Daily Archives: December 1, 2023

Massachusetts Commercial Fisherman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion

A Massachusetts man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for evading taxes on income he earned as a commercial fisherman. According to court documents, Joaquin Sosa, of New Bedford, worked as a commercial fisherman and deckhand operating primarily out of the Port of New Bedford. Despite receiving approximately $1.9 million in income between 2012 and 2021, Sosa did not file tax returns reporting the income and did not pay the substantial income taxes owed on the income he earned. Sosa also worked under false identities over the years.  To further conceal the source and disposition of his income, Sosa cashed his paychecks from fishing companies at check-cashing businesses, at times using false identities, and used the cash to fund his personal lifestyle. In total, Sosa caused a tax loss to the IRS of $520,415. >>click to read<< 19:34

New England’s decades-old shrimp fishery, a victim of climate change, to remain closed indefinitely

New England’s long-shuttered shrimp business, which fell victim to warming waters, will remain in a fishing moratorium indefinitely, fishery regulators ruled on Friday. The industry has been in a moratorium since 2013 in large part because environmental conditions off New England are unfavorable for the cold water-loving shrimp. That moratorium will remain in effect with no firm end date, a board of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Friday. The board stopped short of calling the move a permanent moratorium because it included a provision to continue monitoring the shrimp population and consider reopening the fishery if the crustaceans approach a healthy level. Some U.S. fishermen have advocated trying to save New England’s shrimp fishery with new management approaches. Glen Libby, a former shrimp trawler, said regulators need to gather more data before taking drastic measures to close a historic fishery. more, >>click to read<< 14:20

Appeals Court upholds dismissal of Gloucester Harbormaster’s harassment case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has affirmed a lower U.S. District Court judge’s ruling dismissing the intentional infliction of emotional distress, First Amendment retaliation and civil rights lawsuit brought by Gloucester Harbormaster Thomas “T.J.”, agreeing that city officials named in the suit were entitled to qualified immunity. In 2021, Ciarametaro, a Coast Guard veteran and reservist who has served as harbormaster since 2016, sued the city, then City Solicitor Charles “Chip” Payson, then Chief Administrative Officer James Destino, Human Resources Director Holly Dougwillo and then Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. In his suit, Ciarametaro claimed the city officials had “violated his First Amendment rights because they retaliated against him for his expert testimony in a maritime tort dispute between several Gloucester fishermen and the United States Coast Guard,” according to the First Circuit’s decision dated Tuesday, Nov. 28. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:31

Nautical tributes for Aberdeen trawlerman Johnny Winton

John Munro Winton – always known as Johnny, was born on June 7 1935 in Aberdeen. Son of trawler fisherman William Winton and his wife Margaret, Johnny had two brothers and a sister. On leaving Hilton Academy he followed in his father’s footsteps, and by 15 he was going to sea on the same vessel as his dad. A family man, although tired when he was at home after extended periods of time away at sea, Johnny made sure he was present for his children. Johnny retired from trawler fishing after 51 years, due to ill health. “Really what summed up dad’s retirement,” said Graham, “was the time he devoted to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:20

Unmanned commercial fishing sailboat grounds on Sugar Beach in Kīhei

During rainy weather sometime midday on Wednesday, a 46-foot commercial fishing sailboat called Ka Imi Kai broke loose from its anchor or mooring in Māʻalaea Bay and slowly drifted more than a 1/4-mile before grounding on Sugar Beach in Kīhei. More than 24 hours later, the nearly 50-year-old ketch (a double-masted sailboat) remained grounding as tourists floated in the water 30 yards to the north and others walked the beach, many stopping to take pictures of the unusual sight. The communications department of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources did not have an immediate response about the incident. photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:19

Giving Back: Wenzel uses net gains to help needy

As the son of a carpenter and custom home builder, Brick Wenzel said he hated getting wood splinters in his fingers when he was young. Born and raised in Lavalette, just north of Seaside Heights in Ocean County, he said his fascination with fish began in his early teens. As a young teen, he would collect bait fish and sell them to fishermen around town and party boat fishing captains to earn money, aside from his duties delivering the Ocean County Observer. His lifelong passion for all things fish-related has paid off. In 2018, to give back to the community at large, he founded America’s Gleaned Seafood, a non-profit group that donates leftover fish to area food banks. Offices for America’s Gleaned Seafood are located at the Point Pleasant Seafood Co-Op, which he believes is the oldest farmers’ cooperative in the United States. more, >>click to read<< 08:01

Lobster harvesters in southwest N.S say deal with Indigenous groups is being abused

On Thursday, fishing groups claimed the “interim authorization” approved this year by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) contains a change that allows moderate livelihood traps to be fished by non-Indigenous harvesters who lease commercial lobster licences held by First Nations. “It’s a clear breach of good faith between the fishing communities of southwest Nova Scotia and the federal government,” said spokesperson Colin Sproul of the Bay of Fundy Fishermen’s Association. DFO did not respond to a request for comment.  The industry groups said Michael Leonard, director of Indigenous fisheries management for DFO’s Maritimes region, said during a briefing on Wednesday that an option known as stacking, or allowing one boat to fish under two licences, is taking place. more, >>click to read<< 07:07