Tag Archives: Commercial Fishing

BG Brown Summed Up What Was Going To Happen In The Fishing Industry In Gloucester 4 Years Ago

This was filmed in 2010 and it’s only gotten worse. What he predicted back in 2010 is about 10 times worse 4 years later.
As I type this a fisherman just left my office. He is 52 years old and has fished his whole life. He is a stern man meaning he has no stake in what the owner of the boat may receive when he sells out his commercial fishing permits. He has only seen it get worse and worse and was telling me he has absolutely no idea what he could do for a living since all he knows is fishing.  It’s sad and it is despicable what they did when they instituted Catch Shares and privatized the ocean and fish. Before Catch Shares there were hundreds of small boats with stern men who could go out and catch 800 lbs of cod under the “Days at Sea” program. They could fish every day and because there was an 800 pound limit there were no 20-40,000 lb trips of fish on the auction to decimate the price. What was on the Fish Auction for fish was made up of lots of small boats 800 lb trips of quality day boat fish.  So you had hundreds of boats with hundreds of captains and hundreds more of stern men making a good living while barely impacting the fish stocks. Boats were being repaired, boats were buying fuel, families were being fed.  Now we have probably 80% less.
Just years later the hyper-consolidation of Catch Shares which we all knew was the inevitable result when you privatize a natural resource has decimated our fleet and the number of fishermen left standing while they most have either sold out or are trying to.

Back in 2009 I started to collect the stories and add them to a thread on Cape Ann Online as sort of a journal and record for those who might have said they didn’t see this coming. There are three pages of articles from fishermen and about how it was and has decimated our working port and independent fishermen.

Click here for the list of articles (3 pages worth)

Ron Gilson’s An Island No More

Thank you Ron for this treasured gift of An Island No More!!!

An Island No More Ron Gilson ©Kim Smith 2013Yesterday on our front porch my husband found a wonderful surprise package, not long a mystery from where it came with a lovely inscription from the author himself, Ron Gilson.  An Island No More ~ The Gloucester I Knew is a deeply personal and fascinating account of Gloucester’s working waterfront and its people, with hundreds of black and white photographs. I was immediately transported to Gloucester during the Great Depression and haven’t been able to put down the book. An Island No More is available from Amazon or by contacting the author at P.O. Box 557, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Note: The little boy sitting on the dock and looking at the Emily Brown (see the book jacket illustration) is none other than RON at eleven years old, circa 1944.

To read more about Ron Gilson and An Island No More see the following GMG posts:

Ron Gilson of Gloucester lectured Wednesday night at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum’s Waterline Center about working aboard Gloucester’s Schooner ‘Adventure’ back in 1951.

Ron Gilson Discusses Gloucester Fishing in the 20s, 50s and Today Part I

Ron Gilson Discusses Gloucester Fishing in the 20s, 50s and Today Part II

Ron Gilson Gloucester Fishing History Lesson

 

Phyllis A on the Rails From Kathy Chapman

Kathy Chapman writes-

The beautiful lines of Phyllis A’s hull will only be visible for a few weeks at the Gloucester Marine Railways. Work on her is being funded by a 2011 Community Preservation Act grant from the residents of Gloucester.

From the Phyllis A. Marine Association: By focusing on the gill-netting industry, we highlight a time in Gloucester’s history that is not currently well covered. The Phyllis A. was fished by the same Gloucester family for 75 years. Many people working in Gloucester’s fishing industry today, at some point, fished off the Phyllis A.

Photos © Kathy Chapman 2012

http://www.kathychapman.com

PhyllisAByKChapman

Gloucester At Dawn, The State Fish Pier 4:58AM 4/23/12

As always click the photo for the full sized view

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I dig the reflections especially the red on the wet herring vats in the right hand part of the picture which are reflections of the port side red navigation light on the F/V Endevour.

Coming Soon- Three Lantern Marine and Fishing

(Don’t Call It Three Lanterns)

My buddy Tina Greel (who I still can’t wrap my mind around as being a grandmother) is part of the team that will be reopening and expanding the former Three Lantern Ship Supply store at 7 Parker Street.  Look for the interview tomorrow!

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Gloucester MA Video- 1944 Commercial Fishing On The Cerlew- Video From Ed Rioux

Ed Rioux wanted us to Share this video with our readers-

Ed writes-

i am now  81 dont think i know you -  may know  family members  from the old days

my dad fished  out o gloucester late 30s 40s  50s  italian fleet  seiners  draggers would like very much to talk to you  about  this– we are releasing  a  dvd ( a 8mm movie  converted to a dvd- taken in 1944  of the dragger  Curlew  fishing at the banks) probably sadly  we  wont see fishing like this again -  history for sure

Banging Out A Lobster Trap Trawl Aboard The Trapper John

Captain Chris Orsillo and Mate Steve Redfern bang out a trawl.
What is very encouraging and a testament to the conservation efforts of the lobster industry is how many short lobsters there are that will be there to be harvested as they grow. You can see how many get thrown back and it is quite a few.

Once again we used the Kayalu saltwater resistant suction RAM mount to secure the $79 Kodak Playsport Zx3 to the window behind the pilot house of the Trapper John.

Kevin J Henry Fresh Flounder Filleting Photo Slide Show

click the picture for the slide show

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You can also visit Kevin’s site here-

http://kevinjhenry.com/home.html

Kevin writes-

FISHERMEN – I see pride, determination and resignation in the photographs of these men. They are the "last of the independents" in Point Pleasant, NJ. As small commercial fishermen along the East Coast vanish, those that remain persevere and struggle to survive. A centuries old way of life that is rich with tradition and pride may soon be gone, victims of what may be the irreversible consolidation of the fleets. Their culture deserves respect and admiration. Those who work in this inherently dangerous trade are to be admired.
THE FUTURE? – A ghostly view of what may be the disappearing fishing fleets.

Dave Marciano Has Balls

Not too many people other than my favorite blogger Doug Maxfield that have the balls to write articles like the one Dave Marciano wrote in today’s GDT-

Letter: Coalition sector support now haunting fishermen

Click the link above to read what Dave has to say.  If what he says is true (and believe me I can’t even begin to understand how complex it all is) the way of life of the independent fishermen in Gloucester Ma will be lost forever within a generation.

i’m not sure how many people understand how sweeping the changes will be to our port but if it all is privatized the way it sounds like it’s going, go grab all the copies you can of John N Morris’ book Alone At Sea about the Schooners and Ron Gilson’s book about the waterfront An Island No More because the way of life as independent fishermen in Gloucester will be history and those two guys captured it in a real (non-romanticized way) better than anyone.

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