Tag Archives: massachusetts

Fuel Man John G. Liarikos, II of Dartmouth, Mass, has passed away

John G. Liarikos, II, 69, of Dartmouth passed away suddenly on Monday September 18, 2023. Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Jeannine (Loranger) Liarikos and John G. Liarikos, he lived in the Greater New Bedford area all of his life. John was the owner/operator of Sea Fuels Marine Services on the New Bedford waterfront. Since its start in the 1990s, he has distributed fuel to the commercial fishing fleet, pleasure boats and commercial land fuel customers to the present day.  He was an avid golfer and longtime member of the Country Club of New Bedford. He held various leadership positions and enjoyed competitive tournament play over the years. He also enjoyed softball, waterskiing, and hockey.  >>click to read<< 13:30

Blue Harvest bankruptcy leaves millions in unpaid debt to local businesses

For Blue Harvest and Bregal Partners — which is part of a fund with over $18 billion under management — the $50,000 or so owed to Bendiksen is a small fraction of the debts the company had racked up during its eight-year roll up of the New Bedford fishing industry. But for Bendiksen, he said the notice that he will not be paid spells a serious financial blow. And he’s not alone.  More than 1,000 independent contractors and companies will be left holding the bag as the private-equity backed fishing venture goes belly up, according to a list of creditors published in the bankruptcy filings. It includes many fishermen who had worked for Blue Harvest and countless small businesses on the New Bedford waterfront: welders, mechanics, supply stores and shipyards. >>click to read<< 11:20

Fuel, diesel oil spills and bilge leaks continue to plague New Bedford Harbor

They are called “mystery” spills, and they can be caused by a fuel line dislodging, a bilge leak or a diesel spill like the one that occurred near the State Pier on New Year’s Eve. Andrew Jones, an environmental analyst in the Department of Environmental Protection’s Lakeville office, has been an emergency responder with the emergency response section for the last 24 years.  He said it’s called a “mystery” spill when there is no way of knowing its source or who caused it. He said it could have been an accident, a boat sinking, a land source or an elicit bilge discharge or another cause. Renewed efforts are underway to site a shoreside bilge water recovery facility, or pump-out facility, for New Bedford Harbor. >>click to read<< 09:02

Third-Generation Provincetown Fisherman Kenneth Macara, has passed away

Kenneth Roland Macara of Provincetown and Delray Beach, Fla. died at home on Aug. 16, 2023 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 91. The grandson of Joseph Macara, who emigrated from Portugal to Provincetown in 1899 and captained four draggers, including one named Victory, and the son of fisherman Manuel Macara and his wife, Inez, Kenneth was born on Dec. 9, 1931 in Provincetown and grew up here. When he was nine, he said in a 2021 interview for the Provincetown Portuguese Festival, he “forced” his father to “let me go fishing.” That desire to go to sea dominated his life. He was known as a “highliner,” a fisherman whose boats produced high yields of fish and thus high profits. As his grandfather and father had done, he captained draggers, taking over Victory II from his father. After years of fishing, Kenneth built a new boat, the Ruthie L, named after his wife, and passed Victory II on to his son Kenneth II. In his 2021 interview, Kenneth described the fate of the latter.  >>click to read<< 10:06

American Eagle takes Esperanto Cup again

The Adventurer and Calabash were among the schooners that joined the American Eagle in the winner’s circle for the 39th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival races over Labor Day Weekend. The American Eagle captured the marquee Mayor’s Race, winning the Esperanto Cup for large schooners, in an elapsed time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 49 seconds. >>click to read<< 11:53

Healey solicits ‘largest’ offshore wind bid

Massachusetts is putting out bids for another round of offshore wind projects – the largest procurement to date – to comply a mandate requiring it to tap into more clean energy sources, but the move comes at a risky time. Gov. Maura Healey announced on Thursday that the state plans to solicit up to 3,600 megawatts of additional offshore wind power, the equivalent to 25% of the state’s annual electricity generation. “With our top academic institutions, robust workforce training programs, innovative companies, and support from every level of government – Massachusetts is all-in on offshore wind,” she said. But the latest procurement comes amid increasing turbulence in the nation’s nascent offshore wind industry. >>click to read<< 09:02

Parade of Schooners ‘a real gift’ to Gloucester

Thousands lined Stacy Boulevard from Stage Fort Park to the Fort neighborhood Sunday morning under blue skies with light wind to watch the Parade of Schooners on the final day of Maritime Gloucester’s 39th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival. The event celebrates schooners small, medium and large, including a few historic Gloucester sailing vessels that used to fish for cod on the Grand Banks. Sunday’s schooner event also took place against the backdrop of this being Gloucester’s 400th anniversary as the nation’s oldest seaport. Five schooners sailing in the parade, Thomas E. Lannon, Lewis H. Story, Fame, Isabella and Ardelle were designed and built by 11th generation shipbuilder Harold Burnham in Essex. Photos, >>click to read<< 07:45

Blue Harvest to shut down, ending reign over New England groundfish

Blue Harvest Fisheries is set to shut down all fishing operations on Friday, its fishermen were told this week. It marks the last in a cascade of sales and closures for the billionaire-backed business venture that once aimed to “dominate” the New England fishing industry but ended up overcapitalized and belly up on the dock.  The company launched in 2015, flush with private equity capital, and expanded at a rapid clip to become the single-largest groundfish permit holder in New England. It still owns the permits and vessels, but seafood industry sources say, after the shut down, a quick sale or bankruptcy filing is likely.  “A big rise leads to a big fall,” said Luke deWildt, captain of the Teresa Marie IV, >>click to read<< 07:52

Two Friends: A Tragedy In Gloucester

In the summer of 2001, my wife Jan and I lived in a house on the highest point of East Gloucester, known as Beacon Hill. It had once been a visual landmark for ships navigating the approach into Gloucester harbor. One July day as I turned onto East Main, I noticed something that had not been there before, a tall crane behind some buildings. There was the crane and the reason for its presence: a burned-out and rusted fishing trawler pulled up to the shore, its name “Two Friends” still visible on the bow. The boat was being stripped for salvage, and as pieces were severed from above its hull, the crane deposited them in the lot to be hauled away.  I found the history of the vessel online, because it had been in the local news and in the courts. 18 Photos, >>click to read<< 18:44

Massachusetts Commercial Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty today to evading taxes on income he earned as a commercial fisherman. According to court documents and statements made in court, John Doe of New Bedford, Massachusetts, worked as a commercial fisherman operating primarily out of the Port of New Bedford. Despite receiving approximately $1.9 million in income between 2012 and 2021, Doe did not file tax returns with the IRS and did not pay taxes on the income he earned. To conceal his earnings from the IRS, Doe cashed his paychecks from fishing companies at check-cashing businesses and then used the cash to fund his personal lifestyle. He also used stolen identities to cash the checks. In total, Doe caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $520,415. >>click to read<< 13:57

America Is Finally Spilling Its Shipwreck Secrets

Word had gotten out about a productive patch of scallops in Stellwagen, and a commercial fishing fleet pounced. Smaller coastal boats took to the water, each one dragging a 11.5-foot-wide scallop dredge behind it. So did longer offshore vessels towing two side-by-side dredges, spanning about 30 feet. Over the coming weeks, the armada raked an area of seafloor equal to the size of Boston. Sleeping in shifts, the crews worked nonstop, shucking thousands of scallops released from the dredge in a great clattering whoosh on the wet decks. Watching this all play out, Haskell’s first concern was safety. “They were going back and forth, north and south, basically just barely missing each other,” he recalls. >click to read< 07:48

A reporter went on the Jones Act Enforcer vessel monitoring Vineyard Wind. What she saw.

Aaron Smith, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association, was our host on this trip. It’s his intent on behalf of the association to be on the lookout for ships in violation of the Jones Act and taking jobs away from American workers. The ship is named after the Jones Act, a section of federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States by requiring that goods shipped between U.S. points be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents. Captain Rick Spaid and his crew sped through the water at about 17 knots give or take when he was able and brought us within about 0.5 nautical miles of the ships we saw. Photos, >click to read< 09:46

‘Wicked Tuna’ captain honors fallen firefighter

A star of National Geographic’s reality series “Wicked Tuna,” Capt. Dave Marciano of Beverly, fished out a winning raffle ticket at Gloucester Fire Headquarters on Sunday, Aug. 20, to help honor the memory of a fallen Gloucester firefighter. Marciano had donated a half-day charter as part of efforts to honor the late Gloucester firefighter Gregory G. “Headly” Marchant as his family and firefighters plan to travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado, next month to see Marchant’s name added to the wall of the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Fallen Firefighter Memorial. >click to read< 09:11

Commercial fisherman Jeffrey Thomas Clements of Oak Bluffs, Marthas Vineyard, has passed away

Jeffrey Thomas Clements, 67, passed away on Friday, August 4, 2023, while out on his boat off State Beach, doing what he loved. Jeffrey was born on July 18, 1956, in Oak Bluffs. He was the son of Albert R. Clements and Lorraine E. (DeMont) Clements. Jeffrey grew up in Oak Bluffs. In addition to landscaping and tree work, Jeff had a calling to be on the water. He was a commercial fisherman, scalloping and lobstering, working for himself or as crew for others if something good came along. During the late ’70s and early ’80s, Jeff crewed for Capt. Roy Scheffer on the sword fishing boat Tiki 12. Jeff spoke fondly of those days fishing on the Grand Banks, traveling south in the winter to fish, and eventually out to Hawaii in ’83’ and ’84 on the Tucana. Jeff was first mate for Capt. Scheffer at that time. Jeff loved Hawaii, and continued to swordfish there after Capt. Roy came back to M.V. >click to read< 10:01

Commercial fishing boat catches fire in New Bedford, one crew member injured

A boat caught on fire Monday afternoon in New Bedford, according to police. Police received calls around 1:30 p.m. for a vessel on fire new Niemiec Marine. The crew of Engine 7 reported smoke coming from a docked vessel, F/V Madi J.” Due to a lack of nearby hydrants, Marine 38 was utilized to establish a water supply for crews to complete extinguishment. 6 Photos, >click to read< 09:41

‘We were never alone, the Coast Guard was always there with us’ — City celebrates Station Gloucester

As Gloucester 400+ committee members and speakers honored the long service of Coast Guard Station Gloucester during an Appreciation Day at the station Friday morning, rain and wind lashed the windows of the mess deck where the ceremony took place. As the squall intensified, the wind drove water under the outside door and onto the floor as if the small boat station on Harbor Loop were taking on water. Some said this symbolized the way Coast Guard Station Gloucester has been watching over Gloucester’s fishing fleet and boaters caught in storms since 1901. and station members appreciated being a part of America’s oldest seaport. Photos, >click to read< 11:52

Hundreds gather to remember those lost at sea

More than 200 people, many family and friends of fishermen who died at sea, listened to the stories of two men who each lost their brothers aboard the trawler Starbound over two decades ago, during the 2023 Fishermen’s Memorial Service along Stacy Boulevard on Saturday afternoon. They reminisced about fishermen who never returned in recent memory and those who died at sea during Gloucester’s 400-year history. Under increasingly cloudy skies against the backdrop of the Outer Harbor, those gathered around the the Man at the Wheel statute of the Fishermen’s Memorial listened to speakers paying tribute to the thousands of men whose names are on the cenotaph. 5 photos, >click to read< 14:15

Lobstermen Face Hypoxia in Outer Cape Waters

Alex Iacono, a lobsterman who says he favors lobsters and ocean solitude over people, is worried about the future of his business. Iacono, who lives in Truro and fishes out of Provincetown on the F/V Storm Elizabeth, says his catch has significantly dwindled in recent years. He’s not alone; other lobstermen working across Cape Cod Bay have noticed a downward trend. They believe that hypoxia — dangerously low levels of oxygen in the water — is to blame. Hypoxia first came to fishermen’s attention in 2019 when it caused a catastrophic lobster die-off in the bay. After that, the DMF started affixing sensors to buoys and traps to monitor oxygen levels, and they have consistently observed mild hypoxia since then. >click to read< 09:50

“Wicked Tuna” and lucky number 13

Number 13 is a fortuitous number for National Geographic’s hit reality television series “Wicked Tuna.” The show is now shooting its 13th season. And it is a lucky number for Gloucester Capt. T.J. Ott of the vessel Hot Tuna who won the title of G.O.A.T. — Greatest of All Time — at the conclusion of season 12 by hooking a total of 13 fish valued at $70,148. He edged out by $218 Beverly’s Capt. Bob Cook who caught a dozen fish valued at $69,930. The hit show, based out of Gloucester, America’s oldest seaport, chronicles a competition among fishermen and fisherwomen in search of giant bluefin tuna. 7 Photos, >click to read< 16:24

Fish tales and tails: Festival celebrates Gloucester Fisheries Heritage

Gloucester’s Jodrey State Fish Pier was hopping this weekend as America’s oldest seaport celebrated its 400+ anniversary during Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Month with a festival. Hundreds took in hands-on demonstrations and exhibits showcasing Gloucester’s part in feeding the world, from net mending to recipes for some of the less well-known species of fish and shellfish landed by the city’s fishermen, during the Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Festival on Saturday and Sunday.  >click for 7 photos< 17:38

Save the whales? In Massachusetts, today’s greenies kill the whales

Once upon a time, the greenie left waxed poetic and went full scold to the rest of us about saving the whales. Today? They’re doing the opposite. Take a look at what’s going on off the coast of Massachusetts, where the rare right whales in its waters are dying left and right: More than a century ago, the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania and then its development into the fossil fuel industry was praised and credited for saving the right whale, and other whales, whose populations had been decimated by hunting derived from the need for whale oil. Now, with the shunning of the fossil fuel industry in favor of greenie wind farms, the right whale is once again facing the same kind of danger, not for whale oil — but for the greenie dream, which always turns out to be dead and brown. Video, >click to read< 11:53

Search suspended for missing fisherman off Nantucket coast

The search for a missing fisherman who went overboard about five miles south of Nantucket has been suspended after roughly two days, according to multiple news outlets. On Sunday night, Aug. 13, the Coast Guard suspended the search for the fisherman, who was reported missing from a squid boat called F/V Gaston’s Legacy. It is unclear if the missing fisherman was wearing a life jacket when he went overboard, the Nantucket Current said. F/V Gaston’s Legacy is an 88-foot fishing boat from New Bedford. >click to read< 11:24

Search For Missing Fisherman in Nantucket Waters

The search is continuing off the coast of Nantucket for a fisherman who has been reported missing. Officials say the original report came in Saturday night, according to the Coast Guard. The report says that the crew of a fishing boat, the F/V Gaston’s Legacy called for help in searching for the unidentified man. Link. This story will be updated as we get more information. 08:09

SMAST’s Kevin Stokesbury: On scallops, community collaboration, and a lifelong love of the ocean

Growing up on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Kevin Stokesbury spent as much time as possible swimming, searching for sand shrimp, and soaking up the sun with his siblings. Now as dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at UMass Dartmouth, he’s finding practical applications for his passion with the sea. Stokesbury has played an integral role in revitalizing the scallop industry in New Bedford, inventing a drop camera in 1999 that snapped photos of scallops living on the seafloor, giving scientists and fishermen much more precise estimates of scallop numbers than previously available. The location map and information accompanying the photographs have proved vital. Stokesbury’s invention has greatly boosted the local economy. Before the drop camera, scallop boats brought in an annual harvest valued around $89 million. In 2021, it was $670 million, according to a NOAA commercial landings report. Video, Photos, >click to read< 17:41

New Bedford said to be best place for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Is there a better place to site the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast operations than New Bedford? Mayor Jon Mitchell doesn’t think so. And he’s joined in that opinion by a “very broad coalition of business and civic leadership. “Mitchell sent a letter co-signed by more than 50 business and civic leaders to NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad this month making a pitch to consolidate its Northeast facilities in New Bedford. A similar letter was sent to NOAA in 2016, but recent developments warranted another entreaty. New Bedford’s port accounts for about 70% of the state’s commercial fish landings, according to the letter. While Gloucester hosts most of the NOAA’s facilities regionally, its landings are about one-seventh the size of New Bedford’s. >click to read< 09:54

Herring disaster funds should be used to phase out harmful trawling

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is releasing $11 million in disaster relief funds to Atlantic herring harvesters, of which $7 million will go to Maine. These funds should be used to phase out herring trawling by buying back fishing permits in an effort to increase herring stocks and to protect other marine life.  U.S.  Atlantic herring landings in the 2000s averaged 206 million pounds annually but have since decreased to below 22 million pounds in 2020 and 2021. The New England Fishery Management Council led a process to craft a 10-year rebuilding plan. This dramatic downturn in herring is likely because variables with climate change are reducing ocean productivity resulting in seven consecutive years of low numbers of young fish surviving to maturity.  >click to read< 12:58

Three Fishermen Rescued by Coast Guard After Boat Sinks Off Nantucket

Three fishermen were rescued off Nantucket Saturday afternoon when their 55-foot vessel sank approximately eight miles east of the island. Coast Guard Station Brant Point along with a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod responded to the area around 1:45 p.m. and found that the 55-foot fishing vessel, F/V Miss Kara out of Hyannis – had already sunk and its crew was in the water. It has not yet been determined why the commercial fishing vessel sank in the waters off Nantucket. Austin said the Coast Guard was alerted to the situation when one member of the Miss Kara crew set off an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon), which provided the rescue crew with their location. Photos, >click to read< 12:36

Offshore wind isn’t a partisan issue. This is how real NJ people will be impacted

Much has been written and reported about the plans to build offshore wind turbine developments off the East Coast of the United States. Proponents argue that clean energy is better for the environment, more affordable, that in areas where these systems will operate they will generate jobs and that other countries have already installed offshore wind turbines. Opponents argue that the turbine developments will affect the economy of shore communities, commercial and recreational fishing, marine mammals and birds, public safety and national security. Some proponents have even gone so far as to mislabel and attack the opponents of offshore wind as partisan and backed by oil companies, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the rush to set up offshore wind has been advanced only by partisan politics and internationally backed lobbying efforts without studying the impact these turbines will have in their current planned placement in many cases less than 15 miles from our shores. 12:22 minute video, >click to read< 11:29

Gloucester celebrates its finest kind

The launch of Gloucester Fisheries Heritage Month in the city’s 400+ anniversary year in front of the Fishermen’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard on Tuesday evening celebrated the finest kind of the nation’s oldest fishing port. About 200 people cheered for the fishermen ages 80 and older who sat in the front row of chairs, and who were given a commemorative Gloucester 400+ medal as a way to honor them. “I couldn’t think of any better way to kick off this month than to honor the gentlemen here in front of me. I just want you to know you are all very near and dear to my heart,” said Al Cottone, a commercial fisherman and the executive director of the Gloucester Fisheries Commission. “You blazed the trail for what this industry is and hopefully what it will be in the future, and I just want to say thank you all, and today is for you.” 6 photos, >click to read< 07:47

Flaws in Catch-Share System Frustrate Scallopers

Every year, regulators set a maximum number of pounds of scallops the entire small-boat fleet is allowed to catch. Each vessel owns or leases a share of that total, which determines how many pounds of scallops it can land that year. That share is called quota. Owning or leasing one percent in quota, for example, allows a vessel to take one percent of the total regulators set. Scallopers say the major flaw in this so-called catch-share system, which is also used in a handful of other federal fisheries, is that it requires them to pay huge fees every year to lease quota. It’s an expensive extra cost, they argue, that makes it especially hard to get into the business. “It’s a failed system,” said Damian Parkington of Wellfleet, owner of the F/V Roen Keil, “and it’s done a number on small business in coastal communities.” >click to read< 21:45