Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

CHATHAM – After several years of planning and at least two closures due to structural problems, the popular observation deck at the town-owned fish pier has gone out to bid for reconstruction. The project is expected to be finished by June 15, just as the busy summer season is ramping up. The fish pier is the town's most popular tourist attraction, drawing upwards of 200,000 people during summer, as many as...

Fishing Gear Storage At Airport May End

By: Tim Wood

Safety Concerns Raised Over Potential For Bird Strikes CHATHAM – For more than three decades, fishermen have stored gear on vacant Chatham Municipal Airport land off Wilfred Road. The practice may soon end, however, after a wildlife consultant raised alarms about birds attracted by the gear become a hazard to airplanes taking off and landing. The airport commission was all set to end the storage and had dra...

CHATHAM – There's no disagreement about the need for a new upweller to grow out quahog and other shellfish seed vital to the town's commercial shellfishing industry, which is the most valuable wild shellfishery in the state, according to Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne. And the small town-owned parcel on Bridge Street adjacent to the Mitchell River appears to be the best spot for a new building to replacing the a...

Pilgrim Lake Gets A Helping Hand With Fishway Project

By: William F. Galvin

ORLEANS — The fishway reconstruction project at Pilgrim Lake is being called a great partnership between the town and the state Division of Marine Fisheries. Together the agencies are replacing an aging structure that is failing to serving migrating herring and American eel. “It's a project our committee and volunteers have been advocating for several years,” Judy Scanlon, a member of the shellfish and waterwa...

Longtime fisherman John Our knows some people who love calamari, but won’t eat squid. Doesn’t matter that they are same thing; calamari just sounds better. “Dogfish” seems to provoke a similar visceral reaction; people turn their noses up at the name. “I’ve always thought that if you changed the name you would make it more attractive,” Our said. “It would only help.” Our’s feeling is backed by research. ...

ALC Chair: Town Should Purchase Yacht Club Pier

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Given the evolving conditions in Chatham Harbor, having an alternate location for commercial fishing boats to offload their catch, once a long-term strategy, is looking more like a necessity. Officials had that use in mind when the town purchased of the Eldredge Trap Dock on Stage Harbor in 2016, and plans are in process to modernize the pier to accommodate at least some commercial fishing boats. In ...

New Study Seeks To Reveal The Secrets Of Halibut

By: Doreen Leggett

Fred Bennett has been a fisherman for about 60 years and he just stared, perplexed, at a graph supposedly showing a halibut, tagged to track its progress, moving in the water column. He shook his head in consternation and looked at fellow captain Mike Anderson who has spent more than 40 years on the water. How is that possible? Bennett wondered. Anderson was laughing. It’s not, he said – unless the st...

What convinced Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association, that filmmaker David Wittkower could tell the story of the decline of the New England commercial fishing industry was that he wanted to interview fishermen and let them speak in their own voice. “That never happened,” she said. In most stories in the media about the industry, fishermen's words “are always twisted,” she...

ORLEANS — Watching Garrett Loparto unload tub after tub from his lobster boat at Mill Pond landing last week, you might have thought that all was well in his world. Think again. Silting in the Nauset Estuary, which Loparto and other Orleans fishermen must navigate to reach the inlet to the ocean, is “why I have to fish out of a slow boat, so I can lift my motor out,” he said. “All the other guys have 32- to 35...

Home Storage Of Fishing Gear Dredged Up Anew

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Thirty-five years ago, Chatham Town Counsel Frank Shealey rose in Barnstable Superior Court to declare that the town “since time immemorial has been a seacoast town. Other than for tourism, fishing is our largest industry. The fishermen have a pier and a mooring...that's all. The restraints were addressed in the bylaw which allows lobster pots to be stored under home occupation with issuance of a spec...

The days are long now and if the tide is right, shellfishermen can head out to the flats of Monomoy, spend hours harvesting and return to shore with their limit as the sun sets and turns the horizon pink and purple. But then they would lose $500 and all their hard work, because the wholesale companies they sell to close hours before the sun goes down, and shellfishermen can’t keep their product overnight – not...

Shellfish Nursery Is Fattening The Clams In Herring River

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — The former fishhouse on the Herring River is filled with happy clams. With legal and regulatory issues related to the reconstruction of the former Lucas fishhouse at the edge of the river settled, Aquacultural Research Corporation of Dennis is now using the building to nurture seed quahogs in an effort to meet the increasing demand for shellfish by aquaculturalists. “The quahogs are happy and...

CHATHAM — Dozens of fishermen and other citizens spoke out at a public hearing Tuesday night to share a single message with regulators: large herring trawlers need to keep their distance from the Cape, to give key fish stocks – and the people who harvest them – a shot at survival. The large meeting room at the community center was filled to capacity for the hearing, held by the New England Fishery Management...

Good Numbers Reported For Harwich Herring

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The herring migration got off to a late start this year in the Herring River, but in recent weeks it has proven to be strong. More than 800,000 fish have passed through the electronic fish counter in the ladder at Johnson's flume in West Harwich. Early April is traditionally when the anadromous fish begin their migration from ocean waters to headwater ponds to spawn. But there was little movement at ...

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...