Tag Archives: lobster industry

Maine: Next Generation Of Lobstermen Brace For Unprecedented Change

On a boat near Kennebunkport in late July, lobsterman Chris Welch demonstrated new ropeless gear made by a Massachusetts company. It costs about $4,000 per trap, several times more than a traditional lobster trap, which is usually $80-180. “So far it is retrievable,” Welch says. “But the challenge of the Maine fishery is there’s 5,000 lobstermen and we all fish amongst each other and attempt not to fish on top of each other. With these units unless you’re staring at your electronics all day or your iPad, there’s no way of knowing where the next guy is.”  The 33-year-old is against going ropeless and thinks the gear is a long way from being practical or affordable for most lobstermen. “I foresee it becoming a big boat fishery,” >click to read<  10:55

Rep. Sherm Hutchins – Maine’s lobster industry is under siege

Maine’s lobstermen and women are under attack by the Biden Administration after a recent set of rule changes restricting seasonal lobster fishing in 950 square miles of federal waters off Maine’s coast. This is an inflexible and poorly considered attempt to protect the North Atlantic right whale population. The series of rule changes are the most heavy-handed in a long line of attempts to undermine the lobster industry here in Maine. If our fisheries are not protected, and if these rules are not reversed, Maine’s fishermen and women will not recover. >click to read< 09:47

More siege from the non-productive slugs of the enviroscam movement – Zack Klyver, science director with the group Blue Planet Strategies, has a different view on the issue. I’m sympathetic to them and know that they work extremely hard,,, >click to read< 11:25

Ronald R. Fatulli, Lobsterman/Businessman of Middletown, RI, has passed away – Worked seven days a week.

Ronnie was born and raised in New Bedford, MA to the late Raymond and Jennie (Salvati) Fatulli. He served in the United States Army, stationed in Alaska. When Ronnie returned home, he quickly found opportunities through his dedicated hard work. He bought a small lobster boat and sold sandwiches to the sailors at anchor on Navy ships stationed in Newport. In 1959, he founded the Aquidneck Lobster Company and soon grew from one small lobster market to becoming the largest East Coast wholesale distributor. The Bowen’s Wharf location became their foundation in 1965, then expanded further with the Coast Canning Company. Ronnie had an understated personality, and spoke loudly with his immeasurable work ethic. He worked seven days a week for his entire career. He was known for his tough love, and if he gave you a shot, he wanted you to succeed. >click to read< 15:15

Lobster industry is anxious over upcoming North Atlantic right whale protection rules

The federal government is working on new rules designed to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales,,, One of the threats the whales face is entanglement in ropes that connect to lobster and crab traps in the ocean. Early indications show that the changes required by the rules could be significant. They’re also vulnerable to ship strikes, and face the looming threat of warming oceans. Acting NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Paul Doremus said in June that the U.S. and Canada, which also harvests lobsters, must “take and sustain additional efforts to reduce right whale mortalities and serious injuries.” >click to read< 10:39

Maine’s having a lobster boom. A bust may be coming.

The waters off Maine’s coast are warming, and no one knows what that’s going to mean for the state’s half-billion-dollar-a-year lobster industry, the largest single-species fishery in North America. Some fear that continued warming could cause the lobster population to collapse. The Gulf of Maine, an ocean body brimming with marine life, is cradled by Cape Cod in the south and the Bay of Fundy in the north, and bounded in the east by two underwater shoals, George’s Bank and Brown’s Bank. In 2015, climate scientist Andy Pershing, formerly of the Portland-based nonprofit Gulf of Maine Research Institute, published a paper in Science concluding that the gulf was warming faster than “99% of the global ocean.” That eye-popping revelation was enough to keep fisheries managers and a whole lot of Mainers awake at night. >click to read< 16:27

Fox News, and Maine lobsterman Kristan Porter brings Right whale “conservation” issue to the American public

Jun. 13, 2021 – Cutler, Maine lobsterman Kristan Porter explains how a federal whale conservation push could have a massive effect on the lobster industry >click to watch< 07:50

Time to hit the brakes on offshore wind farms

2017, offshore wind generation appeared to be a dead issue in Maine. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had just completed an extensive study that deemed it too expensive for ratepayers. Now it is moving again at the speed of light. What I would like to know is, why haven’t we started an independent study on the environmental impacts of offshore wind development? We have been told that we need to move quickly given the Governor’s ambitious goals. I have heard this repeatedly and from many people in the Legislature, the bureaucracy, special interest groups and from high-paid lobbyists working for foreign corporations. Where did these goals come from, and why are we using these goals as a target? >click to read< 16:55

Richard “Max” Strahan attempted to intervene in right whale case with court injunction

An animal rights activist made a late attempt to try and stop the industry from being allowed to use vertical buoy ropes.  Richard “Max” Strahan tried to intervene at the beginning of the month in the federal right whale court case that holds the future of the lobster industry in its hands, but the activist’s attempt was rejected by a judge less than a week later.  Strahan filed his motion on May 8 and claimed that the only way the industry would stop using the ropes is by a court-ordered injunction. >click to read< 16:03

Well, hush my puppies! Georgia Con groups boycott New England Lobster Industry

Maine’s lobster industry is keeping a wary eye on a consumer boycott launched in the state of Georgia. Conservation groups there charge that New England’s lobster gear and trap-rope risk entangling and killing endangered right whales, and they say seafood lovers should choose other options. Alice Keyes, the coastal conservation director for an organization called 100 Miles, so-named for Georgia’s hundred-mile shoreline. The campaign is called “Eat Local, Not Lobster”. “I hope consumers are smarter than falling for these false campaigns,” says Patrice McCarron, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association executive director. >click to read< 09:25

Fishermen, DMR: New North Atlantic Right Whale regulations could cripple lobster industry

The proposal, released in late December 2020, includes measures like regional gear marking, breakaway rope, extra traps per trawl line and restrictions on certain fishing areas. But it is the emphasis placed on ropeless fishing traps that has officials at the Maine Department of Marine Resources most concerned. In its Biological Opinion regarding right whales and the fishing industry, NMFS identifies ropeless fishing as a solution, among others, to reduce whale entanglements that cause death or serious injury. DMR argues that ropeless gear is largely under-researched and unaffordable. DMR used EdgeTech traps to estimate cost increases associated with converting to ropeless fishing,,, An EdgeTech fishing unit costs $3,750,  >click to read< 19:36

Massachusetts Lobstermen fear end of their livelihood

Dan Pronk is worried a new set of proposed NOAA and NMFS restrictions aimed at saving the North Atlantic right whale could be the nail in the coffin for the lobstering industry on Nantucket. “We’ve got five years left of lobstering down here,” said Pronk, the only commercial lobsterman on Nantucket, and one of only a handful of lobstermen around the region with traps south of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. “It’s career ending if they get their way. We’re bending over backwards to appease these people. >click to read< 13:28

Despite an uncertain start to the fishery’s season, Maine lobster rolls on as the industry pivoted to new markets

Stonington lobster fisherman John Williams usually hauls his boat out in February for annual maintenance and paint in preparation for the start of the spring fishing season. “Then COVID started,”  The health emergency was worsening and the economy shutting down. That included one of the lobster industry’s biggest markets — restaurants. The large cruise ship and casino markets also slammed shut. International freight and shipping to China, emerging as a large consumer of lobster, had nearly stopped. “I got thinking about it and said, ‘This doesn’t look very good. We won’t have any market,’” Williams says. >click to read<  10:31

Do you think your seafood is cheaper? It is. The Coronavirus pandemic caused a drop in demand

The ongoing pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life on the South Shore, including the commercial fishing and lobster industries. “It’s hurt them big time,” said retired Cohasset fisherman Matt Marr. “There are so many things that factor in. Most of the restaurants are closed, hotels are empty, casinos are empty, cruise ships don’t exist anymore. Those places bought a lot of lobster. So, their markets have definitely diminished.” Reduced business at restaurants has caused a significant drop in demand, said Tommy Alioto. The pandemic didn’t affect lobstermen’s ability to do their job, but the low demand caused an excess of inventory and a drop in price. >click to read< 15:30

USDA trade aid for lobster industry using coronavirus coffers

The Trump administration is committed to starting an aid program to help the struggling lobster industry, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday, but the funds to do so will come from the coronavirus stimulus package, not the aid used to bail out farmers after President Trump’s trade war with China. The lobster industry, like many others during the coronavirus outbreak, has seen losses as markets on cruise ships and restaurants evaporate.,, Trump has began paying considerable attention to Maine’s lobster industry starting this summer, traveling to Bangor in June to announce he would reverse protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. >click to read< 18:07

New England: Judge Says He’ll Decide Within 2 Weeks When Feds Issue New Right Whale Protection Rules

The federal government and the lobster industry say any change should wait until May 2021 to allow for full review and public comment on new rules once they are proposed. In oral arguments before U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg Monday, their lawyers argued that the courts should not be in the business of micro-managing the fishery.,, The conservation groups are also calling for an immediate and year-round ban on fishing with rope in an area off Nantucket where the whales have been congregating in recent years. But a lawyer for the Maine Lobstering Union, Alfred Frawley, argued that would cause unwarranted economic harm, because the whales are known to be present mostly for a limited period in the spring. >click to read< 08:14

Who’s Buying Lobster?!! Maine Lobster Industry Pivots Focus

The Maine lobster industry has shifted it focus from foodservice to retail as restaurant demand has fallen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While 70 percent of Maine lobsters are usually sold through foodservice channels, this year that figure is expected to be under pressure amid widespread restaurant closures and restrictions on dining out. “Typically we spend a lot of our marketing resources educating chefs about Maine lobster,” said Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative which represents Maine lobster harvesters, dealers, and processors. “We looked at what was available to us, and saw it was going to have to be about consumers eating lobster at home this year.” >click to read< 12:13

‘We have no market, but lots of lobsters’: a Maine lobsterwoman fights for her livelihood

“If I’m not fishing, I’m working on gear or my boat. Or meetings involving fishing. It’s what I eat, sleep and breathe,” lobsterwoman Julie Eaton tells me.,, I ask her what it’s like to start lobster season. “How do I even begin to tell you what it feels like?” she says, sighing. “It feels like I’ve held my breath all winter. Finally, when I turn the key to my boat and I’m going across the bay, my lungs fill with air for the first time in months. All of a sudden I feel alive.,,, “The pandemic is killing us,” Julie Eaton tells me. “It’s a terrible thing. We have no market, but lots of lobsters. We’re safe to fish on our boats. On my boat, it’s just me and my stern-woman. But I have no place to sell my catch! >click to read<  08:44

Malpeque harbour users vote in favour of new wharf at Cabot Shores

On Wednesday, July 8, Malpeque harbour users gathered in Summerside to hear proposed plans for a new wharf. Around 50 people attended the presentation given by Harbourside Consulting and MRSB, which was hosted by the Malpeque Harbour Authority before its annual general meeting. Most there were commercial fishers; some were members of the public. The navigational channel into Malpeque harbour, also called Malpeque Cove, is shallow and has needed near-constant dredging for decades.  The shallow channel is dangerous for boats and their crews who risk running aground, swamping full of water or capsizing.  >click to read< 08:09

“Things could’ve been way worse”: Spring lobster season nears end amid coronavirus, “Things are stabilizing”

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union predicted a gloomy forecast for the spring season with the pandemic’s safety concerns, crushed markets and reduced processing capacity. But fishermen are taking it “day-by-day,” says the union’s executive director. “Things could’ve been way worse,” says Martin Mallet. “At least our fishermen have had a chance to go out and catch part of their catch.” Restaurants reopening is also helping market demand increase. >click to read< 08:49

Golden and Graves introduce bi-partisan legislation to make disaster relief funds available to fishermen

In a bipartisan effort, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) on Thursday introduced legislation to make additional disaster relief available to thousands of fishermen whose businesses are harmed by a pandemic. The legislation would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act to allow fisheries disasters to be declared due to pandemic, such as Coronavirus. My bipartisan bill with Congressman Graves would make pandemics an allowable reason to declare a fisheries disaster, opening up a process to direct federal relief funds to affected fishing communities. >click to read< 11:55

After months of lobster industry losses, things may finally be taking a turn for the better

“We’ve come through the pandemic and it’s been challenging for everyone, to say the least,” says Geoff Irvine, Executive Director of The Lobster Council of Canada. This week, lobster season opened for some parts of the Maritimes including the North shore of New Brunswick, some parts of PEI, Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait and pars of Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait.  “We’ve seen the lobster market adjust quite dramatically from very strong demand and high, high prices, record prices in January pre-pandemic, and we’ve adjusted to a new reality and we’re in recovery mode now,” Irvine says. >click to read< 16:01

Trump to to discuss commercial fishing while in Maine

President Donald Trump will hold a roundtable discussion with parties involved in the commercial fishing industry during his visit to Maine on Friday, according to a White House official. The president is slated to come to the Pine Tree State to visit the Puritan Medical Products facility in Guilford, which manufactures medical swabs used in coronavirus testing. The president is expected to discuss regulations and how to expand economic opportunities for the commercial fishing industry, according to the official. >click to read< 18:12

State of Maine: Lobstermen are feeling the pinch

Maine lobstermen are in a world of hurt, caught in a two-pronged assault on their livelihood. The pincer claw is the pandemic, causing their market to collapse. The crusher claw? That would be the latest lawsuit over whale rules.,, Even the elders in the fishing community are rattled. They are usually the ones who face fluctuations in the market with zen-like calm. It’s been down before, they say, and it will come back. Every year is not going to be a record-breaker. This time they’re worried. Younger fishermen who have gotten accustomed to record catches every year have taken on significant debt (bigger boats, newer trucks) and are freaking out. Jill Goldthwait >click to read< 11:09

Coronavirus: Maritime lobster processors call for a minimum two-week delay opening the spring fishery

It’s the latest reaction to collapsed demand after measures to curb the spread of coronavirus shut down markets like restaurants and cruise ships around the world. The request is being taken seriously by lobster fishermen’s groups in eastern Nova Scotia, which have held conference calls since a letter from the processors, titled “Message to Canadian Lobster Harvesters,” was delivered March 23. The letter was written by Jerry Amirault, of the Lobster Processors Association of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, on behalf of “Canadian lobster processors.” >click to read< 09:46

Coronavirus: COVID-19 hits lobster industry hard

On the day when Massachusetts restaurants officially were barred from offering on-site dining for at least three weeks, boat prices for live lobster were reported to dip to as low as $3 a pound in Maine and $3.25 in Massachusetts and wholesale dealers were trying to determine their next steps. “Right now, we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do,” said Joe Ciaramitaro, one of the owners of Capt. Joe & Sons in East Gloucester.,, “It’s tricky right now,” said Monte Rome, owner of Gloucester-based Intershell. “The restaurant business for us is obviously over for now. It’s one minute at a time, not even one day at a time.” >click to read< 05:58

Consider the Lobster Trap. How a father-and-son manufacturing company clawed its way to the top

Riverdale Mills, a Massachusetts manufacturer that commands 85% of the U.S. market in its niche—lobster traps—has a dynamism and rich history that make it a good subject for this exercise. Riverdale Mills faces similar hurdles as corporations many times their size—tariffs, a soft market, a strong dollar, etc. (Plus, they have their own idiosyncratic hurdles, like when the lobster industry is on forced hiatus during right whale migration.),, James Knott Sr., was a polymath. His mind never rested, not even when he was fishing. A decorated Army veteran and a Harvard College grad, Knott Sr. invented several coatings while running his own manufacturing company, Coatings Engineering Corporation. Knott Sr. sold CEC in 1962, staying on as president and director. Finding himself with more free time, he took up lobster fishing in Gloucester, Massachusetts. >click to read< 07:30

North Atlantic Right Whale: How to kill a species with Fake News, from National Geographic of all places!

“Fishing without vertical lines is what is going to save this species.“ says CT Harry of the IFAW who work hand in hand with NOAA. A ridiculous statement in view of the 18 cruise ship strikes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) in the past few years, in all of NE over 20 years. ¼ whale per year by the lobster industry. Eighteen ship strikes in the GSL over the past 3 years averages 6 per year. These people are killing 24 whales while those people kill one. by Jim O’Connell  >click to read< 13:22

Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct. – Human caused Right whale deaths have suddenly, in sync with a plummeting whale birthrate, put the right whale on the path to extinction. Why their birth rate, births per year, declined since a tremendous surge in 2000-2009 from 350 to 500 is unknown. In 2018 it hit bottom as no calves were born.  >click to read<

Nova Scotia: Lobster industry fears prolonged effects of coronavirus outbreak as exports halted, prices drop

A month ago, China appeared to be a land of endless opportunity for Nova Scotia’s $1-billion lobster industry, with fishers collecting record returns for their catches and exports to the Asian country growing to historic levels. Then, as travel restrictions and lockdowns in some cities were imposed in China in an effort to contain the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, lobster orders dried up almost overnight. The shore price, or price paid to lobster fishers for their catch, fell from a record high of $10.50 a pound to $8 a pound on Nova Scotia’s south shore last week, and is expected to keep falling. >click to read< 05:49

Coronavirus shuts down Chinese market for live Nova Scotia lobsters sending industry into panic mode

The sudden and unexpected temporary loss of the Chinese market for Nova Scotia live lobsters due to the coronavirus epidemic is creating a panic situation for the lobster industry.,, “Some people had inventory put away for the Chinese New Year that never got all their product over there in time,” “Everybody’s trying to push lobsters into the U.S. now so they flooded that market on Monday. To be honest we have no sales at all for our lobsters at this point,” said Cotter. >click to read< 14:42