Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

CHATHAM — With sand choking the main inlet to Chatham Harbor across from the lighthouse, most of the commercial fishing fleet is now using the north inlet by Minister's Point to access the Atlantic. But the narrow channel there needs to be widened, and fishermen are hoping that state and federal dredging restrictions don’t leave them high and dry for the 2018 season. Except at peak high tide, the Chatham Bar...

CHATHAM – After nearly two years of work, consolidated waterways regulations were approved last week by the waterways advisory committee. The final draft will now go back to the board of selectmen before being adopted by the harbormaster. A theme that emerged from the committee's hearing on the draft last Thursday was the need to take a look at the waterways bylaw, the override authority under which the new re...

Fisherman Mike Russo examined a decades-old clamming rake he had brought from the garage into the kitchen. His soot-colored cat George sniffed it warily. “I paid a lot of bills with that sum’ bitch,” he said with a grin. Russo said the first rake he bought, he tore the teeth right off when he went quahogging. Ron Ribb took one look at that rake, then at burly Russo, and said he’d fix the problem. He built a...

What's An Upweller?

By: Tim Wood

Constable Gives Primer On Shellfish Grow-out System by Tim Wood CHATHAM – A recent proposal to construct a new shellfish upweller on Stage Harbor raised an important question: Just what is an upweller? “I had folks who came up or called and wanted to know what's an upweller,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “Some of my mother's friends were saying 'What the heck's an upweller?'” At Dykens' request, ...

CHATHAM — Addressing concerns that the deteriorating observation deck at the fish pier might collapse under the weight of summer visitors, selectmen Tuesday approved a conceptual plan to rebuild the structure with one that is stronger, more durable, and handicap-accessible. The plan, prepared by Marion-based CLE Engineering, calls for a $1.2 million deck that is self-supporting, rather than supported by the ...

CHATHAM — When it comes to boosting numbers of commercially important fish species – and helping the small-boat fishery that relies on them – the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance is proposing a “no-fish zone” on the backside of the Cape designed to keep herring trawlers out. If it's implemented, the conservation measure could also benefit whales, seabirds and other species that feed on Atlantic herring....

HARWICH PORT — The Wychmere Harbor Shellfish Lab is home to hundreds of thousands of growing soft shell clams, oysters, quahogs and mussels. Every summer since 1994, Assistant Harbormaster and National Resources Director Heinz Proft has hired three high school student interns to help run the lab for six weeks. This year’s interns are Kestrel Powers, Samantha Mahoney and Aidan Kotoski. From 8:30 in the morning u...

More than a postcard backdrop, the Cape's working waterfront is an economic engine. And it deserves continued financial support from the state, said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who is also the chairman of the state's Seaport Economic Council, which is making sizable investments in the shorefront infrastructure in Chatham and Harwich. Polito visited Old Mill Boat Yard in Chatham and Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Por...

Polito: Waterfront Investments Boost Economy

By: Alan Pollock

More than a postcard backdrop, the Cape's working waterfront is an economic engine. And it deserves continued financial support from the state, said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who is also the chairman of the state's Seaport Economic Council, which is making sizable investments in the shorefront infrastructure in Chatham and Harwich. Polito visited Old Mill Boat Yard in Chatham and Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Por...

At U.N., Tolley Touts Small-scale Fisheries

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Fisheries activist Brett Tolley of Chatham has told many people about the plight of small-scale fishermen like his father, who left the industry because he couldn't compete with big corporate interests. Last week, he told that story to world leaders in a special forum at the United Nations in New York. A proud member of a fourth-generation fishing family, Tolley works as a community organizer and p...

CHATHAM ─ The Chatham Fish Pier is always a busy place, but this past Saturday it was lively for a reason other than the unloading of the day's catch. On this day, the Rev. Brian McGurk dipped a sprig of evergreen into consecrated water from the sea and blessed the boats, families, and the waters of Chatham's fishing community as part of the annual Blessing of the Fleet The interfaith service was the prelude...

'Pier To Plate' Puts Skate, Dogfish On The Menu

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — It's strange but true: locally-caught dogfish and skate can be easier to find on the menu in Europe and Asia than in restaurants here on Cape Cod. That's despite the fact that they're plentiful, delicious, and make up most of the catch landed by the local fishing fleet. A new effort launching this weekend, called  Pier to Plate , aims to change that by promoting these "under-loved" fish varieties.  ...

CHATHAM — Next month, residents and visitors will have a unique chance to learn more about Chatham's working waterfront, while they savor the fresh seafood and libations the town has to offer. The nonprofit Fishing Partnership Support Services , which made a name for itself by helping fishing families obtain health insurance and other kinds of assistance, is sponsoring the first-ever Chatham Port Tour and S...

Commission Cites Excessive Work On Fish House Repairs

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The conservation commission has cited the owner of the fish house in the Herring River for work that went beyond emergency repairs over the past couple of months. The commission also continued a hearing this past week on a proposal by Aquacultural Research Corporation to place an upweller system in the building. Conservation Administrator Amy Usowski said she sent notice to Francis Zarette of Farm Vi...

ARC Seeks To Move Forward With Fish House Nursery

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Aquacultural Research Corporation will go before the conservation commission next week seeking approval to place a shellfish upwelling system in the recently shored-up fish house on the Herring River. ARC has been working with the owners of the fish house, Francis and Debra Zarette, for more than a year to place a shellfish nursery in the structure. The Zarettes last year filed a notice of intent wit...

CHATHAM — Selectmen joined a handful of other town boards Tuesday in endorsing a local entrepreneur's pilot project to grow sugar kelp, a kind of native seaweed that can be eaten, used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, or converted into biofuel. Jamie Bassett told the board this week about his plans to grow the kelp in two test plots, one just inside the new break in Lighthouse Beach near Outermost Harbor,...