Tag Archives: Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association

Judge restores Orin C deal, lawyer appeals

A federal judge last Friday ordered the parties in the wrongful death lawsuit tied to the 2015 sinking of the Orin C to adhere to a previous settlement agreement, halting the highly contentious case that was set to go to trial next month in Boston. But on Tuesday, Joseph Orlando Jr., attorney for the three plaintiffs, appealed the settlement order and dismissal by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris.,, The order by Saris and Orlando’s subsequent appeal are the most recent twists and turns in the case that has fixated the city’s waterfront amid accusations by Orlando that Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and others tampered with his expert witness, Gloucester Harbormaster T.J. Ciarametaro, by trying to pressure him to withdraw from the case or be fired from his harbormaster position. >click to read< 11:23

F/V Orin C Lawsuit – Lawyers say Samaritan, mayor threatened consultant

On Dec. 3, 2015, Capt. David “Heavy D” Sutherland died in the water after his disabled slime-eel boat, the Orin C, sank while under tow by the Coast Guard back into Gloucester Harbor. Now, an ongoing federal lawsuit filed by two surviving Orin C crew members and Sutherland’s estate has erupted with accusations of witness tampering involving Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and fisherman Philip Powell of Swampscott, the good Samaritan who is a co-defendant in the case and whose vessel F/V Foxy Lady was the first to come to the aid of the Orin C. The witness is Gloucester Harbormaster T.J. Ciarametaro, who through his Five Fathoms Consulting firm, is retained as an expert witness by plaintiffs’ attorney, Joseph M. Orlando Jr. of the Gloucester firm Orlando & Associates. Orlando’s motion also accuses Gloucester lobsterman Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer, the current president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, of contributing to a pressure campaign against Ciarametaro, a Coast Guard veteran. >click to read< 08:05

Unmoored and unsure, fishermen make do – Direct boat sales stem the tide for some.

Saturday, folks came to Menemsha to buy directly off the decks of local scallop boats. Business was brisk. Captain Sam Hopkins, aboard the Endurance, mongered to a steady queue of masked customers. Like the nearby Martha Rose, sea scallops off the Endurance sold for $15 per pound. “It was really nice to have some local support and have people who bought scallops right off the boat,” Hopkins said. Lobsterman Jason Gale has also turned to direct boat sales. From the deck of the Watch Out at Lake Street Landing he sold lobsters at $8 apiece, regardless of weight, on Saturday. Gale said he put a 10 lobster cap per customer and sold out. photos, >click to read< 15:59

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

Fishery groups sue to get rid of Obama‘s New England ocean monument

We posted an article that wasn’t true, and we need to set the record straight>click to read< 09:19

A coalition of commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to challenge the creation of a national monument off the coast of New England. President Barack Obama created the monument in September using executive authority under the Antiquities Act. The monument is called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and it is made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains. >click to read< 17:37

Mysterious Lobster Deaths In Cape Cod Raise Climate Change Concern

Last month, lobstermen in Cape Cod Bay hauled up something disturbing. In one section of the bay, all of their traps were full of dead lobsters. Research biologists went to work trying to solve the mystery, and what they found suggests we may see more of this as the climate changes. But what was killing everything in the traps? “I don’t think any of us have heard reports of that before, at least not like that, where we had multiple fishermen all calling the same day, saying something’s going on,” said Steve Wilcox, one of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries’ biologists assigned to the case. >click to read<  19:28

China tariffs sinking overseas sales, Provincetown lobstermen not feeling the pinch

“It’s killed our price. It’s killed our markets,” said state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester.,,, Multiple Massachusetts businesses, especially those in Gloucester, have been adversely affected as they cannot compete with Canadian wholesale prices. But the lobstermen themselves are not feeling the pinch, and if anything are seeing their prices rise, Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Beth Casoni said. “The fishermen are happy,” Casoni said. “They’re making money.” >click to read< 09:29

Gloucester: Lobstermen push against whale rules – ‘We’ve borne the brunt’

The evening began with a presentation from NOAA Fisheries’ Mike Asaro and Colleen Coogan that offered a historical backdrop on the status of the North Atlantic right whale stock and an explanation of the specific protectionist measures adopted in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.,, In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, lobstermen are tasked with reducing their vertical lines by 30 percent. In Maine, where there has been significant pushback by state officials and the nation’s most formidable lobster fleet, the target is significantly higher — 50 percent. Then came the comment period and the usual choosing of the sides. Photo’s,  >click to read< 22:04

Lobster processing claws its way into Mass. law

The long-sought measure to expand and modernize lobster processing regulations in Massachusetts is now law, as of Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature on Wednesday.,,, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, who has championed the measure through more than four frustrating legislative cycles, estimated that up to 80 percent of lobsters landed in Massachusetts — the nation’s second-largest harvester of American lobsters, behind Maine — are transported to out-of-state processors only to see them return here as value-added products for retail and restaurant consumers. >click to read<  09:11

Atlantic Herring: Fishermen face another quota cut, could hit lobster prices

Regulators on the East Coast are contending with a drop in the population of herring, a key forage fish species that has been used as lobster bait for generations.,, A fishery management board is due to make a decision about the 2020 catch limits in early June.,, “I’ve heard from other fishermen up and down the coast, from Maine to Massachusetts. It’s going to be survival of the fittest,” Casoni said. “Every year is challenging, and every year just gets a little more.” >click to read<11:16

Massachusetts Lobstermen to rally in Plymouth over Cape Cod Bay closures

After a period of bad weather, surveyors of North Atlantic right whales were able to fly on Tuesday over Cape Cod Bay, where the continuing presence of the animals has led state officials to extend seasonal bans on high boating speeds and lobstering through May 14. But commercial lobstermen are beginning to bristle at the closures, citing the impact on their livelihood. South Shore lobstermen are planning a rally Thursday morning in Plymouth to protest the extended ban. “There’s a lot of people that are suffering with this closure,” said rally organizer Sheryl Holmes, whose husband, Roscoe “Stoney” Holmes, is a commercial lobsterman who owns the F/V Haley’s Comet out of Plymouth. >click to read<21:59

Sandwich lobsterman raises concerns about offshore wind farms

After 40 years in the business, Sandwich commercial lobsterman Marc Palombo foresees the presence of fog in the summer months as his biggest worry as he considers whether or not to navigate through the proposed swath of offshore wind turbines south of the Islands.,,,The Coast Guard has begun a study of vessel traffic — a Port Access Route Study, or PARS — in and around the seven offshore energy lease areas south of the Islands, off both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to determine if any new vessel travel routes are necessary to improve navigational safety,,, >click to read<22:17

Sen Bruce Tarr champions expanded in-state lobster processing, proposal backed by Senate

The state Senate has approved a measure authored by Gloucester Sen. Bruce Tarr, and championed by a bi-partisan coalition of state senators, that will reform state lobster laws would permit licensed wholesale dealers to process unfrozen lobster parts, import unfrozen shell-on lobster parts, and allow for the sale of processed lobster parts.,, “We have the second-largest lobster catch in the nation yet, without this bill, our raw and frozen lobster parts are processed in Canada or Maine only to then be brought back to local consumers,” said Tarr. >click to read<11:27

Black sea bass gobbling up lobsters

Black sea bass, a saltwater fish taken commercially and recreationally in Massachusetts, have increased in number throughout southern New England waters and rattled the lobster industry with their wolfish appetites. “They feed aggressively,” Rutgers University marine biologist Olaf Jensen said. “They’re not picky eaters. If it’s the right size and it’s alive, they’ll eat it.” The young of New England’s iconic crustacean fall into the right size category. “Black sea bass love little lobsters,” Michael Armstrong, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said. That’s of deep concern to Beth Casoni, president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, who says lobster traps are being pillaged by these fish. >click to read<18:41

Ropes are latest flashpoint in tug of war over right whales

The lobster industry is willing to consider switching to weaker rope to protect the endangered right whale from deadly entanglements, but whale defenders say that doesn’t go far enough to help a species that can’t bear even one more death. A team of scientists, regulators, animal rights groups and fishermen met this week in Providence to review proposals,,, The team is advising the National Marine Fisheries Service on how to prevent whales from getting entangled in fishing gear as they migrate, feed and mate as they travel back and forth along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. >click to read<11:54

Fishing Groups Lose Legal Battle Over Marine Monument

The national monument that former President Barack Obama established in the Atlantic Ocean survived a court challenge Friday. When Obama created the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in 2016, he relied on a 1906 law passed in Roosevelt’s administration.,, A year later, the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association and four other groups filed suit to unravel the 5,000-square-mile designation,,, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg disagreed on Friday, dismissing their case.,, “I believe the public is being led astray in thinking the area in question is fragile and in need of more protection,” said Bonnie Brady, “It has always been protected while being commercially fished with federal sustainability and essential habitat regulations through the federal Magnuson Stevens Act and the regional fishery management councils.”>click to read<21:52

Push on to brand, market Massachusetts lobster

Building on the success of its Gloucester Fresh seafood branding campaign, the city of Gloucester plans to apply the same formula to help brand and market Massachusetts lobsters to lobster lovers the world over.,, Gloucester has dominated the lobster trade in Massachusetts and the industry’s high profile here has helped mitigate some of the misery foisted upon the community by the continuing groundfish crisis.,, It is the state’s No. 1 port in both number of active lobstermen — an average of 136 annually during the past five years — and amount of lobster annually landed. Gloucester has averaged 2.94 million pounds per year over the past five years, according to the state Division of Marine Fisheries. >click to read<12:02

First U.S. Offshore Wind Developer Acts on Fishing Gear

U.S. offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind has adopted a first-of-its-kind procedure designed to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from its activities. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm is America’s first offshore wind farm, and the company is currently in active development on utility-scale wind farms to serve Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The procedure was developed in close coordination with the commercial fishing industry and is based off extensive feedback from fishermen in ports up and down the Atlantic coast. Deepwater Wind believes that keeping fishermen informed is the key to preventing damage to fishing gear. >click to read<18:19

If courts are ever going to strike down an illegal national monument, this’ll be it

Often, it seems the federal government has it out for the English language. The President and federal agencies routinely twist the words in statutes beyond recognition. For instance, PLF has long challenged EPA’s bizarre claim that dry land is “water” under the Clean Water Act. The government’s no fan of consistency, so it should come as little surprise that the President also claims the ocean is “land” when that suits his purposes. In Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, et al. v. Ross, PLF is challenging the designation of 5,000 square miles of ocean as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, under a statute that expressly limits designations to “land owned or controlled by the Federal Government.” The government has moved to dismiss that case arguing that the President can essentially do whatever he wants, the language of the statute be damned. Today, we filed our response to that motion. In our brief we explain that: Pacific Legal Foundation >click to read<21:52

The High-Stakes Battle Over Obama’s Atlantic Ocean National Monument

Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan. A federal judge is now weighing the fate of those protections in a lawsuit originally filed in March 2017 by a coalition of New England fishing groups – and it has led to a rare case of President Donald Trump defending his predecessor’s authority.  >click to read<10:27

Judge denies bid for temporary halt to lobstering in Massachusetts

A federal judge has declined to issue a temporary restraining order to temporarily stop commercial lobster pot fishing in Massachusetts costal waters to protect North Atlantic right whales. The emergency motion seeking the order, filed May 4 by marine animal conservationist Richard Maximum Strahan, named the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association as defendants, although Strahan’s broader lawsuit, filed Feb. 28, includes federal agencies as well. >click to read<11:58

Lawsuit challenges fishing methods that could threaten right whales

An environmental activist is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the use of vertical buoy fishing lines in Massachusetts waters to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. In lawsuit filed in late February in U.S. District Court in Boston, conservationist Richard Maximus Strahan of Peterborough, New Hampshire, has sued the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the assistant administrator of the Nation Marine Fisheries Service, the secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the director of the state Division of Massachusetts Fisheries Service, the commissioners of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, as a representative of its members. Strahan wants to stop the state’s lobster association members from further lobster pot and gill net commercial fishing operations unless they can scientifically demonstrate the endangered whales and sea turtles would not be killed or injured. >click to read<19:14

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring.

It’s no shell game: As the price per pound has skyrocketed over the last few months, the costs of lobster dishes on restaurant menus across the city have been off the charts as chefs have been looking to claw back some of the margins. A combination of lousy weather, international demand, and iced-over Canadian fisheries has created a shortage that has driven whole hard-shell lobster prices to as high as $15 a pound this spring, up from about $8 a pound last year.,, Federal permits mean that only 25 percent of Maine’s fleet can go out to the,, In Massachusetts, fishermen are getting $9 to $11 a pound off the boat right now, said Beth Casoni,>click to read<22:51

Opponents say Block Island wind farm is causing problems across prime fishing grounds

The five enormous turbines that have been generating electricity off Block Island over the past year are considered a model for the future of offshore wind. But the nation’s first ocean-based wind farm also has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables across prime fishing grounds.,,, Wind power companies have dismissed most of their concerns, and fishermen have become increasingly frustrated, saying that they’re being ignored.>click to read<09:38

To protect right whales, scientists propose major changes for lobstermen

Without prompt action to reduce entanglements in fishing lines, North Atlantic right whales could disappear from the planet over the next two decades, scientists say. In response, scientists here on Cape Cod are proposing a novel way to save the species — one that many New England lobstermen fear could destroy their livelihoods.,,, In one method, the signal would inflate a spool filled with rope that ascends to the surface, allowing the lobstermen to haul their traps similarly to how they do now. In the other, the signal would activate inflatable bags attached to each trap or at the end of the trawls. >click to read< 08:45

Sanfilippo resigns from Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission

Longtime Gloucester fisherman Gus Sanfilippo has resigned from the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, leaving Arthur “Sooky” Sawyer as the only Gloucester resident on the commission. Sanfilippo, appointed to the commission in May 2016 as part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s wholesale purge of existing commission members, said he resigned so he could spend more time fishing.,, Sanfilippo’s resignation leaves Sawyer, who also serves as president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, as the solitary Gloucester resident on the commission — though member Louis D. Williams, who resides in Salem, lists Gloucester as his principal port for lobstering. click here to read the story 11:44

Losing hope for lobster south of Cape Cod

Tom Tomkiewicz remembers when there were so many lobster traps in Buzzards Bay it looked as if he could walk across the water on their buoys. Now, the 42-year-old lobsterman and his dwindling number of colleagues have to set their traps far out to sea, well beyond view of the coast, to catch the few lobsters that remain. “There’s nothing here,” said Tomkiewicz, one of only 35 Massachusetts lobstermen who still have permits to fish in the state and federal waters that stretch from Nantucket Sound to Long Island Sound. “It’s crazy.”,,, The steep decline has left regulators in a quandary click here to read the story 21:20

Storm brews over Maine’s monument offshore, too

Zinke has recommended that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – a 4,913-square-mile area of underwater canyons, thousand-year-old coral forests, and volcanic mountains on and beyond the southern edge of Georges Bank at the mouth of the Gulf of Maine – be opened to commercial fishing, a move proponents say would defeat its purpose.,, The heads of eight of the nation’s fisheries management councils – the industry-led bodies that implement fisheries regulations in federal waters – were already on record against the commercial fishing restrictions.,, Peter Shelley of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental attorney who is watching the case closely, strongly disagrees. click here to read the story 08:35

New England fishermen challenge Obama’s Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument designation

A coalition of New England fishermen organizations filed suit today over former President Barack Obama’s designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument — a dictate that could sink commercial fishing in New England. The organizations filing the lawsuit are the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, and Garden State Seafood Association. They are represented, free of charge, by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations. The lawsuit challenges President Obama’s September 15, 2016, creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. continue reading the story here 14:28

You are invited to the 2017 Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association’s Annual Weekend and Industry Trade Show January 19-22, 2017

You are invited to the 2017 Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association’s Annual Weekend and Industry Trade Show  January 19-22, 2017 This event is open to all and admission is FREE!  MLA ANNUAL WEEKEND AND TRADE SHOW 2017 PROGRAM  Calling all Commercial Fishermen READ MORE HERE>>>  COME MEET “WICKED TUNA” CAPTAIN DAVE MARCIANO f/v HARD MERCHANDISE Click here for more information 13:10