Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

CHATHAM – For the first time in nearly a decade, the Aunt Lydia's Cove mooring basin is being dredged to ensure commercial fishing boats have enough depth to operate at all tides. Early this week the Barnstable County dredge Codfish was pumping sand from the bottom of the Cove some 5,000 feet to the north onto a private beach off Linnell Lane. The approximately $169,000 project is being funded by four private ...

Supporting The Next Generation Of Fishermen

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — For many years, fighting for a sustainable commercial fishery meant ensuring that there were enough fish in the sea to support the industry. A new sustainability initiative seeks to ensure that, years from now, there are enough fishermen. Though fishing is often a family business, there's never been a coordinated, nationwide effort to train, educate and support the next generation of commercial fis...

Mobile Shellfish Nursery Planned For Allen Harbor

By: Bill Galvin

HARWICH — Aquaculture is certainly a growth industry on the Cape and producing seed shellfish is essential to marine farming. There are ongoing efforts in the Herring River to develop a shellfish nursery and the conservation commission has now approved a mobile nursery along the edge of Allen Harbor. Fran Zarette, the owner of the former fish house on the Herring River, has been doing battle with a neighbor ...

CHATHAM — Members of the Aunt Lydia's Cove Committee will likely have a say in how the town spends money from a proposed waterways user fee revolving fund, ending a dispute with waterways advisory committee that seemed destined for a fight on the floor of town meeting. Meeting with selectmen Tuesday, waterways committee Chairman Peter Taylor said he intends to ask his committee members this week to add the C...

Student Survey Shapes Statewide Shellfish Study

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — These days, shellfishermen have to worry about much more than where to scratch for clams. They face competing interests within the industry, with recreational and commercial shellfishermen, wild harvesters and aquaculturists all competing for resources. And then there are the pressures from outside the fishery, in the form of shorefront development, other maritime interests, and those seeking to use ...

CHATHAM – Members of the Aunt Lydia's Cove committee want a say in how the town spends the money raised through the fees they pay to operate out of the municipal fish pier. Those fees, which raise about $150,000 annually, are proposed to be placed in a new waterways user fee revolving fund through an article on the May 8 annual town meeting warrant. The fish pier permit fees will be combined with a new waterwa...

CHATHAM – Given the uncertainty about the future of the main navigation channel into Chatham Harbor, selectmen are raising questions about sinking millions into renovations of the municipal fish pier and are looking for more flexibility in directing resources to Stage Harbor as an alternative for the town's commercial fishing fleet. Rather than move ahead with just some of the elements of a five-year waterfron...

CHATHAM – The town's extensive shoreline, and the public facilities which allow people to access the waterfront, are among Chatham's greatest assets. For many, it's why they vacation or buy property here. For others, it's where they make their living. It's a major economic driver, and enhancing and protecting those facilities has long been a top priority of town government. Over the next five years, officials ...

Chatham Dogfish Goes To College

By: Rob Conery

Dogs are going to college and it's not a case of affirmative action run amok. The Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman's Alliance is spearheading a new program to get dogfish into university dining halls. A new “from boat to campus” version of a fish-to-table program is putting the fish on the tables of some of America's leading universities including Yale, UMass, and Ohio State. UMass has already ordered thousand...

CHATHAM – The value of commercial shellfish landed in town grew last year, but officials are concerned that the shifting sands along the east coast could make the most productive areas inaccessible. The 7 percent increase in the value of the catch is based on a per-pound price assigned by the state division of marine fisheries, according to Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne. Chatham's numbers are probably a bit ...

Freeing The Fry From Harwich Headwaters

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Low water levels and sand deposits at the sluiceways in the headwater ponds of the Herring River made it a challenge for fry to make their way to the ocean this fall. Fisheries officials observed juvenile fish seeking a route to Nantucket Sound as late as early December. In response, a unique solution has been developed to prevent sand from blocking fishways. Natural Resources Department Director ...

Nantucket Sound Shellfish Closure Lifted

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Shellfish from Nantucket Sound are once again safe to eat. Not that they weren't to begin with. The state division of marine fisheries closed Nantucket Sound on Oct. 10, following closures in Mount Hope By and Buzzards Bay, due to a potentially toxic phytoplankton bloom. The type of algae in the bloom, pseudo nitzschia, can build up toxins in shellfish that can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning, w...

CHATHAM – Shellfish Warden Renee Gagne had a problem. AmeriCorps volunteers recently culled oysters grown out in the town's upwelling system to ready them to be distributed in various waterways. Then a potentially toxic algae bloom closed all of Nantucket Sound, including the various inlets and embayments throughout town, to shellfishing. At almost the same time, work began on renovations to Old Mill Boatyard,...

CHATHAM – With conditions on Chatham Bar the worst they've been in years, officials are being urged to fast track improvements to a Stage Harbor commercial dock purchased by the town earlier this year. The town purchased the Eldredge trap dock at May's annual town meeting for $1.5 million. Adjacent to the town-owned Old Mill Boatyard, where the harbormaster's office is located, the dock was leased back to the ...

The closure of Nantucket Sound to shellfishing will continue at least through Nov. 1, Chatham's shellfish warden announced late Thursday. In an email, Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne wrote, "The MA Division of Marine Fisheries has issued an update to local authorities indicating that the current shellfish area closures will continue, at minimum, through Nov. 1.  New information indicates the possible release o...

A toxic plankton bloom prompted state officials to close all of Nantucket Sound to shellfishing Monday. The closure includes all of the waters, flats, bays and embayments along the south coast of Cape Cod. That includes Stage Harbor, Mill Pond, Mitchell River, Forest Beach, Cockle Cove Beach and Ridgevale Beach. In Chatham, waters to the east of Morris Island, including the Southway, Chatham Harbor and the ...