One Fishy Thing: The “Codfather” Is Banned From Fishing But Will Keep Millions

Rafael’s boats for sale     Photo: Brendan Borrell, Hakai Magazine

Carlos Rafael, a New England fishing captain who is currently serving time in federal prison for massive fishing and tax fraud violations and for smuggling the proceeds out of the country, settled his civil fraud violations with the National Marine Fisheries Service, including more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime fishing ban.  As a result, Raphael will have to sell all his interests — his boats, including the fishing permits that go with them. But under the terms of the settlement, Rafael may keep the proceeds — he is “marketing his fleet to the highest bidder” — and according to the Cape Cod Times, he stands to walk away with millions.

That result is not sitting well with the fishermen who paid the price for Rafael’s years of overharvesting.  Hank Soule, of Sustainable Harvest in Portland, Maine. told the Cape Cod Times, “Our position three years ago was that, in the groundfish case, Rafael had displayed such wanton disregard for conservation rules that they should revoke all his groundfish permits.”

Up Next

Appeals Court Affirms Biden Reversal of Trump Rollback of Ocean Drilling Ban

Appeals Court Affirms Biden Reversal of Trump Rollback of Ocean Drilling Ban

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a previous district court decision that then-President Donald Trump had overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order rolling back Obama-era bans on offshore drilling. 

Why This Matters: After years of attacks on public lands by the Trump administration, the nation is behind schedule on meeting its climate goals.

Continue Reading 462 words

Japan Announces Plan To Release Treated Water From Fukushima Plant Into the Ocean

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the Japanese government announced that it will release treated radioactive water from the destroyed plant into the ocean beginning in 2023. The decision to dump more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water into the Pacific ocean has upset local fishers and surrounding countries. 

Why This Matters: A decade after a 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the decision to release water into the ocean is just one part of the prolonged decommissioning of the plant.

Continue Reading 481 words
Ocean Activists Planning to “Flood” the Nation’s Capital Next Week

Ocean Activists Planning to “Flood” the Nation’s Capital Next Week

Hundreds of citizens will fan out across the nation’s capital next week to meet with lawmakers in what’s projected to be the largest ocean lobby effort in US history.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, they will meet with Biden administration officials, federal agencies, and members of Congress for a nonpartisan Ocean Climate Action Hill Day.

Why It Matters:  As the Biden administration and the Congress begin to debate what’s infrastructure and therefore within the American Jobs Plan, the blue economy needs to be front and center in it.

Continue Reading 657 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.