Fishing for a Future: Protecting the Legacy of New England’s Groundfishery


For more than two decades, Carlos “The Codfather” Rafael dominated the New England groundfishery. He made millions from his criminal activities before a sting operation shut him down and forced him into prison for nearly four years.

The Codfather’s ability to slip through regulatory loopholes left small-scale fishermen and their communities more frustrated than ever before. That’s why CLF took on the mission to examine the management system that Rafael exploited so successfully – a system that seems to have increasingly benefitted the wealthiest, most politically powerful fishing operations at the expense of traditional community-based fishermen.

In Fishing for a Future, we present our findings and conclusions, including recommendations for how to improve the current management system to avoid another scandal like Rafael’s.

Focus Areas

Oceans