high at sea, as the Gloucester-based fishermen compete to pull in the most lucrative catch of “monstah” bluefin, which can be worth upward of $20,000 per tuna. Season seven kicks off with an extended 90-minute episode on Sunday, March 11, at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. >click to read< 10:10

Cape Breton lobster size requirements increasing to feed American market

The Inverness South Fishermen’s Association says its members will be fishing for slightly larger lobsters over the next two years. The association has received word that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has approved an increase in the minimum carapace size in lobster fishing area 26B, said president Jordan MacDougall,,, MacDougall said it will increase to 81.7 millimetres for the 2018 season, and 82.5 millimetres in 2019, which is the minimum size to allow Canadian lobsters to enter the U.S. without processing. >click to read<09:17

Post Rafael, New Bedford Fishing Industry Looks to Move Forwad

For perhaps the first time, at least publicly, fishermen on Carlos Rafael vessels sat in the same room Wednesday as John Bullard, the former regional administrator for NOAA, who implemented a groundfishing ban for those vessels. Bullard, wearing a blue NOAA jacket, sat in the front of four-person panel brought together by Rhode Island Public Radio  The fishermen, wearing baseball caps and New Bedford Ship Supply sweatshirts, sat to the left of the panel, which discussed fishing in New Bedford after Carlos Rafael at Star Store.>click to read<21:16

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm. The Block Island Wind Farm consists of only five wind turbines and is tiny in comparison to the large offshore wind farms operating off the coasts of Europe, but Deepwater Wind is planning larger wind farms off the coasts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Jersey. Other developers are doing the same with other projects up and down the East Coast of the United States. >click to read< 14:37

Alaska Fishing Delegation Heads To Washington

Representatives of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council– both members of the nationalFishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – were in Washington, DC, this week urging lawmakers to resist shortsighted efforts to weaken fishing communities by undermining key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.,,, “The MSA is working in Alaska and around the country because all sectors adhere to scientifically-sound annual catch limits. >click to read<09:54

Seismic Surveys Planned Off U.S. Coast Pose Risk To Marine Life

Animals that live in the ocean communicate with sound — humpback whales, for example. But these voices could soon be drowned out by powerful sonic booms from vessels searching for oil and gas. President Trump is opening up the Atlantic Coast to companies to explore for fresh reserves. And to explore, they will be making some of the loudest sounds ever heard in the ocean — sounds that, according to recent research, could harm marine animals from whales to plankton.  Five companies are currently applying for permits to use seismic air guns,,, >click to read< 14:18

Canada to introduce mandatory reporting of whale interactions this year

“Save the Whales” will take on new importance for Canadian fishermen in 2018 as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduces mandatory reporting for interactions Canada’s commercial fishing fleets have with marine mammals. The deaths of a dozen critically endangered right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year is the driving force behind the effort, which has already resulted in changes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery, whose gear has been implicated in some of the deaths. >click to read<08:18

Deepwater Wind Hires New Fisheries Liaison, Continues Search for Long Island Fishery Representative

Deepwater Wind’s new Fisheries LIaison, retired commercial fisherman Rodney Avila of New Bedford, Mass., will be on the East End all week meeting with potential independent fisheries representative candidates for the South Fork Wind Farm off of Montauk, while the East Hampton Town Trustees have issued a detailed set of requests for Community Benefit Projects they’d like to see Deepwater Wind fund on behalf of fisheries here. Deepwater Wind, the developers of the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Block Island, is planning to build,,, >click to read< 21:27

The Shutdown

The National Marine Fisheries Service shut down Sector IX because the majority of its boats and quota belong to Carlos Rafael. This came without warning last November 22 and the order also waived the customary 30-day delay in effectiveness. Far from resolving anything this has exacerbated a bad situation by throwing a widening circle of business owners under the bus as the weeks drag by. >click to read< 15:38

Crustacean Placation Nation

The Swiss are worried about lobsters. They are concerned that lobsters are sentient and can feel pain. So, if you want to eat a lobster in Switzerland, you can’t drop it, live, into a pot of boiling water, which is the preferred cooking method in Maine and other lobster-loving states. Instead, according to this article in USA Today, you need to either electrocute the lobster, or lull it into an insensate state by dipping it in salt water — and then stabbing it in the brain. I’m not sure, frankly, why those methods are viewed as more humane than,,, >click to read<12:54

Opinion: Time for NOAA and Sector IX to strike a deal

Eighty New Bedford groundfishermen. They’ve had no work now for almost three months. In the end, those are the guys and it is their families who are paying the biggest price for Carlos Rafael’s longtime conspiracy to falsify fishing records and smuggle the cash overseas. But since Rafael was the big guy on the New Bedford waterfront, the guy who owns the majority of the boats in Sector IX, the fishermen have been out of work since Nov 20 when regional NOAA administrator John Bullard ordered the sector to stop fishing. >click to read< 10:57

On This Day: February 18 – 1952: Coast Guard rescues 32 sailors from stricken tanker Pendleton

On this day in 1952, one of the most daring rescues in the history of the Coast Guard took place six miles off Chatham. The tanker Pendleton, en route to Boston from Baton Rouge with a cargo of oil, split in two during the winter’s worst storm. Eight crew members were trapped on the ship’s bow; another 33 sailors were stranded on the Pendleton’s stern. And in 1875: Twenty-four Cape Cod fisherman lost as two schooners fail to return from Grand Banks >click to read< 08:52

Vessel owner countersues Cape Ann Seafood Exchange

And this is why they call it a counterclaim. Longtime Gloucester fisherman Giuseppe “Joe” DiMaio has responded to the federal lawsuit filed against him by Kristian Kristensen of the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, refuting many of the details of Kristensen’s initial action and stating the rift between the two business associates originated with a dispute over fish prices. On Jan. 19, Kristensen sued DiMaio and the ownership corporations of his four fishing boats in U.S. District Court in Boston, alleging DiMaio has failed to pay the approximately $710,000 balance remaining on two personal and corporate loans from Kristensen and his related businesses. >click to read< 21:27

Don Cuddy – SMAST codfish counting innovation looks promising

Last December the New England Fishery Management Council voted to increase the amount of cod available to commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Maine by 39% for the 2018 fishing year. This is welcome news. New England fishermen have endured some lean years since 2013 when the cod quota was slashed by 78 percent after new data incorporated into the 2011 assessment indicated that the stock was lower than previously estimated-obviously a great deal lower. Estimating how many codfish might be out there at any given time is the greatest challenge facing fishery managers and the numbers have been subject of much controversy, with fishermen continually decrying the “best available science” as inadequate. >click to read< 19:25

Lawmakers give Maine lobster promoters key win

A state lobster marketing group is likely to keep touting Maine’s most beloved seafood export in the wake of a key vote from a legislative committee. The Marine Resources Committee voted in favor of renewing the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative for three years on Wednesday. The collaborative needs the full Legislature’s approval to continue existing beyond this year. The collaborative promotes the Maine lobster brand in the media, in the restaurant business and among chefs, and it’s funded by fees paid by members of the state’s lobster industry,,, >click to read<10:13

Wind farm company says no fishing vessel damage – claims by local fishermen are a “complete fabrication”

The head of a company that built the nation’s first wind farm says it hasn’t received any reports of damage to fishing vessels in the area, off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski said Thursday he believes any claims by local fishermen are a “complete fabrication.” The Providence-based company and the American Wind Energy Association industry trade group are touting new undersea footage suggesting a vibrant marine habitat growing around the five-turbine wind farm. >click to read< 09:05 

4 men rescued from sinking F/V Sea Star speak out

Four people were rescued from a sinking boat about 18 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday night, according to the Coast Guard. A Coast Guard aircrew airlifted four fishermen into a helicopter around 6:20 p.m. Captain Andrew Arnett told NBC 10 News he was sleeping when his crew members awoke him to news that the boat was about to sink. “No longer than 30 seconds after I got up, we’d taken a wave over the stern,” Arnett said. The four fishermen — Arnett, Roberto Fredette, Brandon McCrave and Breck Holdredge — were returning from a five-day trip crab fishing when the boat began taking on water. >click to read< 08:07

‘Conserve Your Flares’: Coast Guard Saves Four New Bedford Fishermen >Video, click to read<

Moulton: NOAA cuts ‘recipe for disaster’

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cuts more than $1 billion from the agency that manages the nation’s fisheries and coastal ecosystems, explores space and forecasts weather and changing environmental conditions. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Salem criticized the proposed cuts, saying the proposed 14 percent decline reflects the administration’s shallow understanding of the importance of NOAA’s programs to coastal communities,,, He characterized the president’s budget proposal as a “a guideline” and said it will be up to Congress to determine the ultimate levels of funding through the appropriation process. >click to read< 20:31

Pushing Propaganda: Underwater video shows marine life growing at wind farm

Offshore wind proponents are touting new undersea footage that suggests a vibrant marine habitat is growing around the nation’s first offshore wind farm — a five-turbine operation off Rhode Island’s waters.,, The brief underwater footage is juxtaposed with longer testimonials from local recreational fishermen and charter boat owners who say the wind farm has been a boon for them since Deepwater Wind opened it more than a year ago. But commercial fishermen are notably absent from the video and it doesn’t acknowledge the experiences of Rhode Island fishermen who have had their trawling gear damaged by buried power cables,,, >click to read< >click to watch video<14:00

Islanders, officials discuss the dire state of river herring

Local fishermen, tribe and town officials, state and federal officials, and concerned citizens gathered Monday in the cavernous Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Community Center to discuss the troubling decline in the river herring population on the Vineyard, and along the eastern seaboard.,,, The decimation done by offshore fishing was a recurring theme in the discussion. “Ninety-five percent of the public doesn’t know how much harm the midwater trawlers are doing,” charter fishing captain, and Aquinnah Deputy Shellfish Warden Buddy Vanderhoop said. Vanderhoop said the trawlers off the New England coasts are also decimating groundfish stocks, such as cod, haddock, flounder, and pollock. >click to read< 13:19

Maine lobstermen’s conservation efforts an investment in the future

How many of you keep money in the bank? Savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit or investments — we all use different methods to ensure that we have something set aside for the future. Maine lobstermen have been doing just that for the past century, making sure that there will be lobsters in the Gulf of Maine for their children and grandchildren to harvest. In doing so, they have earned a worldwide reputation as leaders in stewardship of marine resources. >click to read< 10:19 

Offshore drilling foes, denied microphone, hold rallies

With giant inflatable whales, signs that read “Drilling Is Killing” and chants of “Where’s our meeting?” opponents of President Donald Trump’s plan to open most of the nation’s coastline to oil and natural gas drilling have staged boisterous rallies before public meetings held by the federal government on the topic. That’s because the public cannot speak to the assembled attendees at the meetings. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is meeting one on one with interested parties and allows people to comment online, including typing comments on laptops it provides. People also can hand bureau officials written comments to be included in the record. What they can’t do is get up at a microphone and address the room. >click to read< 08:29

Coast Guard Saves Four Fishermen from sinking New Bedford Fishing Vessel

A New Bedford-based fishing vessel sank Wednesday night off Martha’s Vineyard, but its crew of four is fine thanks to their fast action in taking safety measures, the Coast Guard said. The Sea Star radioed at about 6:20 p.m. that it was quickly taking on water, listing heavily and crew members were donning their emergency suits, Petty Officer Nicole Groll, a Coast Guard public affairs specialist said about 9:10 p.m. Wednesday. >click to read< 22:21