October 10, 2017    

Warren missing the boat; fishing licenses must stay in New Bedford

Boston, MA … Today Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), candidate for U.S. Senate, criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren for taking months to protect the fishing licenses in New Bedford while still failing to address the monument status on fishing areas.

“Where has she been? New Bedford needs to keep these permits. Yet, Warren waited to react for months,” questioned Diehl. “It would be devastating for this community to lose them to another state. Our U.S. Senator should be fighting to keep them locally, but Warren has been no place to be seen on the permits. Massachusetts and New Bedford need more than a part-time Senator.”

Carlos Rafael, also known as the Codfather, was recently convicted of violating federal fishing regulations. His business consisted of 40 vessels with permits which can now be relocated out of state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can reissue the permits to another region which would be devastating to the New Bedford fishing industry. In June, Diehl came out strongly in favor of keeping the permits in New Bedford.

The New Bedford fishing fleet brings in $369 million in seafood every year. The Codfather employed 285 fishermen who will have very few options if the permits are sent out of Massachusetts.

“Senator Warren has ignored Massachusetts. Up until this year, she has only held 4 town hall meetings in 4 years. If she was not up for re-election, then she would not have sent a letter in support of New Bedford,” said Diehl.

“Warren has still failed the fishermen by not fighting the monument status of fishing grounds, but with the election only 13 months away she may change her mind,” said Diehl.