Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

Changing Rules Could Squeeze Shellfishermen

By: Alan Pollock

Potential Closures Not Related To Water Quality CHATHAM — A change in federal rules has the potential to shut down shellfish harvesting in some of the town’s productive waterways in the summertime. And while the implications of the change aren’t yet known, town officials say there’s a need to be prepared. In an update to the select board last week, Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne said that seven of the town...

Fishermen Launch New Seafood Cooperative

By: Alan Pollock

Working Together Seeking Fair Prices CHATHAM – Working in a field that rewards competitiveness and individual initiative, commercial fishermen have a strong streak of independence. But in creating a new partnership, the Chatham Harvesters’ Cooperative, they’re working together to develop new products in new markets, seeking to get the best possible prices for the fresh seafood they bring to port. This after...

Though commercial fishing doesn’t dominate the Lower Cape economy the way it did historically, it’s still a giant producer of revenue and jobs. That’s the conclusion of a study of the region’s commercial fishing ports carried out by the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. The findings are drawn from a series of comme...

$2M Project Will Replace Fish Pier Bulkhead

By: Tim Wood

Pedestrian Safety Improvements Also Included CHATHAM – The popularity of the municipal fish pier is undeniable. In recent weeks, staff at the Shore Road facility have counted as many as 3,000 visitors a day eager to catch a glimpse of fishing boats unloading or seals frolicking in the water. But the pier is also a working commercial fishing offloading facility, with constant heavy truck traffic crossing rig...

CHATHAM – A new storage area for commercial fishing gear off Middle Road will begin small and grow if the need arises. At the May 14 annual town meeting, voters approved $200,000 to relocate the storage area from the airport property to a stretch of town land between the capped landfill and the wastewater treatment plant. That will be sufficient to clear the area, spread gravel, set up fencing and secure the a...

HARWICH – Despite concerns raised about the potential “decimation” of the horseshoe crab population, the planning board unanimously approved a special permit for Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. to establish a facility to extract blood from the ancient arthropods for biomedical uses. The Wilmington-based company was before the board on April 12 seeking a land use special permit to conduct scienti...

WOODS HOLE – Sharks and seals are almost synonymous with Cape Cod. But what do people really think about the much-discussed fish and mammals? With shark and seal populations on the rise, a new multi-agency study looked at how sharks and seals are perceived by Cape voters, commercial fishermen and tourists, and how humans and marine life can better coexist. The study, “Human Dimensions of Rebounding Po...

Horseshoe Crab Blood Extraction Facility Proposed

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – A company that processes horseshoe crab blood for endotoxin detection testing is seeking to locate a facility in the town’s industrial district along Queen Anne Road. Charles River Laboratories, Inc. will go before the planning board on Tuesday, April 12 seeking a use special permit for scientific research and development in facilities at 195 Queen Anne Rd., adjacent to the town’s transfer station si...

Harwich Working With State To Lift Herring Moratorium

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – Herring have begun migrating from ocean waters to spawning grounds in the Herring River. The electronic counter at the Johnson’s Flume at the West Reservoir as of March 28 reported 545 of the anadromous fish passing through the ladder. While the migration is just getting underway, the number of fish heading into the  spawning headwaters of Hinckley’s, Seymour and Long ponds have been increasing over ...

Mariners Sound Out On Draft Waterways Bylaw

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The next version of the waterways bylaw needs to address the shortage of moorings in town, while protecting the interests of commercial fishermen. That was the message the waterways advisory committee received in a public hearing last Thursday. The committee is revising Chapter 265 of the town bylaw, which regulates everything from abandoned vessels to waterskiing. But most of the bylaw, and most of ...

Eastham Withdraws From Nauset Estuary Dredging Plan

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- If Orleans plans to continue to pursue permitting to dredge out the Nauset Estuary, it will have to do it without Eastham's support. The Eastham Select Board voted 5-0 Monday to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding between the town and Orleans guiding how the project would unfold. The vote came during a joint meeting between the select boards in both towns at the Eastham Public Library. Pl...

CHATHAM – Fishermen are being given a reprieve on removal of gear from a storage area on the grounds of Chatham Airport, and town officials are examining an alternative location where fishing equipment could be stored. The airport commission was amenable to a delay in the Nov. 19 deadline for removal of items from the area, where just under a dozen fishermen store gear. The exact duration of the delay will be ...

More Research Needed On Seal-Fishermen Interactions

By: Doreen Leggett

In Sweden, fishermen, regulators, and environmental organizations work with government funding dedicated to developing fishing gear that is safe for seals. In the United States, that doesn’t happen. There is a section of the Marine Mammal Protection Act that provides fishermen with the opportunity to deter seals, but to avoid penalties they are supposed to abide by a list of recommendations produced by National M...

Selectmen Reject One Scallop Farm, Approve Another

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The need for navigational safety outweighs the need for a new aquaculture operation in Nantucket Sound waters. That was the word from the board of selectmen, which rejected one request to locate a bay scallop farm in Nantucket Sound, while approving another request to grow scallops in the Herring River. Mark Kelleher of Kelpeher Farms has permission to grow kelp on two, 250-foot long lines offshore i...

Launched amid a crisis, the haddock chowder program developed by Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance is now being celebrated at the highest levels of the federal government and used as a national model. “There are all kinds of statistics to show how successful this program has been: Almost 300,000 pounds of haddock chowder distributed to food banks across New England and beyond. More than 200,000 pounds o...

Chatham Tops Cape In Value Of Fish Landings

By: Doreen Leggett

Chatham is the third most lucrative port in the state and first on the Cape, with close to $19 million paid to fishermen in 2018. Captain Greg Connors says the success is partly a testament to the versatility of the fleet, which harvests lobster, scallops, and when groundfish like cod are less abundant, fills the gap with skates and dogfish. “Geographically we are very fortunate,” Connors, captain of the F/...