Tag Archives: Rhode Island

In New England, “The resource keeps diminishing.” Clammers Dig Through The Pandemic For Fewer Shellfish

In Maine, the largest clam producing state, fishermen produced their lowest haul in more than 90 years at a little more than 1.3 million pounds in 2020. Nationwide totals aren’t compiled yet, but Maine’s haul typically accounts for more than half the U.S. total, and hauls in other clamming states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York have been trending downward in recent years. “The resource keeps diminishing.” The clamming industry has had to contend with more marine predators of clams such as green crabs and milky ribbon worm in recent years. >click to read< 13:33

South County Museum honors the legends of the Point Judith commercial fishing industry

Imagine walking into a new exhibit at the South County Museum that lists as many local commercial fishermen as can be identified, past and present, and features stories of notable fishing families, artifacts of the fishing industry, a parade of historic photographs on large video screens, and even an oral history booth where present-day fishermen and their families can tell their stories. “Point Judith was once the No. 2 commercial seaport on the East Coast, and it needs to be celebrated and show how it’s changed. Commercial fishermen are the most adaptable, industrious individuals who are running a business, but are also doing it because it’s a passion in their life.”>click to read< 12:38

Public Information Sessions for Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Proposed Rule Begin Tonight

To give the public an opportunity to learn about the proposed rule and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, we are holding 4 public information sessions. The information sessions run from 6:30-9 pm,,, We will be opening the sessions at 6 pm for troubleshooting, so please log on early. The sessions are focused on the proposed requirements for particular areas, though you may attend any session, and ask questions about any area. Tuesday, January 12: Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, LMA3, Wednesday, January 13: Outer Cape Massachusetts, LMA1 Massachusetts and LMA1 New Hampshire, Tuesday, January 19: Maine, southern focus ,Wednesday, January 20: Maine, northern focus. >click to read, and for links< 12:15

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his commerce secretary

The Biden transition team announced the president-elect’s choice of Raimondo for this key economic position Thursday night. The agency has a critical role in everything from technology policy to climate change to promoting American industry. Beyond that, the statement said she has “worked to quickly bring the state economy back from the depths” of the pandemic; “expanded clean energy jobs and put Rhode Island on a path to achieving 100% renewable energy.” >click to read< 10:40

New Jersey Offshore wind developer is hosting a webinar for recreational fishermen this coming Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting is to get feedback from recreational fishermen. The group has brought on for-hire vessel operator Captain Adam Nowalsky as the recreational fisheries representative and liaison. >click to read<

NCLA Seeks Summary Judgment in Case Challenging NOAA’s Unlawful at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, has filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to award summary judgment in favor of NCLA’s clients in Relentless Inc., et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, et al. NCLA argues that the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Marine Fisheries Service have no power to make fishermen pay for monitors the government puts on their boats. So, NCLA is asking the Court to declare NOAA’s regulation seeking to implement an industry-funded, at-sea-monitor mandate on the nation’s Atlantic herring fishermen unconstitutional and set it aside. >click to read<20:31

Progress expected for Rhode Island’s offshore wind farm plan

Much was made of the Raimondo administration’s selection in 2018 of a proposal for a massive offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast that would power as much as a quarter of the state’s electric load. But a Biden presidency is expected to boost renewables overall, and a decision could come in a matter of weeks for the benchmark Vineyard Wind project,,, A favorable ruling on the proposal could break the logjam for Revolution Wind. Orsted and Eversource are gearing up,,, >click to read< 09:21

R.I., feds spending $5.2 million to rebuild 3 sagging piers at Port of Galilee

The Port of Galilee is an economic engine for Rhode Island, bringing in $66 million in seafood last year and supporting 200 commercial fishermen and other businesses in the fishing industry. But Rhode Island’s largest fishing port has been looking the worse for wear for a long time now. Bulkheads are rotting, piers are sagging and asphalt is crumbling. In the latest effort to address the problems, the state is set to begin work on a $5.2-million project to rebuild three 40-year-old piers,, No matter how much is invested in dockside facilities to process and package seafood, if the piers aren’t up to par, it makes it difficult to offload the catch, said Meghan Lapp, general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside,,, “The docks are the lifeblood of the port,” she said. >click to read< 10:41

Hot Air And The Offshore Wind Industry – Claims it will invigorate these state economies are thin gruel

Seven Atlantic Coast states—Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Virginia have enacted mandates to subsidize the development of thousands of megawatts of offshore wind turbines. In addition to making bold claims about environmental benefits, proponents promise the mandates will create new offshore wind manufacturing and service industries that will create jobs, and lots of them, along the eastern seaboard.,, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority claims that developing 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind will create 5,000 new jobs and $6.3 billion in infrastructure spending. Similar claims of economic grandeur have been made in New Jersey and Virginia. Not to be outdone, the American Wind Energy Association claims the offshore wind industry will create between 45,000 and 83,000 new jobs by 2030. >click to read< 12:05

As Wind Farm Proceeds, So Does Pushback – Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, which are developing the proposed South Fork Wind farm, filed a joint proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission,, Commercial fishermen are almost universally opposed to the wind farm, fearing an impact on their livelihood, >click to read< 13:47

‘Comeback Calamari’ – Cranston Chef Star In Democratic Convention

As appetizing as calamari might be to foodies across the country, its off-the-charts popularity among Rhode Islanders likely wasn’t known to the rest of the nation until Tuesday night. Calamari, typically prepared in Rhode Island with garlic, parsley and sliced cherry peppers, found its unlikely way onto the national stage during the Democratic National Convention. As states cast their votes for Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders in a series of 30-second videos, Cranston native John Bordieri, the executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk Lobster and Clam Bar in Warwick, appeared on a beachfront with state Democratic Chairman Joseph M. McNamara, who cast 34 of the state’s 35 votes for Biden. Video, >click to read< 16:10

On the fishing docks of Point Judith: Sales are down, but they still work hard in the heat

She was surrounded by 450-pound barrels of the bottom fish, brought in by draggers. Despite wholesale lobster prices being down from the pandemic, boats are still going out to scratch out a paycheck. It’s all they have. Andrea was wearing orange oilers and rubber boots in the sun, driving a huge needle through four frisbee-size skates at a time to make a “string.” The bait not only lures lobsters but is good eating for them during the days they’re in traps before being hauled. Andrea joked that her skates are what makes lobsters taste good. I asked how old she is. She smiled and said, “None of your business,” then allowed she might be in her mid-60s. She’s a longtime fixture on the docks, having started “The Bait Company” there 36 years ago to serve the big boats that go out to sea. photos, >click to read< 22:15

Most of R.I.’s calamari catch is processed in China. A local group wants to change that.

Also known as loligo, squid is Rhode Island’s most valuable fishery, worth about $28 million a year. More than 22 million pounds of squid are landed each year, most of it at the port of Galilee. But while the official appetizer of the Ocean State may arrive at a fishing port just a few miles away, most squid is shipped to the other side of the world, and all the way back again, before anyone gets to eat it. “One of the reasons that food policy councils exist, and there are some 350 food policy councils around the country, is to promote the growth and strength of local food systems,” she said. >click to read< 08:48

Rhode Island: New Temp License Allows Commercial Fishermen to Sell Seafood Directly to Consumers, Retailers

“There is a growing demand for local seafood during this critical time, and we’re fortunate that our commercial harvesters are able to meet the needs of residents with the abundant seafood resources available off our coast,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Rhode Islanders can take pride in knowing that when they purchase fresh local seafood, at local retailers or right off the boat from harvesters, they are helping to keep a vital part of our economy – our commercial fishing and seafood industry – up and running.” The new direct-sale opportunity supports the development of new, local supply chains for RI seafood. As an emergency regulation, the measure will remain in effect for up to 120 days. >click to read< 08:46

Coronavirus: Rhode Island’s commercial fishery and aquaculture industry hit hard

Until the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island aquaculture industry had been expanding. In 2019, the the total value of shellfish crops was $5.8 million and the industry employed about 200 people. Coastal Resources Management Council Aquaculture and Fisheries Coordinator David Beutel said the consequences of the evaporation of the major markets for shellfish are now being felt at all levels of the industry. “They can’t sell product because most of it goes to restaurants,” he said.  The fin fishery is also suffering. Christopher Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said the impact varied according to vessel size and catch. Social distancing is difficult, if not impossible, on a boat. >click to read< 10:17

New Commercial Fishing License Opportunities Available This Year For RI Residents

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is accepting applications for new and renewed commercial fishing licenses through Friday, February 28. New endorsement opportunities for Rhode Island residents are as follows: 36 new quahog endorsements will be issued on the Commercial Fishing License (CFL) that allow for the commercial harvest of quahogs. Six new soft shell clam endorsements will be issued on the CFL that allow for the commercial harvest of soft shell clams. In addition, 15 new restricted finfish endorsements, available to both residents and non-residents, will be issued this year on the Principal Effort License (PEL). For more, >click to read< 07:22

Federal regulations to protect right whales are delayed until at least this summer

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is responsible for protecting the critically endangered species, had planned to issue the regulations last year. But they were delayed after months of criticism from the region’s powerful lobster industry, which is worried that new requirements could be harsh and expensive. >click to read< 18:03

New rule allows NB and Southern NE fishermen to stop throwing away fish

The change, which is also expected to be made in Rhode Island and Connecticut, will allow fishermen to make one trip and then return to the three states and offload their catches without going back to sea after every offload,,The conditions are that they must have licenses to catch fluke in the states where they offload, and the states must be open for catching fluke. “We just want to go from state to state and not kill fish unnecessarily. Anyone who thinks fishermen don’t care about fish is wrong,” said Tony Borges, owner and captain of Sao Paulo, Photos, >click to read< 14:12

North Atlantic Right Whale – New restrictions placed on New England fishing industry to protect whales

Fishermen across New England are facing new restrictions after a panel of experts convened by the federal government agreed on Friday to a plan to step up protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group of federal and state officials, scientists, fishermen and environmental advocates created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration capped a four-day meeting in Providence by reaching consensus on a plan that aims to reduce entanglements in fishing gear, which is the leading cause of injuries to the whale and deaths. >click to read<18:20

New England Stakeholders Agree On Recommendations For Reducing Risk Of Right Whale Entanglements – >click to read<11:16

R.I. Senate Resolution – Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history

Recognizing the Value on the states rich maritime and fishing history, and supporting efforts to maintain and ensure the success of the Rhode Island Seafood Industry. Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Algiere, Felag, and Euer, Date Introduced: April 03, 2019, Referred To: Recommended for Immediate Consideration,,, >click to read<14:50

Raimondo looks to further offshore wind, to fishermen’s dismay

Governor Gina Raimondo is promising a “greener” Rhode Island with at least 5,000 new jobs by expanding offshore wind initiatives if she’s reelected. “High-end, high wage jobs – Rhode Island ought to be the Silicon Valley of offshore wind,” said Raimondo. Raimondo eventually wants factories in Rhode Island to manufacture the equipment instead of outsourcing it. She plans to further invest in the state’s ports so they can handle the work on a larger scale. For Spencer Bode, a local commercial fisherman, this is a race he wants no part of. Bode hasn’t been impacted by the five turbines off Block Island, but the dozens more set to be built halfway between the island and Martha’s Vineyard are another story. >click to read<09:25

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

House kills Rhode Island’s push to join mid-Atlantic fishery council

The House on Wednesday rejected a push from Rep. Jim Langevin to let his state join the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which regulates several species of fish that are caught mostly by fishermen from Langevin’s home state of Rhode Island. The amendment would have added two seats on the 21-seat council for the state of Rhode Island. But after explaining why his state should join the group, the House rejected Langevin’s amendment in a voice vote, and Langevin, a Democrat, didn’t demand a recorded vote. Langevin also pointed out a precedent on the issue in North Carolina, which was added to the council in 1996 for similar reasons. >click to read<12:14

Conservationist intends to sue five states over whale entanglements, including individual lobstermen

A noted North Atlantic right whale conservationist who is suing Massachusetts officials over the licensing of commercial lobster pot gear has said he intends to do the same thing in five other states starting with Maine. The Maine DNR is killing and injuring endangered whales and sea turtles in U.S. coastal waters from its licensing of lobster pot gear, and gill nets, said Richard “Max” Strahan of Whale Safe USA, which is based in Cambridge. >click to read<08:18

Why Rhode Island Needs Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

“It is absolutely mind-boggling… that people that feed you, in one of the most historical oldest industries in this country, can’t go to sea and land that fish that feeds you without being treated like criminals,” said Richard Fuka, President of RI Fishermen’s Alliance. Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on cars, cash, and other private property by government today. According to the Institute for Justice, which produces a state-by-state report card, the Ocean State received a D- for its asset forfeiture laws. Please watch the new asset forfeiture video from the Center now. >click to watch<20:19

BLACK SEA BASS – THE NEW “WAR BETWEEN THE STATES”

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, signifying the end of the U.S. Civil War. One hundred and fifty-three years to the day, north and south are set to do battle yet again, this time over sea bass. From April 30 through May 3, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will hold its 2018 spring meeting in Arlington, VA, a city that was once the dividing line between Confederates to the South and the Union Army to the north during the bloodiest war in U.S. history. >click to read<12:41

Black sea bass quota reduction for N.Y. has local lawmakers up in arms

The decision last month by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to reduce New York’s black sea bass quota by 12 percent this year has anglers, state environmental regulators and local lawmakers up in arms. “This action discriminates against the State of New York. It would have a significant adverse effect on the Long Island economy,” State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said yesterday in a joint statement.  New York has joined Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in an appeal,,, >click to read<09:12

Coast Guard warns mariners, prepares for storm, New Jeresey and North, Hurricane Force Wind Warning for Coastal NE

The Coast Guard is advising mariners and swimmers along the New York and New Jersey coasts to use caution as a powerful storm approaches Thursday night through Saturday. Mariners are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews: “With the potential for severe weather, our overall concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work on the water,” said Capt. Jason Tama >click to read< 17:27

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING

National Weather Service – 417 PM EST Thu Mar 1 2018 .Synopsis for Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal waters… A powerful and long duration coastal storm gets underway tonight into Sat, and perhaps lingers into Sun. >click to read<17:35

Rhode Island starts mandatory wild shellfishing education and certification program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has introduced a mandatory education and certification program for commercial harvesters of wild shellfish. A DEM press release describes the new program as one that will enhance the safety of shellfish sold to consumers. “The goal of the program is to ensure that shellfish harvesters deliver a safe product to shellfish dealers and, in turn, to shellfish consumers,” the written statement reads. All commercial wild shellfishing license-holders will have to comply with the new certification, beginning this year. >click here to read< 14:44 

Caiozzo Questions Langevin’s Support for Fishing Industry in RI

Republican candidate for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District Sal Caiozzo is questioning the support being offered by Congressman Jim Langevin for the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island. “For the past two years I’ve gone to D.C. and fought for Rhode Island’s commercial fisherman. I’ve made several day-long trips on commercial fishing vessels, I’ve met with fishermen, industry leaders and congressmen from states with a commercial fishing industry urging them to hear the plight of fishermen and stop over-regulating the industry. click here to read the story 09:02

Possible wind farm sites 17 miles off Hamptons identified

A federal agency has identified a swath of the South Shore 17 miles off the coast of the Hamptons as a potential area for new offshore wind farms. If selected, the site would encompass 211,839 acres of ocean waters 15 nautical miles from land, from Center Moriches to Montauk.,,, LIPA has approved a 90-megawatt project off the coast of Rhode Island, New York State has a plan to inject 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind into the state grid, and Norwegian energy giant Statoil has a lease for more than 70,000 acres 15 miles from Long Beach for an offshore wind farm that could be completed by 2024. click here to read the story 12:43

Rhode Island Congressional Delegation opposes squid buffer zone

From the letter: We write to urge you to reject the proposed creation of a squid buffer zone in federal waters in the vicinity of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and have enclosed the attached letter from Janet Coit, Director of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, expressing the states opposition to this proposal. We have consulted with state regulators and fishermen from Rhode Island who have emphasized that in the words of Director Coit’s letter “there is no biological basis for considering buffer zones to protect or rebuild the squid stock.” click here to read the letters 17:20