Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

Herring Hearing Happening June 19

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The New England Fishery Management Council is holding a rare public hearing in Chatham next week to consider rules designed to protect one of the most important fish species in our waters: Atlantic herring. The council is mulling a host of options designed to protect sea herring from overfishing by mid-water trawlers, which can scoop up entire schools in a single haul. While local boats do not take...

CHATHAM – It was a day of remembering and celebrating as members of local fishing families and those who support them gathered at the Chatham Fish Pier for the annual Blessing of the Fleet.     With the warm sun shining down, the Rev. Brian McGurk of St. Christopher's Church and Karen Murdoch of Women of Fishing Families (WOFF) offered prayers and thoughtful sentiments at the soulful gathering, hel...

CHATHAM – When Mac and Alex Hay opened their seafood company in Wellfleet in 1995, Mac drove to Chatham every day to buy freshly landed fish from Chatham Fish and Lobster. As it expanded to include several restaurants and seafood markets on the Outer Cape, Mac's Seafood continued to source much of its product from the Chatham company. Now, 23 years later, the Wellfleet Harbor Seafood Company, which owns the Ma...

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...