Fish on Fridays

The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.

Kathy and Marty were back at the State Fish Pier this week to take a look at three of the boats that comprise the Gloucester herring fleet.

Western Sea Fishing Co. owns three midwater trawlers — the Challenger and Endeavour, each 149 feet, which trawl as a pair, and the Voyager, 140 feet. The three vessels land their catch with Cape Seafoods, which processes the herring.

The video shows the pair trawlers Challenger and Endeavour leaving Jodrey State Fish Pier going to Georges Bank. It will take 10-16 hours to get there and they will return in 2-4 days, depending on how long it takes to find the herring. They also fish for mackerel in the winter.

There is a NOAA observer/fish counter on the trips (pictured) who counts the number of haddock that will inevitably end up in their nets.

Because of quota restrictions the trawler Voyager is for sale, going price (an approx.) a cool 5 mil. She is a solo trawler able to fish by herself, unlike the other two which drag a net between them.

baitloading72 Herringproduction Photos © Kathy Chapman 2013

Video © Marty Luster 2013


  • Wow, even the big fishing boats are being sold off! I liked seeing the NOAA observer, but would love to see some herring and/or mackerel in the quantities that these vessels collect. Looks to me like there are opportunities shooting out at sea on a fishing trip. That’s where it all happens.


    • Couldn’t agree more. I’d sign on in a minute. However, the manager wasn’t even able to give us on – board access at the pier. It wasn’t his fault; he is a very nice guy.


    • Marty and Kathy, If there’s access, good deal, or when they arrive to offload. The Captain/Manager has the last word. Herring and Mackerel are beautiful little fish. Creamed herring – yum. Love smoked mackerel.


  • Sure is a nice one here thanks enjoyed the photos. 🙂


  • i’m saddened to read this.God Bles the fishermaen of Gloucester!


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