Category Archives: Beautiful Industry
The Wicked Tuna’s “Hard Merchandise”
I caught the Hard Merchandise from the TV Show Wicked Tuna unloading a few Bluefin Tuna at the State fish Pier this Summer. One of the Tv crew members said the shows they’re filming will air in February 2015. So you may get lucky and watch them film on the Gloucester waterfront. The Hard Merchandise has been fishing for years here in Gloucester way before the TV show. They dock at the wharf behind the Madfish Galleries on Rocky Neck. I’m sure all their Fans will enjoy these photo’s. Video’s coming soon.
Brown Pelican Pesticide Ban Success Story and Why This is Relevant to Gloucester Lobstermen and Our Community
When I was a young girl my family lived in Southern California for several years. I recall seeing few, if any, brown pelicans at our local beaches. Due to the widespread use of DDT in agriculture, brown pelicans on both the east and west coasts, along with other species of birds, were made nearly extinct. Pelicans incubate their eggs with the skin of their feet, essentially standing on the eggs to keep them warm. DDT caused thinning of the eggshells and when the pelican parents stood on the eggshells, the shells fractured and broke.
Preening Pelicans ~ You can tell that these two are young pelicans because their eyes, usually brown, turn blue during courtship.
During the 1960s brown pelican colonies along the Southern California coast had shrunk by more than 90 percent. For decades, a chemical plant had been discharging thousands of pounds of DDT into Los Angeles sewers. The toxic chemical was ingested by anchovies and other fish consumed by pelicans. The chemical altered the pelican’s calcium metabolism, which caused them to lay eggs with thinner shells. DDT-caused shell thinning also exterminated peregrine falcons in the east, and took a terrible toll on bald eagles and ospreys.
Insulation: After deep diving for fish, pelicans perch on rocks and preen. Pelicans feather’s keep them warm and dry; they do not actually get wet thanks to the oil in their preening gland. The glands secrete oily waxes and fats that they work into their feathers making them wind- and weatherproof, as well as providing insulation from the cold.
As a direct result of Rachel Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, in 1972 DDT was banned nationwide. The brown pelican has recovered ground and was delisted from the federally endangered species in 2009. Unfortunately, after DDT was banned, two years later Monsanto brought to market their glyphosate herbicide Round Up.
Brown Pelican Habitat ~ El Matador State Beach
While visiting Liv and Matt, we spotted pelicans everywhere and it was absolutely wonderful to see. They are magnificent birds with an extraordinary life story. Here are several links to learn more about the California brown pelican:
Today the lobster industry faces several major threats. Not only are the lobsters stressed from warming ocean waters and a protozoan parasite, but several pesticides used in massive mosquito spraying, including methoprene, malathion, and remethrin are linked to contributing to the collapse of the lobster fishery in the waters off Connecticut and New York. Lobsters are arthropods, which places them in the same phylum classification as mosquitoes and may help explain why they are affected. Lobster landings on Long Island Sound are of particular concern as they have declined from 3.7 million pounds in 1999 to 142,000 pounds in 2011.
Bearing in mind that worse chemicals are often used after specific chemicals are banned, the Maine Lobsterman’s Association is somewhat reluctant at this point to endorse banning specific pesticides until more comprehensive testing is done.
Gloucester lobsterman follow strict conservation guidelines. It would be very interesting to learn what they consider are the reason(s) for the declining population of lobsters in fisheries further south.
Our neighbor Melissa’s newest edition to her family, Lucy, the adorable labrador pup.
Pretty Down Here
Click images 2 times to see full screen…it’s way cool!
This tanker has been out there for over a month. We can see it from our house. Did some research on Marine Traffic.com. It states that it has limited maneuverability. It does state that it is at Latitude 42.39917 minus 70.6145. Does anyone know about this?
From Beth Story
Great to see the film of Joseph and Lucia fishing. Here is the boat at the beginning of her career as a highliner.
We walked through the door very late last night, at 2:30am, after several delays leaving LAX. I am hoping to have time to look through and post some photos tomorrow after catching up with work.
During the visit with Liv and Matt, my husband Tom was contacted by the Théâtre du Petit Hébertot regarding the use of one of my photos of Rocky Neck in the fog. The theatre company is performing the Israel Horovitz play Park Your Car in Harvard Yard and included the mockup poster in their request. I love the poster and hope they use it!
Received a request, on my Twitter account, from a Boston Photographer Scott Eisen looking for female commercial fisherwomen in the city of Gloucester. If anyone has some names please let me know and I will pass it along.
Thank you all
A lobsterman’s work is never done ~
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Our neighbor Steve Corbett invented the ChumCutter (he’s also an outstanding electrician). The ChumCutter has been featured on GMG previously by Joey and I think it just has to be the most practical Christmas present ever for your recreational or commercial fisherman.
“ChumCutter is used by all of the Wicked Tuna captains, as well as by loads of other fishermen along the Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf Coast, and even Australia! It’s saving them time and — as we all know — time is money.”