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The paid destruction of the Rhode Island Quahog industry happened over a twenty to thirty year period, with the bulk happening between the 1980’s and 1990’s. Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), University of Rhode Island (URI), Roger Williams University (RWU), and directly and indirectly, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA). These groups decided long ago it was going to be money instead of food for the Rhode Island Quahog industry, and they, the ‘experts,’ got paid to do it.
The destruction of the RI quahog fishery of 3000 fishers took place with a regulation change for measuring the minimum size of quahogs from RIDEM, going from a ‘ring size of one inch diameter minimum size to a hinge size of one inch width, which was the N.Y. minimum size. The RI almost quahog market instantly shifted from timeless historic taking bigger quahogs to one that was rabid for barely legal clams. This almost instantly directed the 3000 fishers to beds of tiny clams for two reasons, first and foremost because a bag of tiny count neck clams are five hundred to a bag, and the older straight run quahogs are two hundred fifty to a bag. Almost overnight the raping of baby quahog beds took place because you could now dump piles of small and baby quahogs on a one inch rack and screen to get the most barley legal quahogs for the New York ‘count system’ market. Before the count and rack system, each small clam would have to be passed through a ring, which made picking through a pile of tiny little necks not worth the effort because the number of pieces or ‘count’ that you caught didn’t matter because you were getting paid by the POUND!!!
By 1985 or so the historic buying of quahogs changed from buying them by the pound to buying them by the ‘piece’, or each individual clam. This led to effort shifting from a quahog economy based on bigger quahogs, to tiny count necks. A very important aspect of this change was the fact that almost all quahog buy shops had shucking rooms/houses for the bigger quahogs-the affordable food vs the money for expensive tiny clams. All of a sudden, small clams were worth moor than big clams. Outrageous and totally non nonsensical this was, which was perfect for the self-defeating underlying mentality of Rhode Island. Last I knew, RI had two certified shucking houses that produce food, and it has been that way for a very long time.
Again, the critics can take a long walk off a short dock on this one, because back in 2010 one of the best and most trust worthy, by far, quahoggers I have EVER met (having lived extensively on both sides on Narragansett Bay) confirmed the number one mismanagement reason for the destruction of the RI Quahog industry. Thjis was pointed out in the well researched and journalisticly formatted book Harvesting Bay, Fathers, Sons, and the Last of the Wild Shellfishermen, by Ray Huling.
That most bad ass, knowledgeable, open minded, and TRUSTWORTHY fisherman is Joey Amato. Joey is second generation quahogger, being the son of an old old school East Greenwich quahogging legend Junior, or ‘Junie’ Amato. Junie started fishing in the days of rowing out to quahog, so any critics can just start walking now. Junie reminds me of a mix between a sweet and bad ass Italian Godfather type that I lived among growing up in North Providence, RI, and a tribal fishing elder that I knew a lot of from living in Seattle, and working on the waterfront.
The number one reason for the destruction of the RI Quahog fishery, quoted from Joe Amato and Ray Huling in Harvesting the Bay; “That’s the second problem with the count standard:catching too many young quahogs. They know they have a bad incentive. There’s profit in depleting populations of juvenile clams. This is especially troublesome for quahogs, because, as is the wont of strange creatures such as the molluscae, most quahogs switch gender throughout their lifespan, and in a pattern that results in quahogs of roughly little neck size being 90 percent male. The count system’s a sort of plague on on firstborn sons, as the quahoggers are wiping out huge numbers of male quahogs that should have become female, which bodes ill for both reproduction and biodiversity”
“It’s not even a THIRD (2012) of the guys that were out there fifteen years ago” says Joey-and that’s just winter numbers. The same goes for the quahogs [little necks]. “You would think that with things having gone from about three thousand guys to about two hundred working everyday in the summer, there would be an abundance o’ quahogs (necks), but there isn’t.”
That’s right Joey-RIDEM’S thirty year Narragansett Bay Quahog management experiment was in every way, EXACTLY WHAT SHOULD HAVE NOT HAPPENED! THAT’S RIGHT, AGAIN!
The destruction of the RI Quahog industry was funded by the totally unaware RI citizen who put their trust in managing Narragansett Bay in the hands of the VERY wrong ‘experts’-the professes and pontiffs named above.
Stay tuned for revised versions of this story-Food or Money decision where RI went for the ‘money’, and is left with virtually no local healthy food from Narragansett Bay. THAT’S RIGHT!!!!!.
Incredible tax payer funded destruction of U.S. coastal communities by NOAA finally documented-
Copyright 2000-2018 FreeandCommon.com/ Jim Russo
6/03/16 NOAA’s Decades Old Fraudulent and Incompetent Fisheries Management ‘Bullship’ Takes Direct Hits-“God Help Us”-Jim Russo Comments
NOAA’s decades old fraudulent and incompetent fisheries management takes direct hit from Maine Voices!!!
5/24/16 RELATED STORY-NOAA SHIP OF FOOLS LOSES (then finds days later) $450,000 UNDERWATER CAMERA ONCE VITAL FOR RESEARCH. NOW, ‘NO BIG PROBLEM.’ WHAT??? MORE NOAA FRAUD AND IMCOMPETENCE!!! READ STORY
I had a pit in my stomach during the 2013/14 Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan (RISMP) hearings/meetings at URI when I realized what was left of the RI Quahog industry was going to be abandoned to promote aquaculture and the privitizing of public resources. The RI state waters quahog, and fishing industries, were going to be left to flounder and sink, while the RI aquaculture industry was going to be promoted in the RISMP. I vividly remember thinking in that moment, “OMG! This is the story of the F/V Saint Patrick.”t the gravity of there situation
The F/V Saint Patrick was a 152′ scalloper out of Kodiak Alaska that was hit by a rouge wave in 1982. The wheelhouse windows were blown out by the rouge wave that was generated by a Bearing Sea storm that generated mountainous seas and 100 knot winds. There were 11 crew on the Saint Patrick including one woman, and one Rhode Islander. All power was immediately lost as the rouge wave crashed through the windows and flooded the boat, and the vessel immediately began to flounder in the remote pitch black of this very stormy and frigid Bearing Sea. The captain told the crew that the boat was going down, and they needed to get into their survival suits and prepare to abandon ship. A supreme consciousness and awareness unfolded as they realized they were going to abandon ship into the icy towering winter waves of the Bearing Sea, with only survival suits for 9 people. The two crew members that went in with just winter clothes and a life jacket only survived 10-15 minutes.
Andrade’s Catch-Supporting the Free and Common and Rights of Rhode Islander’s. *THANKS Edible Rhody*
THANKS Edible Rhody!!!!
Stop any Yankee on the street and ask the name of his or her favorite restaurant, and you’ll be directed to a Connecticut clam shack . . . or a Maine lobster pound . . . or a Massachusetts chowder house. In these rustic eateries, you find the freshest seafood prepared according to classic, decades-old, family recipes. Mountains of whole-belly fried clams. Steaming bowls of rich, creamy chowder. Sweet lobster boiled in seawater. Fresh, succulent cod fillets fried golden brown.
This event opened my eyes early on to the agenda and absurd nature of aquaculture, and public enhancement with aquacultured shellfish. While this steamer clam project was going on, there were unfathomable amounts of wild steamer clams and steamer clam seed in Narragansett Bay, especially at Conimicut Point. The steamer clam seed literally carpeted the bottom a foot thick. The amount of steamer clam seed planted by this early public enhancement program was infinitesimal compared to the natural set. It was literally an absurdity! Let experience do the talking!
Copyright 2010-2016 All rights reserved. Jim Russo-FreeAndCommon.com
Just so there is no confusion-this is what REAL (WILD) native Rhode Island oysters look like!!!
A product of natural selection and biodiversity, the difference between real (wild) oysters and cheap aquaculture imitations is obvious. Notice the color, size, and texture of the meat in these mature wild RI oysters. Compare this to the cheap imitations you may be eating at trendy and hip oyster bars -YOU DECIDE!
Man can only DREAM of making/growing oysters like these!!!!
Copyright 2010-2016 Jim Russo-FreeAndCommon.com All rights reserved
Jim Russo’s REAL OYSTERS Italiano-Look at the SIZE of those beauties!!!! Notice how TINY the plate looks! These things are like eating oyster steak on the half shell!!!
This is what REAL oysters look like!!!! Oysters-Natures best aphrodisiac-LOADED with natural zinc!!!!
Consumers Ate Washington State Aquaculture Oysters Sprayed With DDT Like Pesticides for Decades Without Ever Knowing It-Public Outraged!!!!
This story originally appeared 4/15
Just when you thought you have heard the most absurd reasoning from the aquaculture industry, they completely out do themselves-PUBLIC OUTRAGED!!!!!
The following stories show the true nature of the aquaculture industry. Judge for yourself!
Washington State Turns to Neurotoxin Pesticide to Save It’s Aquaculture Industry-What Could Go Wrong???? “A pesticide from the group of chemicals linked to colony collapse disorder will now be sprayed in US waters. What could go wrong?..”
Chefs ‘horrified’ by Plans to Spray Pesticides on Oyster Beds-“To discover that something we love like oysters, thought to be grown in the pure water … to suddenly learn that pesticides are being used, I think that people will be shocked and have questions.”…
Disbelief Over State Plan to Spray Neurotoxin Into Oyster Beds-Public “SHOCKED!” “The state of Washington has approved plans to spray in Willapa Bay a neurotoxic pesticide that has a warning right on the bottle: “Do not apply directly to water.” What could go wrong?…”
5/15 Followup Story-Shellfish Producer Backs Away From Pesticide Spraying-Customers OUTRAGED!!! “Washington state’s largest shellfish producer says it is bowing to public pressure and will not use a pesticide recently approved for use in water to control a shrimp that makes it hard for oysters to grow…”
Entertaining photo caption might read-‘Would you like some expensive trendy tiny shrimp to go with those expensive trendy tiny oysters?’
How is it possible that ounce for ounce, aquaculture oysters have half of the most prized nutrient that gives oysters their reputation as a superfood as wild oysters-zinc, yet they are still called oysters?
The consumer should know that aquaculture oysters have half the amount of zinc as wild oysters, The consumer is naturally confused by this lack of differentiation when buying ‘oysters.’ Rename aquaculture oysters so the consumer knows what they are buying are not real oysters.
Maybe calling them Faux Oysters would be appropriate! SO HIP AND TRENDY!!!!!
Copyright 2010-2016 Jim Russo FreeAndCommon.com All rights reserved
How Probiotics Can Save the East Coast Shellfish Industry is an epic propaganda fairy tale and real life example of how the egotistic grandeur of academics that want to control nature, and own the intellectual property of natural selection, push their flawed agenda. These “wicked smart” people (we’re the experts and you’re not) in the intelligentsia (NOAA, URI, RWU) conveniently forget to differentiate between saving naturally disease ridden aquaculture with probiotics, and natural wild shellfish that stay disease free due to natural selection. Naturally selected shellfish, like incredibly abundant wild quahogs and clams, and offshore scallops, will never need the ridiculous intervention of humans to make them better.
The concept of dipping wild lobsters that show signs of shell disease in this man-made probiotic “Kool Aid” is the the height of absurdity!!!!
The interesting part of this story is the public is never informed that disease is the number one issue for aquaculture oysters. Knowing this important fact might make consumers think twice before flocking to hip and trendy and upscale oyster bars where they eat these cheap, man-made imitations of real oysters that are prone to disease.
Its no wonder the comments I left about this story were removed from the website!!!!! Thanks to Free and Common, those comments are posted here.
Copyright 2010-2016 Jim Russo FreeAndCommon.com All rights reserved
Research from Oceanus (online magazine that explores oceans) supports why Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Farm Raised Shellfish!
This is a great story that clearly shows that ‘it’s not nice to fool with mother nature’. As man meddles with aquaculture and crops become more inbred, the chances for environmental disasters like the French Oyster Blight are more likely.
Support Free and Common fisheries that support coastal communities and educate yourself on aquaculture which destroys free and common access to wild fisheries resources.
On December 3, 2015 the 51′ Orin C. rapidly succumbed to 12′ seas, leaving three men bobbing in the dark, 49 degree waters 12 miles off Gloucester MA. Crewmen Rick Palmer and Travis Lane were able to swim to safety, but the Coast Guard could not revive Captain David ‘Heavy D’ Sutherlund after a rescue swimmer reached him.
The Orin C. was originally owned by a long time friend of mine, John Borden, of Westport, MA. The Orin C was a highline offshore lobster boat for many years. I made several multi-day trips on the Orin C. gillnetting codfish in the late 80’s, and I can say the boat was incredibly seaworthy for it’s size. The boat was named after John’s friend, Orin Crapo, who died when his lobster boat was apparently run down by a tug-and-barge somewhere south of Westport MA in 1975.
I witnessed this destruction of environment and the privatizing of public resources first hand when I lived in the Puget Sound,WA area 2005-08. Save Rhode Island from this! See for yourself….
The destruction of the commercial fisherman in the United States and communities that support them by federal and state fisheries managers should be of the utmost concern to Americans. The importance of this issue cannot be underestimated as our country moves through unprecedented stormy economic times.
Back in 2009 Academy Award winning film maker Ross Kaufman documented the last words from the Rhode Island quahog industry. Rhode Island once boasted the largest outboard powered fishing fleet in the world-The Rhode Island Quahogger, with 2-3000 participants during the 1980’s. The Rhode Island Quahogger has been reduced to some 50-150 participants in 2014-it’s ‘last man standing’ for the Rhode Island Quahogger.
This article which was published during ‘Rhode Island Quahog Week’ is a classic example of RI State sponsored fisheries discrimination which was released during Rhode Island Quahog Week…Jim Russo comments...
Photo credit-Phil Russo
This seventy page paper is a visionary look at the threats to the 3000 Rhode Island Quahoggers in 1981. The two main threats that are given in the introduction are – Pollution in the Upper Bay and the prospect of an expanding aquaculture industry in the Lower Bay. What an accurate prediction it proven to be true 35 years later! See paper…
Photo credit-Rob Russo
Management Claims There are No Fish, But Fisherman Can Catch Their Annual Quota of Cod, Flounder or Haddock in One Day. WHAT??? Jim Russo Comments
Fishermen and fishing stakeholders say the darkness that has descended on the Northeast ground-fish fishery over the past three years is only going to grow deeper in 2016, with some fishing stakeholders envisioning the final collapse of the small-boat industry due to slashed quotas for species they believe are abundant. Read more….
NOAA Fisheries Management Created Outrageous FISHING MOGUL and CODFATHER (while most of the industry has been starved out) with 40+ Boats-is Arrested on Federal Conspiracy Charges
NOAA Fisheries Management Created Outrageous FISHING MOGUL and CODFATHER (while most of the industry has been starved out) with 40+ Boats is Arrested on Federal Conspiracy Charges
Federal authorities raided one of the best-known seafood wholesalers in the Northeast Friday morning, arresting owner Carlos Rafael on charges of conspiracy and falsifying records. Read more…
NOAA Fisheries Management Creates SEA LORDS and SHARECROPPERS- Permit for 7048 Pounds of Red Snapper A Year = $267,000!!!
A little-known federal program has turned dozens of Gulf of Mexico fishermen into the lords of the sea who are able to earn millions annually without even going fishing. The program also transformed dozens more into modern-day serfs who must pay the lords for the right to harvest red snapper….Read more and view a great video
The future of recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is for sale in Texas.
While charter boats and private recreational anglers in the Gulf were only allowed to catch red snapper in federal waters on 10 days last year, two companies in Galveston, Texas have been taking recreational anglers red snapper fishing all year round.
What’s more, the companies allow the fishermen to keep as many red snapper as they want each day, blowing past the two-fish-per-day federal limit.
The only thing limiting how many snapper the customers are allowed to keep is how much they are willing to pay.
The Texas companies have been getting around the federal limits and seasons by selling the “Catch Shares Fishing Experience.” The Texas companies involved own “catch shares” of the commercial red snapper fishery that allow them to harvest a set number of pounds per year for commercial sale.
Instead of catching those fish with a professional crew and selling them to a fish house, the captains are taking recreational anglers fishing and letting them buy the fish afterward. READ MORE….
U.S. PEOPLE SOLD OUT TO THE WORST OF THE ONE PERCENT? NOAA/EDF U.S. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FUNDED BY WALTON FAMILY (WALMART) FOUNDATION, ECT
What more needs to be said after the articles are read? The U.S. people have been sold out to mega-corporations fronting as ‘environmental activists’/NGO’s that want to privatize public resources for corporate control. The result of this is-the ‘unwashed masses’ (fishermen and fishing communities) are destroyed by this money and greed driven agenda. ‘Divide and Conquer’ has always been the agenda of U.S. fisheries policies, and it has worked perfectly (or not).
The conclusions are undeniable…it all happened in 2010-2012 with Amendment 16 ‘Catch Shares’ and Jane Lubchenco of NOAA/EDF. This was the last nail in the coffin of the U.S. Fishermen
Copyright 2010-2016 Jim Russo FreeAndCommon.com All rights reserved
A commercial clam lease in Connecticut worth a few hundred dollars a year affords owner $1.6 million clam boat!!! This is another good example of how public fisheries resources are sold off to benefit the very few. Read more…
Photo credit-Marcia Chambers
I admit I had the wind knocked out of my sails late last week when I read that President Obama has opted to dismiss out of hand Alaska Rep. Don Young’s Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization draft, reportedly based on the advice of his staff.
Photo credit-Jessica Hathaway, Editor-National Fisherman