According to Undercurrents, a fishing industry publication, the acquisition was confirmed by Michael Quinn, the operations manager and co-owner of the company with his father Charlie Quinn. The purchase doubles the size of their scallop fleet to 12 and will cost the company about $40 million.
Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the purchase at a hastily announced 3:30 press conference Wednesday afternoon. The mayor had sought to keep the bulk of Rafael’s boats in New Bedford after federal courts ordered the fleet owner to get out of the fishing industry after he was convicted of falsifying fishing records. He is currently serving a nearly 4-year federal prison sentence at Fort Devens.
“With the Quinn family’s acquisition of Carlos Rafael’s scallopers and related permits, New Bedford can be assured that a major piece of Rafael’s fishing business will remain here, as we have advocated all along,” Mitchell said in a statement released later in the afternoon. “The Quinns are a widely respected local fishing family that continue to reinvest in the port, and create and retain good paying jobs.”
The Quinns made news in July when their company, Shoreline Resources, LLC, purchased the 14-acre Revere Copper Products property on the waterfront for $50,000. They plan on turning the former copper products factor on North Front Street into a commercial shipyard for both shipbuilding and repairs.
According to Undercurrent, the Quinns had a previous deal to buy seven of Rafael’s vessels for nearly $46 million in August. BASE’s seafood auction owners Richie and Raymond Canastra attempted to block the agreement as part of an apparent attempt to acquire the same vessels, according to Undercurrent News. A Bristol County court associate judge blocked a restraining order, freeing up the Quinns and Rafael to complete their purchase.
The new vessels acquired include the Acores, Athena, Apollo, Gypsy Girl, Hera II and Villa Novo Do II, according to Mitchell’s statement.
Original story here.