Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

Grant Program Provides Local Oysters To Food Pantries

By: Debra Lawless

A program using grant money to purchase large oysters from local oyster farmers and pay to have the oysters shucked, packaged and frozen and donated to food pantries is helping everyone along the line – from the farmers to food-insecure people. “This program not only provides much-needed relief to our local oyster farming industry, it also provides seafood protein to our clients,” says Gennie Moran, chief oper...

ORLEANS — After just his first meeting as a member of the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, commercial fisherman Bill Amaru had good news for fellow supporters of dredging Nauset Estuary. “We are going to discuss a new survey of fish stocks in the estuaries where dredging will be taking place to see if the window for dredging can be expanded,” Amaru wrote in an email. “Certain species that were abu...

Officials Allege Barge Ran Aground In Quahog Nursery CHATHAM – Officials are investigating damage to seed shellfish caused by a vessel grounding out in the town grow-out area in Mill Creek. As many as 450,000 seed quahogs may have been compromised and 100,000 lost because of the damage, said Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne. While she put the value of the lost shellfish at about $7,000, the damage to the tow...

Emily Yerby works for The Greater Boston Food Bank and came home from an “insanely” hard day at work too exhausted to cook dinner. So she threw some haddock chowder on the stove, the same chowder that has been offered at pantries across the state. “It was perfect,” she said. “This for me has been a silver lining during all this chaos.” The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance's new haddock chowder first...

Harwich Commission Approves Experimental Bay Scallop Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The sugar kelp farm that Mark Kelleher has been operating off the Herring River in Nantucket Sound will be expanded this year with the addition of juvenile bay scallops. Kelleher received approval from the conservation commission last week to experiment with growing bay scallops as part of the kelp farm the commission approve in 2018. Kelle h er told the commission he was somewhat disappointed w...

Pier Hosts Return To New Fish Pier Observation Deck

By: Doreen Leggett

After visiting the observation deck at the Chatham Fish Pier, three siblings climbed around the metal sculpture honoring fishermen and talked about all they had learned. Frances Leyshon, 8, was able to say what fish was coming in — dogfish — and “they filled the whole back of the boat.” Emerson, 6, knew commercial lobstermen came in as well, and had gotten to see a boat unload. And Grayson, 4, who like h...

Not long ago, Faye Anderson was sitting in the office of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance chatting about her new lobster business with her dad, longtime fisherman Mike Anderson, while people across the Cape watched from home. Faye, who owns Chatham Lobsters with her fiance Brock Bobisink, was describing how many of the lobsters that get caught in traps are set free alive; too small, for example, or...

How Baby Oysters Get From Spat To Flat

By: Doreen Leggett

In a greenhouse off a long, sandy road in Dennis, concrete pools are filled every spring to offer millions and millions of oysters a swim. Before the budding bivalves took the plunge this year, about 4,000 mesh bags of mostly sea clam shells, originally from a processing facility in New Bedford, were placed inside two of the empty pools at A.R.C. Hatchery. “After we put the bags of shell in the tanks, we fi...

ORLEANS — More than 13,000 herring disregarded pandemic travel advisories and swam and wriggled their way to Pilgrim Lake to spawn this year. “This is the largest run we’ve observed since I’ve been observing, 13 years,” Judy Scanlon told fellow members of the marine and fresh water quality task force July 27. She said herring warden Scott Johnson, who’s been keeping track of them even longer, agreed. “Thi...

Fish Pier Observation Deck Opens

By: Tim Wood

Popular Tourist Attraction Finally Completed A Year Behind Schedule CHATHAM – The newly rebuilt observation deck at the fish pier is getting rave reviews for its solid construction and spaciousness. It better be; the $1.7 million project took 18 months to build, more than a year more than originally planned. “I thought it was awesome,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “It's just too bad it took so long.” B...

CHATHAM — Saying it would only worsen the crush of vehicles and pedestrians there, selectmen last week rejected a pilot program that would have allowed fishermen to sell their catch directly to customers at the fish pier. The proposal by fisherman Nick Muto sought permission to allow direct retail fish sales for a limited time at the fish pier, building on the success of similar programs in other locations, ...

CHATHAM — For Don St. Pierre, who turns 80 in August, digging ditches, climbing hills and bushwhacking through the puckerbrush isn't as easy as it used to be. He's stepping down as the town's herring warden after more than half a century of watching over the fish runs and their seasonal visitors. A Harwich native, St. Pierre started working on herring runs when he was a member of the sportfishing club Cape Cod...

Herring Are Running, But Annual Count Is Canceled

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Last week, Natural Resources Director Heinz Proft reported more than 2,000 herring had already passed through Johnson’s Flume at the West Harwich herring run. It’s a good, early start for the annual anadromous spawning migration. The state Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) installed an electronic fish counter at Johnson’s Flume a few years ago, and it registered 1,223,211 passing in 2019, more herri...

CHATHAM — Though it would require a regulatory sea change to accomplish, a proposal to use parts of Nantucket Sound off South Chatham as a shellfish grow-out area has sparked some tentative interest. Stephen Wright, who co-owns Chatham Shellfish Company with John Richards, made a presentation to the waterways advisory committee last week, saying they are seeking to establish an experimental grow-out area in a ...

CHATHAM — A decision by federal regulators to adopt restrictions on herring trawler operations is being hailed by local fishermen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week approved Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fisheries Management Plan, including restricting midwater trawl gear inshore of the 12-mile limit from the Canadian border to Connecticut and inshore of 20 miles off Cape Cod....

CHATHAM – Selectmen Monday authorized the expenditure of $2.6 million to rebuild the Eldredge trap dock on Stage Harbor. In a move that likely reflects ongoing problems with the fish pier observation deck construction, officials rejected the low bidder on the project, instead opting to go with the second lowest bidder. The town purchased the trap dock from the Eldredge family in 2016 for $1.3 million to pre...