Category Archives: New England

Held Hostage: New Bedford Fishermen, Businesses losing out while waiting on NOAA

“If something doesn’t happen with groundfishing soon, it’s gone,” general manager of Hercules SLR John Reardon said. NOAA implemented the ban Nov.20 and has continued because of an overage calculated at 72,000 pounds of grey soul, according to multiple people who spoke Monday evening. The overage represents the amount of fish calculated by NOAA that Carlos Rafael misreported. He is serving a 46-month prison sentence, but the NOAA punishment aspect has held many along the waterfront hostage. >click to read<10:27

Fishermen of Newport to Honor Ronnie Fatulli this Thursday

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, the Newport Lobster Shack and Fishermen of Newport will honor Ronnie Fatulli for his lifelong commitment to the commercial fishing industry of Newport, his love of the working waterfront and his successful efforts to insure a permanent commercial pier in the City of Newport. Business owners, locals and tourists alike are invited to join in the celebration at State Pier #9 located at 150 Long Warf, Newport, RI. The ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00AM and will feature speeches by Mayor Harry Winthrop, Director of the DEM, Janet Coit, Bill Palumbo and Alan Eagles. >click to read<08:04

How China’s squid fishing programme is squeezing its neighbours and creating global sea change

Critics have said China keeps high-quality squid for domestic consumption, exports lower-quality products at higher prices, overwhelms vessels from other countries in major squid breeding grounds, and is in a position to influence international negotiations about conservation and distribution of global squid resources for its own interest. Fishing ships from China have accounted for 50 to 70 per cent of the squid caught in international waters in recent years, effectively controlling the supply of the popular seafood, according to an estimate by the Chinese government. A price hike for squid bought by the United States from China has been accompanied by a decline in quality, Video, >click to read<12:54

Misguided Opposition to Wind Farm? The rambling random notions of an unhinged crack pot.

As we face multiple global ecological crises, magnified by climate change, it is puzzling, even frightening, to see opposition to one of the major and already functioning forms of renewable energy, especially from the marine resources community. One would think that this community was completely ignorant of the proven threats of oil tankers to our fisheries and estuaries, or of the overfishing of food fish, or the destruction of coastal estuaries, the fish breeding grounds, for condominiums, hotels, resorts and other incompatible uses, or the polluting runoff from farms, sewers, cesspools and industry. The commercial fishing community has long sat on the sidelines as environmentalists fought the good fight to preserve ocean life.,, >click to read<10:19

Wind Farms Are Not Only Expensive They Are Terribly Noisy

Northeast States are turning to wind farms hoping for relief from high energy bills, they’re finding out wind energy is not only expensive but very noisy. Brazil, the world’s eighth largest producer of wind power, has erected wind turbines off its Atlantic coast where the wind blows consistently and the noise is constant. Recently, officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced contracts for two large offshore wind farms off Martha’s Vineyard.,,, The wind developers are rushing the projects to benefit from a federal tax credit for offshore wind projects before it expires in 2020. As with other offshore wind projects, fishermen are wary of the detrimental impacts that the wind turbines, the associated subsurface cables and the subsequent noise will have on their livelihood. >click to read<20:35

Wind Turbine Development and the future of fishing? Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

Let’s start with commercial fishing perspectives on wind farms in the North Sea: Seventeen fishing vessels docked in the centre of Amsterdam, a city that built its wealth and prosperity on the herring fishery. Between 600 and 700 fishermen from Holland and Belgium arrived in the city for a peaceful but highly visible protest that was followed by dozens of journalists.,,, In spite of the fact that in the U.S. our experience with producing electricity with offshore wind turbines is virtually nonexistent, we are apparently well on the way to committing billions of dollars to the effort – and most of that effort is going to be in the waters off New England and the mid-Atlantic. How much experience do we have with offshore wind turbines in the United States? >click to read<12:23

Halibut landings up, so Maine halibut landings to go down

Just as in the physical world, it’s a quirk of the regulatory world of fisheries management that when something goes up, something must go down, and it isn’t always the same thing. Last week, the Department of Marine Resources held a series of public hearings in Ellsworth, Machias and Augusta on a proposed regulation that would shorten the Maine halibut fishing season by 20 days, cut the number of allowable hooks for halibut fishing on each boat and ban possession of halibut by fishermen who have state-issued halibut tags who have been fishing outside the three-mile state waters limit. >click to read<10:55

Feds weigh costly new regulation for Maine lobstermen

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requested comment on the proposal in a notice posted to the Federal Register on Wednesday. Maine is the only state that doesn’t require all lobstermen to report catch-level information after each haul, and the policy change is expected to receive backlash from its powerful fishery lobby. “We’re going to get a lot of probably negative comments on this because it’s going to be a burden for people,” said Peter Burns, a lobster policy analyst with NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. “The lobster industry is very strong. For the longest time, they wanted to protect their fishing information, their proprietary business information.” >click to read<09:15

Congress : National Marine Fisheries Service, Destroying Fishermen and their Communities, The fifty million dollar question.

6/14/2018 – Please read, and sign the Petition By Joel Hovanesian, Thank you. Fisheries observers work aboard commercial fishing vessels during fishing trips. They collect information on catch, both kept and discarded, as well as biological data and information on gear and fishing operations over a range of commercial fisheries. These data are used extensively by researchers and fishery managers to better understand the condition of fishery stocks, fishing businesses, and fishing operations. These are NOAA’s words. The reality of the situation is far different. While many fishing businesses have been destroyed by the policies of the National Marine Fisheries Service and many more just hanging on we need to look at the reality of what is truly going on and questions need to be asked. >click to read and sign the petition< 21:00

Tuna ruined his life, then saved it

Nobody knows more about the ups and downs of the fish industry than Dennis Gore. Riding high, he was one of the most successful tuna buyers in the world. At the bottom, he was bankrupt, depressed and loathed by commercial fishing captains he couldn’t afford to pay. At one point, his Rainbow Connections company was “doing $9 million in sales a year, mostly selling bluefin to Japan.” On the other end, he was sitting in his living room, “smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead.”For years Gore refused to talk about it. “I’ve kept all this inside of me for so long, and it’s been eating at me,” he said while sitting on a picnic table at O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in this sleepy little fishing and boat-building village. >click to read<16:30

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Future Reporting Requirements for the American Lobster Fishery

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently approved Addendum XXVI to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for American Lobster to improve the scope and type of data collected in the lobster fishery in order to improve stock assessments, assess potential impacts of wind farms, and better assess interactions with marine mammals. The addendum includes recommendations to: Require all federal lobster permit holders to report on catches for each fishing trip. Have NOAA Fisheries collect data on where, when, and how long fishermen are fishing. Expand NOAA Fisheries’ offshore biological sampling program. >click to read<17:07

AP Investigation reveals Sustainable Seafood dealer sold fishy tale

Even after winter storms left East Coast harbors thick with ice, some of the country’s top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York. But it was just an illusion. No tuna was landing there. The fish had long since migrated to warmer waters. In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood. But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a U.S. dock — and sometimes the very boat that brought it in. Over the years, Sea To Table has become a darling in the sustainable seafood movement, >click to read<13:37

Regulators apply brakes to offshore wind power project led by UMaine

Longstanding efforts to establish an offshore wind energy industry in Maine suffered a setback Tuesday when state utility regulators voted to reopen a previously negotiated power contract to test a patented technology for deep-water floating wind farms. Since January, supporters of the Maine Aqua Ventus project had expressed concern that action by the Public Utilities Commission to alter a power-rate contract set in 2014 could doom the University of Maine-led venture just as it’s reaching the critical stages for financing and permits. >click to read<10:10

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom

The Trump administration is “bullish” about offshore wind, working with governors in the Northeast to transform what was once a fringe and costly investment into America’s newest energy-producing industry. “When the president said energy dominance, it was made without reference to a type of energy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “It was making sure as a country we are American energy first and that includes offshore wind. There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish.” On a recent tour of coastal states, Zinke found “magnitudes” more interest in offshore wind than oil and natural gas drilling. >click to read<11:20

New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, ME June 12 -14, 2018

The New England Fishery Management Council will be meeting at Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME, To read the final agenda, >click here< Register for webinar >click here< to listen live. 08:13

AIS Inc. Wins Northeast Fisheries Five-year, $50 Million Dollar Observer Contract

AIS Inc., a scientific services company headquartered in Marion, Mass., has been awarded a five-year, $50 million contract to provide fisheries observers for federal monitoring programs in the Northeast. NOAA Fisheries has been contracting for fisheries observers in the Northeast since 1989. The work is fundamental to understanding and sustaining fisheries. AIS, Inc. is an experienced fisheries observer service company, employing people to monitor federal fisheries along the U.S. East Coast and in Alaska. Under this contract, the fisheries covered occur from Maine to North Carolina. >click to read<16:48

Lobster boat racing season revs up this Saturday

That’s right, lobster boat racing fans and racers. The 33rd season begins right here in Boothbay Harbor at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 with the Charles Begin Memorial races. Categories include gas classes based on length and cubic inches, diesel classes based on horsepower and length, a wooden boat race, gas and diesel free-for-alls, and four races just for Boothbay region boats. The race course runs in front of Tumbler Island toward the finish line at the Maine State Aquarium. >click to read<13:11

The Richard & Arnold’s final voyage out of Provincetown

With my family on board, the Richard & Arnold sailed from Provincetown Harbor for the last time on Memorial Day. The Richard & Arnold holds an important place in the town and nation’s history as one of the oldest continually fishing vessels left in the U.S. For 36 years, it was ours. She was built in 1934 by Casey Boat Yard in Fairhaven. History tells us that the harbor was once filled with boats like the Richard & Arnold, the wheelhouse in the stern, constructed of wood, with fishing nets hanging from the rigging. In a perfect world the Richard & Arnold would have stayed in Provincetown forever. >click to read<08:57

Dear Senator Warren

Dear Senator Warren , As a retired commercial fisherman, and your constituent, I am trying to help those fishermen that still exist. I want to out line our problems, as I see them. A. The science used by NOAA decides our future. Under the current law NOAA does not have to compare or look at other scientific data. They “own” the term “best available science” exclusively, excluding better data collected by non government entities, including collaborative science between industry and academia! This is wrong. This needs to be changed, and the only way is to have some wording in The Magnusson Act to that effect. By supporting HR-200, you can right this wrong. B. Saltonstall-Kennedy Act,,, >click to read<18:57

The only Mainer ever to have fishing licenses permanently revoked facing eel charges

On Tuesday, a warrant was issued for Lucas Lemoine’s arrest after he failed to appear in court in Hancock County on two fishing-related misdemeanor charges, according to court documents. Lemoine, 36, of Southwest Harbor, has 30 criminal convictions or civil adjudications for fishing violations that date back to 1998, according to Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols. In 2015, his fishing licenses were revoked permanently by DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher for what Keliher at the time called “a pattern of willful disregard” for Maine’s marine resources laws. At one point in March 2015, weeks before his scallop and lobster licenses were revoked,,, >click to read<10:41

Remembering Richard M. Gaines March 20, 1944 – June 9, 2013 Gloucester, Massachusetts

It’s hard to believe its been five years since Richard Gaines passed away on June 9, 2013. I miss him everyday, and I know I’m not alone. The many kind words that were written in his obituary by so many prominent members of the fishing community, reminds us when read again, that journalistic truth is elusive. With the integrity and tenacity of Richard Gaines, the truth was always told. >click to read< A video, NMFS Fraud Fishermen Thank Richard Gaines >click to watch<08:49

Mashpee Selectmen Push To Move Herring Trawlers Off The Coast

The New England Fishery Management Council, a federal entity, will host several public hearings to solicit comments on possible alternatives under consideration in an amendment to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. More specifically, the council is seeking feedback from the public on which alternatives should be selected and why. One of those amendments includes forcing fishing vessels called midwater trawlers 12 miles off the Cape Cod shore.,,, But the operators of these midwater trawlers contest the proposed amendment,,, Mary Beth Tooley, a representative of O’Hara Corporation in Maine, says that about 80 percent of the Maine lobster fishery uses herring as bait. “That’s thousands of lobstermen that will be impacted,” >click to read<20:13

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

Elver fishermen push for higher quota, say resource isn’t endangered

Despite the abrupt end to the elver season last month due to poaching, elver fishermen continue to support an increase in Maine’s annual catch limit. The Bangor Daily News reported that more than 60 elver fishermen appeared at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — the interstate body that oversees the eel and elver fishery, among others — to consider whether to raise the quota from 9,688 pounds to 11,749 pounds. >click to read<13:47

Book questions Maine lobster fishery’s future

Author Christopher White will explore Maine’s lobster industry at an author talk and book signing for “The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine’s Greatest Fishery?” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. In the last five years, Maine lobstermen have annually caught more than 120 million pounds, six times what was caught annually in the 1980s.,,, Over the course of a year, White followed three lobster captains — Frank, Jason and Julie — as they hauled and set thousands of traps off the coast of Stonington and fought a warming ocean, volatile prices and rough weather to keep their livelihood afloat. >click to read< 11:39

Backstabber hopes to make waves on tournament fishing circuit

Boatbuilder Steve Wessel seemed relaxed last week, at least by his usual high-energy standard, as he showed Backstabber, the latest creation from Wesmac Custom Boats, to a pair of enthralled sportsmen. He had a lot to be relaxed about.,,,Backstabber is a big boat, 54 feet long overall with a beam of 17 feet 6 inches and a 6-foot draft. With a cored superstructure, and solid fiberglass hull, her design displacement is 54,000 pounds. A boat that heavy needs plenty of power if it’s going to go after big fish and Backstabber has it. >click to read<11:55

Why Rhode Island Needs Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

“It is absolutely mind-boggling… that people that feed you, in one of the most historical oldest industries in this country, can’t go to sea and land that fish that feeds you without being treated like criminals,” said Richard Fuka, President of RI Fishermen’s Alliance. Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on cars, cash, and other private property by government today. According to the Institute for Justice, which produces a state-by-state report card, the Ocean State received a D- for its asset forfeiture laws. Please watch the new asset forfeiture video from the Center now. >click to watch<20:19

Rhode Island House Republicans Call for Marine Life Study Commission to study the effects of wind turbines

House Republicans are calling for a commission to study the effects of wind turbines on marine life in Rhode Island. Representatives Sherry Roberts, Justin Price, and Robert Nardolillo are urging fellow lawmakers to support the initiative. The representatives are renewing their calls for a study commission in light of Deepwater Wind’s recent announcement of plans to expand the offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Sherry Roberts, was introduced in February. Since then, the new $250-million Revolution Wind project was announced. The scale of the project has heightened unease about potential environmental damage from the turbines. >click to read<19:40

Responsible Offshore Development Alliance forms on the East Coast

With offshore renewable and wind energy development becoming increasingly common on the East Coast, a new alliance has formed to ensure that these developments are compatible with the existing interests of the nation’s fishing communities. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) brings together a broad range of commercial fishermen from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to advocate for their shared concerns over emerging offshore developments. >click to read<17:24

Maine’s Lobster Ladies Officially Kick Ass

Early mornings, heavy traps, rough seas, and scary lobsters. These are just a few of the things that don’t intimidate the women working in Maine’s lobster industry. It’s a tough job, and not only because it requires being awake and on a boat at 5 a.m. It also means being surrounded by a lot of dudes. The expectation of masculinity is built into the language of the trade. Even female boat workers refer to themselves as sternmen, and fishing boats with names like “centerfold,” and “moneyshot” fill the harbor. Video, >click to read<13:31