Tag Archives: New Bedford

New Bedford Fish processing workers worried about respiratory health

Workers are complaining of respiratory issues due to a fish processing machine that releases vapors.  Worker advocacy groups sent a letter last week to a city seafood processing facility detailing concerns about worker health.  The letter, delivered April 19 in person and by email to North Coast Seafoods, discusses “troubling symptoms and illness” among current and former workers. The workers believe it is caused by a machine they say cuts and debones fish with hot water and pressure.  “It produces and releases a smoke-like vapor that contains fish particulates. There has been some effort to channel the vapor out of the building, and while filters are used, they are often clogged,” >click to read< 14:25

New Bedford Port Authority Probed by Feds Over Grant Application

A federal grant application submitted by the New Bedford Port Authority is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The probe was initiated in October of 2020, according to Port Authority General Counsel Blair S. Bailey. Bailey did not say if the investigation is continuing, or what findings, if any were rendered by the OIG. Another source confirmed that the probe is ongoing. >click to read< 09:37

Five Years After His Indictment, Carlos Rafael’s Fishing Vessels Are Part of a New Era in New Bedford

It’s been a little more than a year since this vessel was among the last big group of fishing boats sold off from the fleet of Carlos Rafael, the man known in the New Bedford fishing industry as “the Codfather.” Rafael went to prison in 2017 for dodging catch limits, smuggling profits overseas, and evading taxes. Some of his former vessels have become part of a new era on the New Bedford waterfront that started before he was indicted but has accelerated in the five years since, Blue Harvest Fisheries bought 12 of Rafael’s groundfish boats, including the Glaucus, last year. >click to read< 09:01

Vineyard Wind hopes to have offshore wind farm up and running by 2023

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its final environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project Monday, which included a favorable assessment of the proposal. Vineyard Wind’s proposed 84-turbine offshore wind farm would generate 800 megawatts of clean energy and power 400,000 homes. The final step in the lengthy federal assessment of the project, according to the company, is an official decision from the BOEM, which could come as early as this spring. >video, click to read< 20:05

America’s largest scallop company sues New Bedford over waterfront expansion

Roy Enoksen and his business partner own the largest scallop fleet in the world. Their 27 fishing vessels bring more than 80,000 pounds of seafood into New Bedford each day, employing more than 400 captains, fishermen and support staff. But a construction project planned by the city’s port authority would cut off water access at one of Enoksen’s boat maintenance facilities. A lawsuit filed by Enoksen last month has blown the lid off a simmering conflict between New Bedford and one of the largest employers along its waterfront. >click to read< 08:40

CARES Act relief funds for New Bedford fisheries topped $5 million

In May 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an allocation of $300 million for fisheries assistance. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Massachusetts received the third-highest amount in funding with about $28 million. Alaska and Washington received the most with $50 million each and Maine was fifth with about $20.3 million. New Bedford alone received about $3.8 million, or approximately 13.6% of the state’s allocation. The funds provided much-needed relief for an industry seeing up to a 49% drop in landings revenue,,,  >click to read< 08:12

A legal dispute over the sale of boats owned by Carlos ‘The Codfather’ Rafael is heading to court

Carlos Rafael, whose fishing operations were based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was once the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the U.S. Rafael was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in 2017 for dodging quotas and smuggling profits overseas. The case against Rafael included forced divestiture of his assets,,, Rafael complied, but a New Bedford fish auction house sued him with a complaint that he didn’t honor a right of first refusal agreement to buy boats. BASE Inc., filed suit claiming it suffered millions of dollars in damages because it wasn’t able to buy the boats. >click to read< 15:04

Capt. Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford has passed away

Captain Douglas M. Swain, 78, of New Bedford died January 12, 2021 peacefully at home. He was the husband of Claudette E. (Verville) Swain. Born in New Bedford, son of the late Robert J. and Helen F. (Goss) Swain, he lived in New Bedford all of his life. He was formerly employed as a fisherman for many years retiring as captain of F/V Ambassador. Doug had a great relationship with his crew and the owner Geir Tonnessen. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Doug received the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars. >click to read< 10:40

New Bedford: The Codfather should get a Trump Pardon

Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael and all the good he’s done will most likely agree with me that he’s worthy of a presidential pardon. He was convicted on federal charges that he bilked fishing regulations to increase his profits. Anyone who really knows Carlos Rafael understands the thousands of local families who depended on the capital and labor that his fleet created, sustaining generations of fishermen, workers’ salaries, the fish house jobholders, lumpers, ice-packers, fuel suppliers,,, by Phil Paleologos, >click to read< 08:22

Legislation to help next generation of young fishermen passes in Congress

Congress passed bipartisan legislation on Dec. 20 that would establish a national program to train and educate the next generation of commercial fishermen. It must be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, H.R. 1240, would create $2,000,000 in yearly grant funding, which would be dispensed to various organizations to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to fishermen just starting in the industry. >click to read< 12:19

New Bedford businesses growing despite coronavirus pandemic

There will be a world after COVID-19 has passed. With the future in mind, the Mitchell Administration has been working to grow private capital investment and encourage the creation of wealth and jobs in the Whaling City. There are now three serious proposals in front of the New Bedford City Council for approval. Eastern Fisheries, Inc. is going to invest $12 million in a new facility and create 50 new well-paying jobs while retaining 275 jobs in the city if the proposal is approved. >click to read< 08:07

New Bedford fisherman reflects on September battle with Coronavirus

The fishing industry, like most sectors, has not been immune to the pandemic. Tony Borges was catching fluke with his crew off the New Jersey coast in September when he developed a fever. The 63-year-old veteran fisherman, aware a crew member tested positive for coronavirus, took some Tylenol and got back to work for another tow. About two weeks later, he was in a hospital bed asking his doctor if he was going to die. >click to read< 07:44

From surf to turf – ‘Codfather’ Carlos Rafael nets real estate deals

Carlos Rafael used to own one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the US before he was taken down in 2016 by federal agents disguised as Russian mobsters. He sold the last of his fishing fleet in February as part of a settlement with the federal government keeping him out of the industry for good. Now the Dartmouth resident says he is planning to restore the Hawthorne Country Club on Tucker Road to its former glory as a function hall, and has already set plans in motion for a new 149-unit apartment complex for residents over 55 on Hathaway Road. “Actually, the government did me a favor by putting me out,” Rafael said. “I ended up with a bucketload of money out of the deal, and instead of having the money in the bank, I’m investing it.” >click to read< 10:42

Spiny dogfish eat small Atlantic codfish! DNA may provide some answers

Conventional observations show that spiny dogfish in the western North Atlantic rarely eat Atlantic cod. However, some believe the rebuilding dogfish populations are limiting depleted cod numbers by competition or predation. To find out what is going on, NOAA Fisheries scientists looked to genetic testing to confirm cod presence in dogfish stomachs. >click to read< 13:10

Biden Signals Trouble for New Bedford Fishing Families, and Beyond!

Back in 2013, the New Bedford-based Standard-Times wrote about the problems for local fishermen based on a potential presidential appointment Steve Urbon spent his career as a reporter, editor, and columnist covering the city of New Bedford and its fishing-based economy for the local newspaper. When President Barack Obama was considering appointing Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff, the liberal journalist sounded the alarms. He explained to the local audience that Ron Klain’s wife, Monica Medina, was hostile to the local families and small businesses that earn a living from fishing the Atlantic. >click to read< 10:00

New Bedford port nets $20 million to protect against natural disasters

A $16 million grant is bound for the city of New Bedford to improve the city’s port, helping prepare it for future natural disasters. According to a U.S. Economic Development Administration press release, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the grant funding on Tuesday. The money, according to the press release, will “make port infrastructure improvements needed to protect commercial fishing businesses from floods and severe weather events.” >click to read< 16:13

Blue Harvest Refitted Codfather Trawlers going into service

Blue Harvest Fisheries this week launched the Carrabassett, the second of three refitted groundfish vessels the company is putting into service this year. The 78-foot trawler was once painted “Carlos Rafael green” and emblazoned with the “CR” logo. Now it’s refurbished, repaired, upgraded, painted deep blue, and decorated with Blue Harvest’s distinctive scallop logo. Blue Harvest purchased 12 vessels and 27 fishing permits from Rafael’s family in February. Rafael, who made millions by gaming the system before he was busted by federal agents, was ordered last year by a judge to get out of the fishing business forever and divest his holdings. >click to read< 19:08

“Hundreds if not thousands of jobs,,, New Bedford about to become hub for offshore wind

The state has announced lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind at the facility from 2023 to 2027, and are worth more than $32.5 million. “These are the two first projects that Massachusetts is involved in and they’re going to be staged their construction project from New Bedford,” New Bedford Port Authority Director Edward Anthes-Washburn said. The two 800 megawatt offshore wind projects will be over 15 miles off the East Coast, but the turbines and equipment needed to build them will be set up at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, video, >click to read< 10:50

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status – In this article, New Bedford Mayor Mitchell is concerned the port has missed the wind farm port development opportunity of being the lead development port of all ports! Mitchell said Friday that in some ways the delays to Vineyard Wind’s project have diminished the city’s “first mover” status in the offshore wind industry, which he called unfortunate. >click to read< 15:25

The fishing industry is expendable,,,

Fishing vessel taking on water at New Bedford City Pier III

First responders were down at Pier III Monday morning for a call of a vessel sinking. Upon arrival, they found the fishing vessel Tom Slaughter III taking on water, said John Ryan of the Port of New Bedford. He said the call came in just before 8 a.m. There were no immediate details as to why the vessel was taking on water. >photos. click to read< 13:28

Vineyard Wind sails forward!

Atlantic waters 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard are again poised to be the site of a milestone that potentially rivals Pennsylvania’s Oil Creek Valley in U.S. energy significance. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), an advocacy group for fishing interests, along with other fishing organizations, has pushed for four-mile-wide transit lanes through the turbines for safe mobile gear fishing and safe general navigation. In general, fishermen have been the strongest critics of the project. “Vineyard Wind alone will generate at least 3,600 jobs, and reduce costs for ratepayers by an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,” the letter states.   >click to read< 10:57

Markey touts $15 million he steered to New Bedford’s North Terminal

Senator Ed Markey brought his senatorial campaign to New Bedford Friday afternoon, touting his efforts to secure waterfront infrastructure and fisheries disaster assistance funding for the city. Markey made the stop in the Whaling City as part of the launch of his statewide bus tour, the “Leads and Delivers Tour,” designed to spotlight the accomplishments the senator says he has made for the state on Capitol Hill. The focus of the stop at City Pier 3 was highlighting the $15.4 million in Department of Transportation funding to improve the New Bedford port’s infrastructure and the $28 million in fisheries disaster assistance from the CARES Act that Markey says he advocated for. >click to read< 17:47

Mobile Coronavirus testing site now available for New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry

The Port of New Bedford has partnered with Southcoast Health to provide COVID-19 testing for the city’s commercial fishing industry. Beginning Friday, the Southcoast Mobile Health Van was on-site testing fishermen slated to leave port after their results would be made available. The mobile testing site, located along the port’s waterfront, is a trial run to see if there is an increased need for fishermen to be tested. The pilot will also help New Bedford and Southcoast Health prepare for expanded testing capabilities, including for targeted essential workers. >click to read< 08:09

Coronavirus: Seafood prices have dropped, but New Bedford fishermen still fish amid pandemic

“We’re still going out, everything’s running right along for us,” groundfisherman Antonio Cravo and co-owner of F/V United States said on Monday. Cravo, who is based in New Bedford, said the prices have dropped and he’s getting less money for the fish he catches, but it’s still worth going out on trips. “We offloaded last night and just got paid today, the prices dropped, but it’s still worth it to keep going,” Cravo said,“We still get a paycheck, not as much, but we still get a paycheck to keep up with our bills.” The price of scallops is also holding steady, according to scalloper Eric Hansen. “I wouldn’t say [the prices] are great, but they’re steady,” Hansen said. >click to read< 07:25

Coronavirus: New Bedford fishermen navigate waves of uncertainty

Danny Eilertsen owns Nordic Inc., a fleet of six scallop boats docked at Fish Island in New Bedford. He said they fish for scallops all year, but the scallop season really begins April 1. Ironically, he said, right now is great at sea — a healthy catch and cold waters. Yet when they come back with tens of thousands of pounds of scallops, they’re selling to a completely different market in the age of coronavirus. “Scallops on the menu at restaurants now are a staple, they’ve been a staple for quite a few years. Pretty much every restaurant you go to has scallops, and that’s just stopped. So the fresh market for us is gone and that’s probably where the value has lost so much this last month, couple of months here,” Eilertsen said. >click to read< 11:49

Commercial fishing industry in free fall as restaurants close, consumers hunker down and vessels tie up

The novel coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for seafood across a complicated U.S. supply chain, from luxury items such as lobster and crab, generally consumed at restaurants, to grocery staples sourced from the world’s fish farms. Now, with restaurants closed, many of the nation’s fisheries — across geography, species, gear types and management — have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent. Boats from Honolulu to Buzzards Bay, Mass., are tied up dockside, with fisheries in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska affected, throwing thousands of fishermen out of work and devastating coastal communities. >click to read< 16:52

‘Too early to tell’ impact of Coronavirus on New Bedford fishing industry

Since the fishing industry was deemed part of the food supply chain, it is allowed to keep operating as an essential service under Gov. Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory. “Immediate impacts have been minimal,” scalloper Eric Hansen said Thursday, “The market is a little bit depressed but nothing crazy. My bigger concern is the future, what’s going to happen in the next couple of months.” What worries Hansen about the future is the April 1 start of the next scalloping season, which will bring back scallopers that hadn’t been fishing because they used up their 2019 allocations. >click to read< 09:16

New Bedford Remains Top Money Port in the United States

Scallops continue to be king in the Port of New Bedford. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday released its 2018 report on commercial fishing. For the 19th consecutive year, the Port of New Bedford was the most lucrative port in the nation, with its total catch of seafood valued at $431 million. Dutch Harbor, Alaska landed the most fish for the 22nd consecutive year, more than 763 million pounds. >click to read< 10:10

Fisheries of the U.S. Report for 2018 Shows Strong Year for Fishermen – According to the Fisheries of the United States report, which is compiled by NOAA using data and analysis not immediately available at the same end of a fishing year, U.S. highest value species groups in 2018 included lobster ($684 million), crabs ($645 million), salmon ($598 million), scallops ($541 million), and shrimp ($496 million). >click to read<

The Daily Catch! What’s Your Story?

All hands on deck! We are looking for fisherman, fishermen’s spouses, loved ones, family members, people who work in and around the seas who have a story to tell. Join professional award-winning storytellers for a four week workshop which will end with a live performance of stories in front of a New Bedford audience. Share your experiences and wisdom! For more information, >click to read< 11:39

Video: Millions in investment creating a boom in New Bedford Harbor

Millions of dollars are being invested in New Bedford Harbor and the result is expected to be hundreds of jobs. The port is already experiencing a boom.,, “We’re seeing double digit increases in commercial fishing vessels. “If we’re going to continue to grow as a commercial fishing port, we do need to get more dockage. Video, >click to read< 08:48

Owner of New Bedford vessel capsized off Martha’s Vineyard fears 3 crew members perished

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Cape Cod were continuing the search for the three missing fishermen Monday,,, Luis Martins, who owns a fish processing plant called Joe’s Fresh Seafood in New Bedford, said he has owned the 56-foot commercial fishing vessel for about five years. The boat was built in 1967, and Martins said it had been updated. The U.S. Coast Guard has released footage of the rescue of the lone fisherman from the F/V Leonardo. Video, >click to read< 16:07  all F/V Leonardo posts >click here<