Tag Archives: Lobstering

Jo-Anne Castano Forwards Links To Lobstering and Quarry Working in the the 30’s in Gloucester and Rockport

Hi Joey,

I just remembered these so went searching and thought you might like them.   These are from The Library of Congress, American Memory.  http://memory.loc.gov/

If you do a search for "Gor Svenson" you’ll find about 7 web pages of oral history.  I copied down some excerpts below to give you an idea of the stories from the WPA era, living in Glouceter and Rockport. It is a record of a series of interviews with a Swedish-born American who was for most of his adult years a quarry-worker in Gloucester (Bay View and Lanesville) and Rockport, Massachusetts and who is now (then) engaged in lobstering. (1938)  How much has changed since then?  Stories are flavorfully Cape Ann.

Goes along with today’s events, Lookin’ For the Sunny Side of the Stree – America’s 1930’s in Gloucester.

Enjoy,Jo-

Also provided a link to the photography archives containing 503 records such as the one below.

There are images of,

digitized item thumbnail

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Vito Gioclone, fisherman of Gloucester
1943 June. | 1 negative | Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006

digitized item thumbnail #gallery owi2001030379/PP

On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Vito Gioclone. Gloucester, Massachusetts
1943 June. | 1 negative | Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006

digitized item thumbnail #gallery owi2001029492/PP

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Gaspar Favozza, son of an Italian-American fisherman
1943 May. | 1 negative | Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=gloucester%2C%20massachusetts

Lobster traps stacked in an old net house. Gloucester, Massachusetts

Lobster traps stacked in an old net house. Gloucester, Massachusetts

  • Title: Lobster traps stacked in an old net house. Gloucester, Massachusetts
  • Creator(s): Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006, photographer
  • Date Created/Published: 1943 June.
  • Medium: 1 negative : safety ; 4 x 5 inches or smaller.
  • Part of: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Reproduction Number: LC-USW3-031669-C (b&w film neg.)
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions. For information, see U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs(http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html)

Other images of Gloucester, MA search 844 results containing "gloucester" :

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=gloucester&sg=true

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940

Cut Out Stern on The Dog and I vs Setting Table On The Stanley Thomas

Johnny Doc Herrick has lobster traps all ready to launch off the stern as lobster season is getting under way.  If you notice the stern of the Dog and I is cut out level with the deck of the boat.  Some guys like open sterns and others have closed sterns on which they build setting tables.  The ones with setting tables like the Stanley Thomas slide the traps down the rail of the boat and set them off teh setting table.  the ones with the cut out sterns set the traps off of teh deck of the boat.

click the pic for the larger version

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Sean Burn’s Lobsterboat The Four Sisters Prepares To Offload

It was so cold that the plug which drains his lobster tank was frozen solid.  He had to take a layer of lobsters out of the tank and then dip a five gallon bucket in to take out some water and then take more lobsters out followed by bailing out more water til the tank was empty.  The extreme cold makes

Poll- Will Greenhead Adam Return For Another Day Fishing Aboard Tuffy’s Degelyse?

Check Back With A Video At 2PM

Adam, Nate and Tuffy Return From Lobstering In 45mph winds

Adam, Nate and Tuffy Return From Lobstering In 45mph winds

Fresh Meat

A couple of days ago this fresh faced youngster came in the office looking for a job on a lobster boat.

Frank usually handles these requests because I hate to go to bat for an unknown and put them on a lobsterboat.  Inevitably about 20% of these guys off the street work out.  When they don’t work out I feel like I’m the asshole when said greenhead doesn’t show up to go lobstering and the skipper looks at you like it’s your fault because you recommended him.

Well Frank asked the greenhead if he had any previous lobstering experience and he told us that he had gone a couple times on an inshore lobsterman’s boat.  Inshore lobstering aboard a boat that only hauls 100 or so traps a day is entirely unlike lobstering on one of the hard core lobstermen with big boats and serious drive.  So he didn’t have a whole lot of experience but he looked clean cut and not a druggie and seemed like he had a desire to learn the trade.

So one of our best lobstermen and also one of the most hard core, Tuffy had been looking for a second backman to complement the ever reliable Nate.  Tuffy goes HARD.  It’s not a boat ride around the inner harbor and back to shore for Tuffy.  He’s going deep and hard and through the winter in the worst of elements.

Tuffy

Tuffy

Well of all days to be initiated into the world of hard core lobstering, this poor unfortunate soul got indoctrinated today.  In this weather, 25-45 mile per hour north west wind.  Not fun.  It was pouring rain this morning when they pulled up to get bait and when I saw the greenhead aboard all I could think about was how fucked this kid was going to be today (and not in the good way).

I mentioned to Frank that the “new kid” was on Tuffy’s boat and he rolled his eyes, knowing that the kid is in for a long day.

So fast forward to a few minutes ago.  A few bolts of thunder sounded off and the rain was coming down in sheets so Frank decided to call Tuffy to see how they were doing out there.  Tuffy said the greenhead had been puking all day long even while he was putting herring into the bait bags.

Tuffy also added “I like bringing new guys.  It means I get to eat their lunch.”

I can just picture Tuffy laughing at the kid, saying “Hey kid, you gonna eat that?”

When the kid shakes his head no, weak and a faint color green he’ll rip the brown bag that the greenhead packed off the dash and tear into his peanut butter jelly sandwich.  Laughing the whole time.

Anatomy Of A Lobster Buoy, Break Away Whale Safe Swivel

This is a whale safe break away swivel used on lobster buoys.   The swivel has a weak part (highlighted by the blue arrow in the picture below) designed to break away with 600 pounds of pressure.

In the unfortunate instance that a whale might get caught in a lobster pot line, it will break the swivel and swim free.  This is another in many responsible steps the lobster industry has adopted (along with escape vents for small lobsters on the traps and biodegradable hog rings which break down and let the vents fall out in the case of lost gear).

The offshore fishery and Pacific coast use 1100 pound break away swivels but our inshore lobstermen use 600 pound ones.

Look for a video with Johnny “Doc” Herrick at 7AM in which we break down the parts of a lobster buoy and their costs.

Just Some Of The Things A Commercial Fisherman Might Get At Rose’s Marine Shop

Lobster trap rope, flag markers, gaffs, bait bags, buoys.

Rose’s Marine Shop, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Spool of Bait Bags

Spool of Bait Bags

The bait bags that come on a spool like the green ones above arrive in one long tube of mesh.  The lobstermen cut the desired length, bunch up an end and then clamp it to make a mesh-like purse.  Then they stuff the herring or pogies in the bags and set them in the lobster traps.
Orange twine pre-made bait bags
Orange twine pre-made bait bags
The orange twine pre-made bait bags shown above are much more heavy duty than the green plastic bait bags but are also way more expensive.  In the winter when the seals show up many lobstermen will switch over to the orange heavy duty bait bags because the seals rip the green ones right out of the traps to get the bait inside.  The orange bait bags hold up much better against the PITA seals.

Beautiful Industry- Miss Merideth Lobster Buoys

Here’s a bunch of Matt Cooney’s lobster buoys.

Matt has a very distinct pattern for his buoys.  No one would mistake his buoy  for their own because it is so unique.  Every so often a couple of lobstermen have very similar color markings on their buoys which can make things confusing  when they are fishing the same areas.

Miss Merideth Lobster Buoys, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

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