Tag Archives: Carlos Rafael

New Bedford: NOAA lifts groundfish ban – Approval in place immediately

Nearly eight months to the day after NOAA closed groundfishing for Carlos Rafael vessels, the agency lifted the ban on Thurday that had put 80 fishermen out of work. NOAA announced the approval for lease-only operations plan for Sector IX and allocated quota for Sector VII. “Continuing to withhold this amount of quota from the fishery significantly hampers the ability of the fishery as a whole to operate,” NOAA said in the 17 page document. >click to read<10:59

NOAA Fisheries sent this bulletin at 07/19/2018 11:16 AM EDT-NOAA Fisheries Approves Lease-Only Operations Plan for Sector 9, Amendment to Sector 7 Operations Plan, and Quota Allocations for Sectors 7 and 9 – >click to read<11:39

Opinion: Revitalizing waterfront is still up to sectors and Carlos Rafael

Carlos Rafael misreported his groundfish catch, and in its piece, “Time for NOAA to let Sector IX fish again,” the times is misreporting facts. First, NOAA didn’t calculate, as the piece states, that Rafael misreported just 72,000 poiundes of grey sole. He openly admitted to stealing over 10 times that amount, of several different fish stocks. Rather NOAA has apparently calculated that all but some remaining grey sole has been repaid, with quota seized earlier to cover the debt. Second, neither Sector IX has submitted a plan to return to fishing. Hank Soule >click to read<19:20

‘How are we going to get paid?’, NOAA shutdown continues to squeeze the life out of Shoreside Businesses

New Bedford, Massachusetts- Anne Jardin-Maynard is an Accountant. She doesn’t own a fishing vessel. The New Bedford native works within an office on Centre Street. Yet for seven months, a groundfish ban implemented by NOAA has prevented Jardin-Maynard from receiving a paycheck. That doesn’t mean owner of Jardin & Dawson, a settlement house, which handles payroll and accounting for fishing boats, has stopped working.,, >click to read<22:12

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

The ‘Codfather’ is behind bars, and New Bedford’s economy is paying the price

From the icehouse to the auction house, a pall hangs over the fabled wharves in New Bedford. As the new fishing season begins, many of the city’s fishermen are unemployed, their suppliers stuck with excess inventory, and local officials are questioning whether the millions of dollars in lost revenue will cost the port its ranking as the nation’s most valuable, as it has been for the past 17 years. “It’s devastating what’s happened to us, and other businesses here,” said Tor Bendiksen, the manager of Reidar’s, a marine supply company. >click to read< 08:25

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

New England Fishery Management Council to hear Sector IX’s post-Rafael plans

The New England Fishery Management Council will be updated on the groundfish crisis involving several New Bedford-based fishing sectors when it convenes for three days of meetings next week in Mystic, Connecticut. The groundfish presentation by staff from the Gloucester-based Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be the centerpiece of the groundfish report on Wednesday and is designed to provide “an overview of (Northeast Fishing) Sector IX’s steps to address its shortcomings, as well as a summary of Sector IX’s operations plan,” according to the agenda for the meetings. >click to read<19:26

New Bedford: Industry on the Brink

Two computer screens lit Richie Canastra’s windowless office.  The co-owner of BASE (Buyers and Sellers Seafood Exchange) seafood auction scrolled through scores of financial data associated with commercial fishing landings at 62 Hassey St. The numbers that starred back since NOAA implemented a groundfishing ban last November tell a dark story in an industry already struggling to survive. “With the ban, if we’re not up and fishing by May 1, you might as well just call (groundfishing in New Bedford) over,” Canastra said. >click to read<22:52

EDF tells NOAA Get multiple buyers for Carlos Rafaels assets, more monitoring

Jim Kendall chuckled as he attempted to grasp the words to describe a letter crafted by Environmental Defense Fund, which it sent to NOAA.,,, The letter pitches two strategies to NOAA in handling the permits and punishment linked to Rafael,,, EDF suggests that NOAA should require multiple buyers of Rafael’s assets and require monitoring of his vessels while also establishing funding for the monitoring. >click to read< 18:41

Hitting the Trail: NOAA’s GARFO leader looks to cultivate culture of collaboration

As debuts go, Mike Pentony’s first day on the job as the regional director for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was a corker. The federal government marked his ascension on Jan. 22 as only the federal government can — shutting down all but the most essential government services as a consequence of the usual congressional mumbley-peg. “My first action was to come in and proceed with the orderly shutdown of government operations,” Pentony said recently during an interview in the corner office on the uppermost floor of GARFO headquarters in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park. The respite was short-lived. The shutdown lasted a day. >click to read< 23:52

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

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

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

A Famed Fishing Port Staggers as Its ‘Codfather’ Goes to Jail

Carlos Rafael, whose initials are emblazoned on boats all over this port city, boasted that his fishing empire was worth even more than official records showed.,,Fishermen, ice houses and shoreside suppliers who once did business with Mr. Rafael are anxious, as their own businesses have slowed or stopped. As Mr. Rafael sits in prison, having pleaded guilty to lying about his catches and smuggling cash out of the country, nearly two dozen of his boats have been barred from fishing for species like cod and haddock, grinding part of the centuries-old maritime economy in the nation’s most lucrative fishing port to a halt. >click to read< 16:45 

F/V Nemesis Pulled from the bottom of New Bedford Harbor

Crews managed to lift the fishing vessel Nemesis out of about 20 feet of water on Friday. The Dinah Jane remained submerged but will be pulled from the water soon. It has yet to be determined when exactly. The two Carlos Rafael scallopers sank around 1:30 a.m. Monday at Homer’s Wharf. On Friday, crews blew air into sunken vessel and used a crane to stabilize it. After examination, the Nemesis will likely  remain docked off Homer’s Wharf, according to the Harbor Development Commission. >Photo’s, click to read<18:09

UPDATED: Two Carlos Rafael Vessels Sink Overnight in New Bedford Harbor – will remain submerged until at least Tuesday

Two Carlos Rafael vessels sank early Monday morning by Leonard’s Warf, according to Ed Anthes Washburn, the executive director of the Harbor Development Commission, Washburn said the fishing vessels the Dinah Jane and the Nemesis sunk at around 1:30 am with no one on board.  The vessels were tied to each other. Crews from the Coast Guard and the HDC are on site now investigating the incident. The Massachusetts Environmental Police seized 120 pounds of scallops off the Dinah Jane last week. Story will be updated. >Link< 11:24

Two vessels will remain submerged until at least Tuesday – >click to read the updated story< 14:05

‘Cod is Dead’ uses New Bedford to highlight hurdles affecting fishermen

One of the first scenes in “Rotten: Cod is Dead” opens at night in the Port of New Bedford. Spotlights atop the fishing vessels light the area. A few belong to Carlos Rafael, noted by their green color and “CR” logo.,,, The hour long show looks beyond Rafael and focuses on catch shares in the New England Fishery. >click here to read< 19:05

EDF says Rotten gets it wrong about New England and catch shares – >click here to read

The government is what created Carlos Rafael

Bill Straus saw the writing on the wall years ago. In 2009 -eight years before Carlos Rafael went to prison – the representative of Bristol’s 10th District spoke out during the establishment of the current catch-share system in the Northeast fishery. And even with Rafael behind bars, Straus says the threat of another Codfather emerging is ever present. “The risk is still there,” Straus said. “And that’s why what comes out of the different remedies is so important. >click here to read< 22:52

300 jobs lost in first month of NOAA’s Sector XI groundfishing ban

Nearly two months have passed since NOAA imposed a groundfishing an on Carlos Rafael’s fleet.  Those within the Port of New Bedford estimate it’s put upward of 80 fishermen out of work. That number merely only scratches the surface according to a study done by SMAST professor Dan Georgianna. Within the first 30 days of the ban, Georgianna estimates that across the Northeast 300 jobs were lost, with an income loss of about $5.7 million.  When including the retail loss the number surges to $12 million. >click here to read<19:26

SouthCoast fishermen call NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael ‘overkill’

New Bedford- Current and former area fishermen balked at NOAA’s reach in its civil action against Carlos Rafael. “It’s total overkill,” said Stephen Lozinak, captain of fishing vessel Marsheen Venture and who has been fishing for more than five decades. “The whole thing is overkill. All it’s doing is hurting the workers in the city of New Bedford.” >click here to read <21:01

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits

NOAA seeks $900M, all permits from Codfather in civil action – On Wednesday, the federal agency responsible for managing the nation’s fisheries issued the charging documents against Rafael, his seafood company, Carlos Seafood Inc., and 28 other businesses entities related to the New Bedford fishing mogul — including two unnamed scallop captains from his fleet. >click to read the story< 20:28

NOAA’s civil action against Carlos Rafael involves scallop permits – new allegations involve misreporting in the scallop fishery >click to read the story<

John Bullard: SectorIX board’s failure to act stopped its fishing

For New Englanders, Atlantic cod is not just another fish. The Sacred Cod that hangs in the Massachusetts State House is a testament to the cod’s place in our culture and history. For centuries, we fished for cod, as we watched the stock decline, we tried various ways to protect the resource this is considered as much a birthright as a commodity. In 2009, the New England Fishery Management Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, agreed to try a system called “catch shares” which worked well on the West Coast. click here to read the op-ed 20:52 

Don Cuddy: Sector closure angers and worries groundfish industry

It was on Monday, November 20, two days before his retirement party as NOAA regional administrator, that John Bullard abruptly ordered the shutdown of Sector IX’s groundfish operations. The boats out fishing had to return to port forthwith.,,, Bullard’s move was praised by some but it engendered some harsh criticism in the city. Click here to read the story. 23:11

While setting New England fishery rules, John Bullard was an exception

He’s been called a Neanderthal and the most reviled man in the region’s fishing community. At a public meeting broadcast on national TV, a fisherman once accused him to his face of lying for a living. As the regional fisheries administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, John Bullard has drawn ire from all sides — fishermen, environmentalists, and politicians alike. His decisions have been routinely controversial, and he has rarely minced words in defending them. click here to read the story 20:53

Mayor Jon Mitchell: Ban costing Port of New Bedford 500K per day

In a letter addressed to NOAA, Mayor Jon Mitchell said the Port of New Bedford could be losing nearly $500,000 a day because of the groundfishing ban. Mitchell referenced analysis prepared by Professor Dan Georgiana of SMAST, which stated the 25-day-old ban caused as much as $12 million (to date) in damage to the port. Mitchell filed is letter Wednesday, the final day in which comments regarding the ban could be submitted. Andrew Saunders, the attorney for Sector IX, the Carlos Rafael fishing division that’s prevented from groundfishing, also submitted a letter Wednesday. click here to read the story 17:55

What’s fair in breaking up the empire of ‘the Codfather’?

Randy Cushman, a fourth generation fisherman in Maine, knows what the crimes of Carlos Rafael cost him.,,, Rafael, whose downfall came after he boasted of his scheme to undercover IRS agents posing as Russian mobsters, is now serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.,,,  Senator Elizabeth Warren fired off a letter in August warning of “needless, immense damage” if permits leave New Bedford. Governor Charlie Baker asked that the permits at least stay in Massachusetts. click here to read the story 07:16

It’s devestating’: Fishermen try to cope as NOAA shuts down groundfishing

Cesar Verde only knows fishing. The New Bedford resident learned the craft in his native Portugal. For the past seventeen years, he’s worked in the fishing industry in his new home, and he’s been a captain for the past decade. However, for the last two weeks, he’s been out of the water because NOAA prohibited Carlos Rafael’s vessels from groundfishing. Verde captains fishing vessel Ilha do Corvo. “So far, (I’m) pitching in on the little savings I have. Soon I’ll run out.” click here to read the story 20:24

Fishermen voice concerns over fallout from Rafaels crimes

A century’s worth of fishing industry experience traveled from New Bedford to the Viking Hotel on Wednesday to describe the impact on NOAA’s groundfish ban on Carlos Rafael’s vessels. Richie Canastra, an owner of the New Bedford fish auction BASE, sat in front of the New England Fisheries Management Council during a public comment portion of it’s meeting and warned of “many layoffs” that will occur because of the ban. click here to read the story 21:02

“It’s a symptom of poor policy”- Codfather Arrest Shines Light on Fishing System

Members of the dwindling Vineyard fishing community who have been watching the proceedings say the tale is a sad commentary on the state of the industry and highlights flaws in its regulation. “It’s a symptom of poor policy,” said Wes Brighton, a Vineyard fisherman and one of the only Islanders to hold a federal commercial groundfishing permit. Mr. Brighton fishes for lobster, conch, monkfish, and some cod from his boat Martha Elizabeth. The system creates an imbalance, he said, giving independently-owned family fishing businesses little access to the fisheries and allowing larger corporations the ability to consolidate fishing permits and quota. click here to read the story 08:49

‘Codfather’s’ fraud leaves New Bedford fishing permits on ice, and lot of people out of work

South Coast officials and seafood industry interests were stunned by Monday’s federal decision to shut down a sector with ties to disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a decision they say will cut into the livelihoods of fishermen during the holiday season and beyond. “The ruling itself was unexpected,” said Andrew Saunders, a New Bedford attorney retained two months ago by Northeast Fishery Sector 9, one of 19 non-profit entities set up to manage fishing industry operations in the face of strict catch limits imposed by the federal government.,, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says there’s collateral damage involved for people in the New Bedford area whose jobs are tethered to the harvesting of groundfish such as cod, flounder and haddock. click here to read the story 10:48