Tag Archives: NOAA

Fishermen question settlement that could net convicted ‘Codfather’ millions

This week, Rafael was hit with more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime ban as part of a settlement agreement in a civil case brought against him by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But under the terms of that deal, Rafael could walk out of prison two years from now a multimillionaire. Although the settlement required he sell off his vessels, fishing permits and the valuable fishing quota that comes with them, Rafael may keep the proceeds — and he is marketing his fleet to the highest bidder. > click to read< 22:53

Catch Shares? NOAA Seeks Comments on a Control Date for the American Lobster Fishery

NOAA is seeking comments on a control date (a date that may be used to establish eligibility) of April 29, 2019 for the American lobster fishery, as we consider ways to reduce threats of entanglement by fixed-gear fisheries to North Atlantic right whales.,,, Following the TRT meeting the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Lobster Management Board established a control date of April 29, 2019, and recommended that NOAA Fisheries do the same for federal waters. We are notifying the public that we may develop a future rulemaking to complement any actions taken by the Commission, and that future participation in the fishery may be based on participation as of April 29, 2019. >click to read< 10:39

BOURNE: Lobstermen seek help in protecting right whales, Testimony cites burden on local industry.

Commercial lobstermen urged federal regulators Wednesday to take Canada to task for its failure to protect North Atlantic right whales and to remember that local lobstermen carrier a heavier burden of regulation than others in U.S. waters. “We as lobstermen do not want to see harm come to the right whale,” Plymouth lobsterman Tom O’Reilly said at a public forum at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, the eighth in a series of meetings held this month,,, >click to read<08:40

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

Florida Keys Eight no-fishing zones proposed in the Keys to protect threatened corals and marine life

Federal environmental regulators Tuesday unveiled major new proposals to protect marine life and corals that would limit fishing, restrict what cruise ships can dump at sea and regulate the boats on which many people live near shore.,,, And in a move that will likely cause controversy in the fishing industry, NOAA, the federal agency that oversees the waters surrounding the island chain, called for adding eight more zones in Keys waters where both commercial fishing) and recreational angling would be prohibited. >click to read< 10:12

6 to 9 p.m. tonight in Gloucester at GARFO headquarters, Forum focuses on whale protection rules

The eight-community traveling road show to gather public comment on new protections for the imperiled North Atlantic right whales hits the city Tuesday evening and is expected to draw a big crowd at NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Blackburn Industrial Park. The Gloucester session, set to run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the GARFO headquarters at 55 Great Republic Drive, is the seventh of the eight scoping meetings and the first of two in Massachusetts.The other is scheduled for the next night in Bourne. >click to read< 11:35

Carlos Rafael Has Been Banned From Fishing Forever! ‘Codfather’ Civil Case Settlement

The federal government says it has settled its civil case against a fishing magnate known as The Codfather, saying he will never be allowed to return to U.S. fisheries. Carlos Rafael, based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was sentenced to prison for shirking fishing quotas and smuggling profits overseas.   >click to read< 13:59

Carlos Rafael to be banned from fishing, pay $3 million – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it settled with Rafael and his fishing captains on Monday.,,, Under the terms of the settlement, Rafael is required to: >click to read<

The Carlos stories leading to this moment in New England Commercial Fishing History>click here<

NOAA Seeks Nominations for Scientific Review Groups under the Marine Mammal Protection Act

NOAA Fisheries will publish a Federal Register Notice on Monday, August 19, 2019, soliciting nominations to three independent marine mammal scientific review groups (SRG). We would like your assistance to identify qualified candidates. The three independent regional SRGs, covering Alaska, the Atlantic (including the Gulf of Mexico), and the Pacific (including Hawaii), were established under section 117(d) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. >click to read< 16:27

Lobstermen threatened with the extinction of their way of life

The word “extinction” has been thrown around a lot lately by environmental groups,,, Large, well-funded, out-of-state environmental groups would have you believe that these whales are going extinct and that Maine fishing gear entanglement is a major reason why. These groups have proposed things like ropeless fishing and refuse to believe that ideas like this are not practical in Maine. Can you imagine how a fisherman could set his 20- to 30-trap trawl into water 300 to 400 feet deep, not knowing where any of his competitors’ trawls might have been set days before? >click to read< 11:37

Ships are getting speeding tickets in the Chesapeake Bay to protect right whales

Eight years ago the COSCO Nagoya, a giant ship capable of carrying more than 4,000 cargo containers, was motoring around the Chesapeake Bay when it ran into a speed trap. Three months later, the Nagoya got dinged again for speeding, this time near the Port of Charleston. Over the next several months, the Nagoya was caught 13 more times up and down the east coast, from South Carolina to New York. Each speeding violation came with a price tag of $5,750 for a total of $86,250 in fines.  >click to read< 13:43

2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

Number of US fish stocks at sustainable levels remains near record high – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress, which details the status of 479 federally-managed stocks or stock complexes in the U.S. to identify which stocks are subject to overfishing, are overfished, or are rebuilt to sustainable levels. >click here to read a rundown of the report< To read the report, 2018 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries >click here<  15:26

NOAA Scientist Turns Climate Skeptic, Recounts Censorship, Bias

The “science is settled” liberal media don’t want people to know there are scientists, even award-winning ones, who dispute the idea of catastrophic global warming. Because outlets ignore and censor such scientists, curious individuals must turn to other sources such as English journalist James Delingpole’s columns or podcast, the Delingpod.  On the July 25 podcast, he interviewed award-winning, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Dr. Rex Fleming about his conversion from global warming alarmism to skepticism. >click to read<  13:35

Are the ENGO’s pushing propaganda to pressure your Representatives and sway the public against you?

From the article: What evidence is there that Maine contributes towards right whale entanglement? The Maine congressional delegation has also suggested that the state’s fisheries do not contribute to right whale entanglements. Yet, Maine has almost three million licensed traps and logic dictates the high density of vertical lines associated with those traps poses a significant risk of entanglement. An encounter between a whale and even a single vertical line can result in a deadly entanglement. >click to read<   Who supports these ENGO’s, anyway!

Changing climate boosts Maine lobster industry — for now

Maine’s lobster industry has found itself in something of a climate change sweet spot. The state’s coastal waters are still cold enough for lobster to thrive, but warming ocean temperatures are now encouraging them to settle here, mate and eventually shed their hard shells.,,, “Maine has enjoyed this abundant, expanding resource but everything that comes up must come down, and that is very related to climate change because that is very related to water temperature,” said Genevieve McDonald, a lobsterman and Stonington’s new representative in the Maine Legislature. >click to read< 16:44

New England: Public Scoping Meetings for Modifications to Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

We will be conducting eight scoping meetings this month in anticipation of preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. We are requesting comments on management options particularly including information about operational challenges, time, and costs required to modify gear by changing configurations such as traps per trawl to reduce endline numbers, installing new line or sleeves and by expanding gear marking requirements. >click for time and location details< 12:46

‘Hidden’ NOAA temperature data reveals 6 of the last 9 months were below normal in the USA, and NOAA can’t even get June right

While media outlets scream “hottest ever” for the world in June and July (it’s summer) and opportunistic climate crusaders use those headlines to push the idea of a “climate crisis” the reality is for USA is that so far most of 2019 has been below normal, temperature-wise. Little known data from the state of the art U.S. Climate Reference Network (which never seems to make it into NOAA’s monthly “state of the climate” reports) show that for the past nine months, six of them were below normal, shown in bold below. The data, taken directly from NOAA’s national climate data page, shows not only that much of 2019 was below normal, but that the US Temperature average is actually cooler,,, >click to read< 15:19

Exclusive: First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Inc (AGR.N), was scheduled to begin,,, Documents seen by Reuters, which have not previously been made public, show the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) triggered the delays by declining to sign off on the project’s design, as proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the lead agency on offshore wind projects.,,, In an April 16 letter to BOEM, Michael Pentony, regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic office, said his agency could not support the environmental permit for Vineyard Wind because the project failed to fully address the concerns of the fishing industry.,,, >click to read< 08:26

Lobstermen enjoy star-studded show of support in Stonington

The empire strikes back! That would be the Maine coast lobster empire.,,, Last Sunday, lobstermen, their friends and families gathered on the pier in Stonington to let loose about regulations, bureaucrats and the horse they rode in on. They came from all over the Downeast coast, several hundred strong, and stood in a baking sun for two hours, first to bear witness to the shortcomings of federal research and then to listen to a star-studded roster of Maine politicians pledge their support for the lobster industry. >click to read< 11:08

From the Legislature: Lobsters and Right Whales, Rep. Allison Hepler>click to read<

We’ve surrounded the Earth with surveillance satellites, but who is that good for?

It is no longer just advanced militaries and rich corporations who can keep tabs on what people are up to half a world away. Watchdogs such as Global Forest Watch, Global Fishing Watch, and SkyTruth are combing through satellite photos and radar scans to alert authorities to illegal clear-cutting, rogue fishing, mountaintop removals, and other environmental misbehavior. Researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have exploited Amazon cloud servers to assemble millions of amateur birdwatcher reports into exquisite animated maps that plot the changing abundance of 122 bird species throughout North America. Ranchers are stapling health-monitoring microchips to their livestock. Beekeepers are sticking wireless sensors into their hives. Farmers are planting high-tech electronics into the soil along with their crops. >click to read< 16:17

“It is official”!!! Lobstermen to rally in Stonington Sunday

Last week, Stonington lobsterman Julie Eaton, speaking for most members of her industry said just about the same thing in a posting on Facebook announcing plans for a rally on the Stonington Fish Pier at noon this Sunday., The rally is being called to protest a proposed NOAA Fisheries rule that would force Maine lobstermen to remove half their buoy lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce the risk that endangered right whales might become entangled in the fishing gear. “It is official,” Eaton posted. “We are holding a Lobstermen’s Rally … on the Stonington Commercial Fish Pier.” >click to read< 15:22

New tech could unveil the secret life of Bristol Bay red king crab

Fishery researchers in Alaska are using cutting-edge technology to track migratory patterns of one of Alaska’s tastiest catches — the red king crab.
Biologists tagged 150 mature male crab in Dutch Harbor in June. The tags transmit acoustic readings back to an unmanned saildrone equipped with an accoustic receiver. This allows researchers to track movement across the ocean floor and monitor changes in water temperature. >click to read< 11:53

Captain Dave Goethel has some Fishery Observer and liability information you should review. Please share it!

Beginning sometime this winter, here in the northeast observers switched from the safety checklist to the “pre-trip safety inspection”.  Basically, instead of accepting a card signed by a previous observer good for three months, with all the expiration dates listed for the EPIRB and other equipment,,, Anyone that has been sued knows that when someone gets hurt everyone remotely involved gets dragged in. If this is happening on my vessel it is happening elsewhere. For that reason I am releasing the statement I have written for all fishermen to use. It is not a legal document, but it will provide you with proof that you attempted to protect them from their own unsafe actions. Fishermen should customize the statement to their own vessels characteristics. To continue,  >click to read< 19:18

The Feds Are About To Kill Maine’s Lobster Industry And Hurt Thousands Of Workers For Some Bogus Whale Regulation

Big government overreach knows no bounds. The latest example of federal regulation that will threaten thousands of jobs and livelihoods of hardworking Americas comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA says that Maine’s lobster industry is to blame for the killing of right whales, an endangered species, and has enacted regulations set to take place this September which will harm the already struggling industry. Yet, the evidence says that the proposed regulation will in no way actually help the whales and will instead only burden lobstermen. >click to read< 17:30

New regulations could put added strain on lobster fishermen

The July 4 holiday has always been a busy time for Rob Martin, a commercial lobsterman who steams out of Sandwich Marina.,,, Seasonal gear bans to protect North Atlantic Right Whales in Cape Cod Bay and surrounding waters usually end May 1, but this year lobstermen in the bay were off the water until May 10,,, More than a month later on June 16, several lobstermen were off the water again, but this time not by state edict. They were in district court in Boston to support a fellow lobsterman who was being sued, along with other groups and government agencies, by activist Richard “Max” Strahan. >click to read<  09:50

Alaska up to 22 dead gray whales this season with 7 reported over holiday weekend

The state of Alaska is up to 22 confirmed gray whale deaths this season, according to NOAA spokesperson Julie Speegle. Seven additional sightings were confirmed over the long holiday weekend, Speegle said, with one necropsy having been completed.,,, As of June 27, the site reported 14 Alaska whales, and 85 total for the U.S. The total for the U.S., Canada and Mexico this season was reported at 171 by that date. >click to read< 09:03

Louisiana lawmakers request disaster aid for seafood industry

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. and John Kennedy and U.S. Representatives Steve Scalise , Garret Graves, Cedric Richmond, Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson today urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to begin the process of implementing a federal fisheries disaster declaration due to the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Opening of the spillway is causing hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of fresh water to pour into Lake Pontchartrain each second, impacting various forms of aquatic life that are crucial to Louisiana’s seafood industry. >click to read< 07:42 >Click to read< the full text of the Louisiana delegation’s

Herring cuts another headache for lobstermen

Maine lobstermen are catching it coming and going, but the “it” ain’t lobsters. Last month, the lobster industry found itself confronted with a demand from federal fisheries regulators that it reduce the risk it posed to endangered right whales by 60 percent and began the arduous task of figuring out how to remove half the vertical buoy lines attached to lobster traps from the water. Though it came as no surprise, earlier this month the New England Fishery Management Council announced that the already scant amount of herring allowed to be caught off the coast of New England would be further reduced in 2020 and 2021. >click to read<11:34

Researchers regroup in wake of 4 right whale deaths

It’s been a deadly month for the endangered mammals, with the carcasses of two other whales — an adult female and a 9-year-old male — reported June 4 and June 20, also in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Photo analysis of the carcasses found Tuesday identified one as a 33-year-old male named Comet and the other as an unnamed 11-year-old female who had no documented calf, according to New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. The two carcasses were seen near the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick and west of the Magdalen Islands in Quebec, according to Canadian officials.,,, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking part in preplanned talks with the Canadian government on North Atlantic right whale protections this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, NOAA spokeswoman Jennifer Goebel said. >click to read<20:56

Expanding Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico is Causing High Anxiety Among Shrimpers

For Tran, it is an adventure. For his family, it is a trade they had known in Vietnam before they made their way to Port Arthur, Texas after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Tran and his family of shrimpers have faced many challenges created by mother nature. The latest weather-related problem in the Gulf is a giant dead zone predicted to grow to a near record in coming weeks. “It’s not good,” said Tran.,,, The dead zone is an area of ocean containing little to no oxygen. It is a phenomenon that typically peaks in the summer and dissipates in the winter. However, this summer’s dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is predicted to be unusually large,,, Video, >click to read< 14:10

The best available science? – Backing lobstermen, Rep. Golden seeks to withhold funds for right whale protections

“The federal government is asking Maine lobstermen to make huge sacrifices without clear evidence that those sacrifices will have any positive impact on right whales,” Golden wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I’ve joined lobstermen to voice our concerns and now it’s time for action. Golden said it is important to help the right whale, but he joined the Maine lobster industry and Maine’s fishing managers in a common refrain: the federal government has no conclusive proof that right whales are getting hurt or killed by entanglement in Maine lobster gear. >click to read> 09:46