“They got a good deal. I’m glad to see that it appears they [the boats and permits] will be staying in New Bedford. That’s a good thing.” — Eric Hansen, New Bedford representative to the New England Fishery Management Council
With bankruptcy auction looming, New Bedford wants boats to stay here; others favor breaking up the fleet.
“They said it would be no problem to fill my shoes. They filled my shoes, all right. They f—ed people for millions of dollars. That’s how they filled my shoes.” — Carlos Rafael, in a telephone interview with The Light.
“It was very, very sudden. … We’re just lucky there were no fatalities.” — Roy Enoksen, founder of Eastern Fisheries
It’s all part of the private equity firm playbook. “They buy a company, they strip it, they declare bankruptcy and they walk away.” As for the small businesses with unpaid invoices? “That money is gone.” — Eileen Appelbaum, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
“I guess we’re not getting paid,” said Randy Martin, a machinist at Harbor Hydraulics, which abuts the Blue Harvest facility on the Fairhaven side of the port. He said Blue Harvest owed “a lot of companies a lot of money.”
Most fleets on the New Bedford waterfront have been built up over decades, even generations. But with private equity capital injected into the company, Blue Harvest was able to anchor itself amongst the ranks of the largest companies on the East Coast in just under a decade.
He grew from a boy in Nova Scotia who knew the ocean like his own backyard into a scholar and community innovator, revitalizing the scallop industry with the invention of the drop camera.
True North Seafood said the incidents are unrelated. In a statement, the company said: “True North does not believe that harassment is a prevalent issue at its New Bedford facility.”
“OSHA will inform workers that they have the right to speak up about hazards in their workplace without fear of retaliation, regardless of immigration status.” — OSHA administrator Kristen Rubino