It has been a long while since I’ve seen this much activity on The State Fish Pier.
It seems like fishing seasons get shorter and shorter and the fleet gets smaller and smaller. Hopefully someone has a plan for the Harbor once our fleet gets even more drastically reduced with not only the number of boats that can fish but the amount of fish they are allowed to land.
In John Norris’ Alone At Sea book about the heyday of Gloucester fishing there is a picture of over 500 huge schooners on moorings in the outer harbor. Over 500! And that had nothing to do with the amount of fishing boats in the inner harbor where the large boats would raft up 6 or 7 abreast. Now there will be less than that number of commercial fishing permits dedicated to the entire northeast from Maine down to Virginia. Crazy.
When I was graduating from college and deciding whether I’d come down the dock to work or pursue my passion for economics at Bentley I remember my father saying to me- “Joe there will always be fish and they will always need a place to unload them.” Neither one of us could have imagined the drastic reductions in fleet and landings and the Auction coming to town and how much over capacity there is in the harbor dedicated to offloading what little product comes in today compared to even 20 years ago.