Tag Archives: massachusetts

Straus speaks out against proposed changes to scallop permit leases

Plans to allow scallopers to lease out their fishing permits to others have been criticized by South Coast legislators, including Mattapoisett State. Rep. Bill Straus. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker dated May 6, the representatives wrote that they are “urging caution regarding the practice of fishing permit leasing”, the practice where scallop boats lease out their fishing days to other vessels rather then go out to sea themselves. The letter was also signed by Reps. Antonio Cabral, Chris Hendricks, Paul Schmid, and Chris Markey. Current regulations limit one permit per vessel. The state plan, from the New England Fishery Management Council, could allow fishermen to extend those leases and time at sea. > click to read < 13:15

Massachusetts: Lawmakers want to pay lobstermen during right whale conservation closure

State senators next week will debate a plan by South Shore lawmakers to pay lobstermen during a months-long annual fishing closure advocates say cuts income of some fishermen by as much as half each year. State senators Patrick O’Connor and Bruce Tarr have filed a budget amendment that would allocate $12 million to pay lobstermen $1 per week per trap they are licensed for during time they are not allowed to fish. The state annually shuts down more than 9,000 square miles of water for at least three months in efforts to protect migrating right whales. > click to read < 08:28

Conch May Be Doomed—by the Massachusetts DMF Target of Females

The sun permanently setting on a near half century old fishery processor in the nation’s lead commercial fisheries revenue port is not a pretty sight to contemplate. But it is real. And contemplated by a significant processor particularly well run key component to the channeled conch fishery supporting dozens of boats in Southern New England waters. New fishing rules increased the minimum legal landing size by 1/8” chute gauge width size bi-annually since 2019, each time reducing the commercial landings by 120,000 pounds—and revenues lost in that time over $500,000. The next increase is slated for 2023; independent marine economists say “the once $6 million annual fishery will be dropped from the recent annual landings of 806,000 pounds to about 600,000 pounds. Twenty boats will no longer economically function. And the fish processor loading dock will become part time. Or close. Or move out of state where species conservation and scientific awareness, and the fishery economics, will be in far better balance.” > click to read <  17:19

‘I don’t want to be a Wal-Mart fisherman’: Scallopers sound off about permit leasing/consolidation

The New England Fisheries Management Council held a scoping meeting Wednesday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on its proposed Scallop Fishery Management Plan adjustment. Should it go through, the plan would allow scallopers to lease out portions of their days at sea license to other boats, causing concern among small fisherfolk and portside business-owners alike. “I was born a fisherman’s daughter and became a fisherman’s wife,” said Evelyn Sklar at the meeting. “And now I’m a fisherman’s mother and a fisherman’s grandmother. “I hope I can die in peace, because this doesn’t belong in the fishing family industry.” “When consolidation happened [in the groundfish fleet], the community dried up around it,” “As consolidation happened with draggers, they were forced out of business,” said Justin Mello, captain of the Temptress. “I can see the same thing happening. >click to read< 08:12

New Bedford Scallopers tell fishery managers they don’t want leasing

More than 110 attendees, a mix of fishermen, shoreside business owners, marine scientists, attorneys and vessel owners, filled a meeting room at the Whaling Museum on Wednesday for the first of two public meetings in New Bedford on the leasing proposal. Those who spoke in opposition drew loud applause, while those who spoke in support drew little or none. “There was a time in this industry when a father owned a boat and he taught his son, and his son was able to rise up … buy and operate his own boat, and you know, those days are gone,” said Tyler Miranda, a New Bedford captain of two scallopers. “I think that if [leasing] does move forward and is developed, it will take even further away from the family and community dynamic that fishing is and always was — and will make it more corporate.” >click to read< 13:50

Massachusetts lobster industry feels impact of right whale protections

If you live in Massachusetts and you want locally caught lobster on Mother’s Day weekend, you’ll be out of luck. Commercial lobstering in Massachusetts waters is off-limits until later in May, which means, for the time being, any lobster being sold in Massachusetts has to be caught in Canadian waters. “It’s getting harder and harder every year,” lobsterman Tom Reilly said. “They make it more and more difficult for us with the closures.” Video, >click to read< 09:19

Atlantic Herring: New England to get $11M in disaster relief funding

Disaster-level instability in the Atlantic herring industry has prompted the federal government to give $11 million to commercial fishermen and shore-side infrastructure in four states. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said Thursday that the herring industry in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will get the assistance. More than $7 million is slated for Maine. Raimondo said the assistance “will help affected fisheries and communities recover from disasters and make them more resilient to future challenges.” >click to read< 15:49

Massachusetts state lobster closure extended

As has become an annual tradition, the state’s yearly fishing closure to protect right whales has been extended until mid-May, cutting short a season already slashed in the name of species protection. The state sent out a notice to lobstermen Friday that the closure for 9,000 square miles of water, tentatively set to end May 1, would be extended through May 15 due to the presence of whales off the coast and near the Cape. For now, Massachusetts lobstermen are restricted to fishing in federal waters, where the season started at midnight Sunday, May 1. >click to read< 11:12

F/V Nobska: Back-to-Back Hydraulic Hose Failures Caused Destructive Blaze

On April 30, 2021, while fishing for haddock at Georges Bank, the crew of the F/V Nobska spotted a fire on the lagging of the main engine’s exhaust pipe. After putting it out, they determined that the source of the fuel was a broken hydraulic hose located in a pipe tunnel, which ran between the wheelhouse and the engine room. The crew replaced the hydraulic hose and removed the oil-soaked lagging from the exhaust pipe, leaving the pipe bare. With the situation apparently resolved, they went back to fishing.  About four hours later, the captain of the Nobska noticed that there was black smoke coming out from underneath the wheelhouse winch-control console,,, >click to read< –  SEARCH RESULTS FOR: F/V NOBSKA 19: 40

Right whale defenders question energy industry donations

A group opposing wind projects off the coast of Massachusetts released a report Tuesday that documents contributions from wind energy developers to environmental groups in the state, donations that the authors of the report say cast questions on the ability of groups to analyze the impacts that wind projects have on the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The report, released by the Save Right Whales Coalition, catalogs $4.2 million between wind developers like Vineyard Wind, Bay State Wind, and Orsted to environmental groups in Massachusetts such as the Environmental League of Massachusetts, New England Aquarium, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. >click to read< 09:35

NEFMC to hold first scallop leasing meeting in Gloucester

Scallopers, Gloucester will be the scene of the first of seven in-person meetings and two webinars over the next two months as the New England Fishery Management Council conducts scoping for a limited access Atlantic Sea scallop program. The meeting will take place Wednesday, April 27, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester, 6 Rowe Square. The Newburyport-based council “is charged with conserving and managing fishery resources from 3 to 200 miles off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut,” with major ports Gloucester, New Bedford, and including Portland, Maine, according to its website. >click to read< 10:48

Feds authorize 5-day period for ropeless lobster fishing in Massachusetts Bay

Federal officials gave Massachusetts lobstermen a temporary exemption Tuesday to allow them to use ropeless lobster gear in a restricted area of the Massachusetts Bay through Saturday after state regulators rejected a similar proposal earlier this month. The exempted fishing permit was issued to a group of lobstermen organized under the name “Pioneers for a Thoughtful Coexistence,” who had asked regulators to allow them to set as many as 200 ropeless traps in areas along the South Shore, where lobster fishing is closed three months a year. >click to read< 07:48

Two commercial fishermen sue federal government to block ban on fishing near Gulf of Maine

David T. Malley of Massachusetts and Patrick Fehily of New Jersey are commercial fisherman who work near the Gulf of Maine, within the roughly 5,000 square miles that President Biden designated in October as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, according to court documents. Malley, a fisherman for more than 50 years, and Fehily, a fisherman for more than a decade, name Biden, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland as defendants in the suit, filed in US District Court in New Jersey, according to court documents. >click to read< 08:12

Hundreds rally in Plymouth to prevent nuclear wastewater dumping into Cape Cod Bay

A rally against the proposal by Holtec International, the company that acquired the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, was held Saturday afternoon at Plymouth Town Wharf. A spokesperson for Holtec said the company is considering other options to dispose of the nuclear wastewater aside from dumping it into Cape Cod Bay. Those options include evaporating the contaminated water or trucking it to an out-of-state facility. “We have 60 full-time commercial lobstermen here. We have the oyster farms and everything. There’s just too much at stake,” said Tom O’Reilly, owner of the lobster fishing vessel “Karen M.” >click to read< 08:22

How to Be a Paid Extra in New Bedford-Based Movie ‘Finestkind’

In between major stories about the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge getting a redesign and parking at the Noah’s Place Playground remaining free for another summer, the Paramount Pictures film Finestkind is quietly staying in the headlines here on the SouthCoast Finestkind is, in fact, looking for some local people to help fill in some busier scenes. The movie’s casting agency is accepting submissions. In part, Kendall Cooper Casting is looking for authentic New Bedford-area fishermen with real-life experience. The post asks for “experienced commercial fishermen and local New Bedford people of all ethnicities who are interested in working as extras on the film. >click to read< and access the “Extra” sign up page. Best of luck. Remember us when you hit it big! 13:04

DMR brings news of declining young lobsters, resiliency measures to local lobstermen

“We’re not talking about whales.” Those were among the first words from Kathleen Reardon, lead biologist for the Maine DMR, to lobstermen at Stonington Town Hall on March 31. Both ongoing lawsuits and legislation aimed at protecting right whales from entanglement with lobster trap lines have delayed lobster stock assessments and analysis. But now lobster councils are meeting across the state to hear about a draft addendum to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission lobster management plan for the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, where 90 percent of U.S. landings are. The ASMFC manages near-shore fisheries for 15 states, including Maine. The draft addendum would affect Lobster Management Areas 1 and 3 and off Cape Cod as well as Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  >click to read< 16:37

Massachusetts state regulators reject plan to use ropeless lobster traps

The proposal, submitted by a group of lobstermen organized under the name “Pioneers for a Thoughtful Coexistence,” asked regulators to allow them to set as many as 200 ropeless traps in areas along the South Shore, where lobster fishing is closed three months a year. DMF Director Daniel McKiernan denied the plan and laid out three reasons for his decision, the first being that the proposal “lacks a study design that will contribute meaningfully to further understanding the efficacy of ropeless fishing.” >click to read< 08:02

Massachusetts DMF’s Ropeless Fishing Gear Feasibility Report Released

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has completed the first phase of a two-year project, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to comprehensively characterize the issues and challenges associated with the integration of on-demand fishing gear technology into New England lobster fisheries. On-demand fishing gear, also known as ‘ropeless gear,’ is a type of fishing gear used in ‘fixed gear’ fisheries, or fisheries that use equipment that is left, or ‘fixed’, in place over time to capture fish. On-demand fishing gear replaces traditional vertical buoy lines, which can result in entanglements with marine mammals including North Atlantic right whales, with new gear retrieval and marking methods.  >click to read, and access the report< Assessing the Feasibility of On-Demand Gear in New England Lobster Fisheries, 16:40

Michael L. Linquata of Gloucester, Massachusetts, has passed away

Michael L. Linquata, 96, of Magnolia, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of the late Lillian Rose (Ciulla) Linquata who passed away just recently. Michael was born in Gloucester on July 5, 1925, son of the late Leonard and Anne (Favaloro) Linquata. Michael was an early graduate of Gloucester High School class of 1944 and was inducted into the army at Fort Devens on January 12, 1944. He was a combat medic and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When Michael finished college, he worked with his father and managed Progressive Fish Company. >click to read< 22:08

Marshfield Selectmen Recognize Resident after 911 Call Led to Rescue of Three Fishermen

Pam Harght was working from her Marshfield home in February, when she saw smoke coming from a boat, about a mile away. The boat disappeared from view, and she called 9-1-1. Police Chief Phil Tavares says if it was not for that phone call, three people would have been dead. First responders from Scituate and Marshfield rushed to the area and rescued three men from the 55-foot fishing vessel, the “Bing Bing” out of Gloucester. Audio, >click to read< 12:05

Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative calls for sanctions on Russian fish imports

The Boston-based Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative, which has several Gloucester members, is calling for sanctions to take a bite out of Russian fish imports because of the war in Ukraine. The collaborative, which counts the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association as a member, said that in 2021, the U.S. imported $4 billion worth of Russian fish for processing, leading directly to jobs and paychecks for Massachusetts residents. “Though Russia blocks imports of American fish,” the collaborative said, “our commitment to free trade and open markets allowed this one-sided relationship to bear fruit. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has forced our industry and our nation to decide between our ideals and our wallets.”>click to read< 08:42

Gulf of Maine: Lawsuits over North Atlantic right whale regulations coming to boil

Lobsterman Brian Cates lives so far at the edge of Maine he can look out the windows of his house and see Canadian boats out in Canadian waters. Cates and other New England lobstermen are worried about how the coming regulations issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service will affect their livelihoods. Cates fishes in disputed waters. There, around the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, there’s a strip of ocean claimed by both Canada and U.S. alike called the grey zone. Cates fishes up against Canadian lobstermen, their traps and lines often getting caught up on one another. And the rules coming down from the federal government are not helping, >click to read< 19:14

Feds institute ’emergency’ lobster closure to protect right whales

The federal government will close an additional 200 square miles off the coast of Massachusetts to lobster and Jonah crab fishing in April to protect endangered right whales. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is closing the area on an “emergency” basis, without taking public comment, a move that frustrates lobstermen already contending with extensive fishing restrictions. >click to read<

Emergency Closure for Lobster and Jonah CrabTrap/Pot Fishery: Area Between Massachusetts Restricted Area and Massachusetts Restricted Area North for April 2022 – Lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot fishermen fishing in the federal waters between the Massachusetts Restricted Area North and the Massachusetts Restricted Area must remove all trap/pot gear from this area, and may not reset trawls being actively fished, or set new trawls in this area for the period from April 1-30, 2022. >click to read< 12:02

‘Wicked Tuna’ returns for Season 11

The tuna fishermen in the National Geographic hit series “Wicked Tuna” were not crushed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, although they too faced the challenges of a world economy turned upside down. But the “monstah” bluefin tuna competition is back. Season 11 kicks off on NatGeo TV with the extended 90-minute episode “Back on the Hunt” this Sunday, Feb. 27, at 9 p.m. Filmed on location in Gloucester and at sea, the show follows experienced fishermen from the nation’s oldest seaport, chronicling their triumphs and sometimes the ones that get away. Of the eight captains, half are from Gloucester, and two are from Beverly. The other two are from New Hampshire and New Jersey. >click to read< 21:24

Mayor wants New Bedford voice on NEFMC

The last New Bedford voice on the council was John Quinn who left in 2021 and was replaced by Michael Pierdinock of Plymouth. Eric Hansen is looking to be the New Bedford voice on the council. “We’re the largest valued fishing port in the nation and to not have a voice on the council is just wrong,” Hansen said. Hansen has been a scallop fisherman, like his father and grandfather before him, for 44 years. He doesn’t go to sea anymore but his scallop vessel F/V Endeavor does and these days his son is at the wheel, serving as captain. >click to read< 09:12

The Man at the Wheel: The story behind The Fisherman’s Memorial in Massachusetts

If you live in Gloucester, you may already be familiar with the story of the most iconic statue in town. If you’re a visitor, you may have noticed it, maybe wondered about it, or maybe not thought much about it at all. Regardless, the Fisherman’s Memorial statue is certainly the most recognizable landmark in town. Standing and looking out towards Gloucester Bay, this memorial in Massachusetts has a story, and we are going to tell you all about it. Photos, >click to read< 07:01

New England and Canada: Seafood watch list weighs ‘red-listing’ lobster. Lobstermen push back

An influential arbiter of the sustainability of seafood is considering whether to drop lobster caught off Maine and Canada from its roster of approved products. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch announced this week that it is reviewing whether to add eastern Atlantic lobster harvests and other trap-pot and gillnet fisheries to its Red List,” due to the risk they pose for the survival of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Last year another seafood rating program, the Marine Stewardship Council, suspended and later reinstated its certification of part of Maine’s lobster fishery. Massachusetts lobstermen are pushing back on the description of their industry as unsustainable. >click to read< 10:39

Captain, crewman remembered 15 years after F/V Lady Luck’s sinking

Fifteen years after their tragic deaths in the sinking of the dragger Lady Luck, Capt. Sean Cone and his crewman Daniel Miller are still fondly remembered by their families and friends. Cone, 24, born and raised in North Andover, and Miller, 21, of North Hampton, New Hampshire, were lost when their 52-foot, steel-hulled vessel sank rapidly in the late hours of Jan. 31, 2007, about 30 miles southeast of Portland, Maine, in water more than 500 feet deep, according to a U.S. Coast Guard investigation. The two fishermen were returning to Newburyport from Portland. Years later, their loved ones continue to celebrate their lives. >click to read< 17:47

Opinion: Fighting whale-safe gear rules won’t ‘save Maine lobstermen’

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has stepped up an advocacy campaign to “#Save Maine Lobstermen.” They and their political allies claim that new regulations to make fishing gear safer for right whales will put the lobster fishery out of business. Where is the evidence? Massachusetts and Canadian lobster fisheries are already investing in changes that the Maine Lobstermen’s Association claims are impossible. Indeed, Canada has invested $20 million to transition its trap fisheries to whale-safe gear by 2023. Digging in for a fight means that Maine lobstermen fall behind the competition. >click to read< 10:03

Coast Guard medevacs commercial fisherman 90 miles east of Cape Ann

The Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured fisherman 90 miles east of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, Thursday. Coast Guard Sector Boston watchstanders received a notification from the fishing vessel F/V Sea Rambler, reporting that a crewmember had severely injured their arm in a hatch, and were requesting assistance. Video, >click to read< 12:50