May 12, 2018    


New Bedford, MA … Today Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), the endorsed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren for failing New Bedford.

“As the fishing season begins, the New Bedford sector 9 fleet is grounded –costing the community millions of dollars and hurting working families. The boats are stuck at the docks because Senator Warren has failed to do her job,” said Diehl. “If she spent as much time working to restore the licenses as she does selling books and campaigning out of state, New Bedford would not be facing this crisis.”

Diehl has been advocating for the restoration of the New Bedford federal fishing licenses since he got into the race for the United States Senate last year. On the other hand, Warren, who is holding a town hall meeting in New Bedford today, has done very little to help local fishermen. She has also ignored pleas for assistance to restore the licenses and to overturn President Barack Obama’s executive order declaring vital fishing grounds off limits under national monument regulations.

Last year Carlos Rafael, also known as the “Codfather,” was convicted of violating federal fishing regulations. In response, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grounded the fleet over six months ago. Rafael’s business consisted of 40 vessels with permits which are now at risk of being relocated out of state.

The New Bedford fishing fleet brings in $369 million in seafood every year. The Codfather employed 285 fishermen who are out of work while the fleet is grounded. Fishing suppliers and area businesses are also suffering due to the situation. NOAA may take several months before deciding on transferring of the licenses.

“New Bedford deserves better than a Senator focused on rhetoric rather than results. It is time for a Senator who will assist instead of resist. As the next U.S. Senator, I will be a strong advocate for New Bedford keeping the licenses and repealing the overburdensome regulations. I will be there for New Bedford the entire 6 years. I won’t just show up in an election year,” said Diehl.

“Due to Senator Warren’s failed leadership and Rafael’s illegal activities, New Bedford is going to lose its status as the highest valued port in the United States — a title that it has held for 17 straight years. New Bedford needs a Senator who will work tirelessly on the issue,” added Diehl.

Over the past year Diehl has been meeting with fishermen in New Bedford and along the Massachusetts coastline to hear their concerns.