Carlos Rafael, New England groundfish kingpin, threatens to sell his New Bedford fleet
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Standard- Times] By Simón Rios - January 5, 2015 -
NEW BEDFORD — The biggest player in the New England groundfishing industry says he is cashing out of the business, selling off his scallopers and later his groundfish draggers, which count among the last in the country's top-grossing fishing port.
Rafael refused to name the company but said his decision is in response to the state's cutting in half the amount of federal groundfish disaster relief aid he would get. The policy applies to all Massachusetts permit holders but will affect only Rafael because he's the only one with more qualifying permits than the 10.9 permit cap.
Rafael said he expects to close on the scallop boats early this year but said he's not naming the company because the deal hasn't closed. He said it's a "multi-billion dollar company" based overseas that will operate out of Virginia.
Rafael said he's staying in Dartmouth, where he lives, and will keep his city fish processing facility, Carlos Seafood. But he said he's moving his fishing business to the Cape Verde islands, where he will focus on the "virgin" mackerel fishery.
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