Category Archives: Fishermen Profiles

Maritime Gloucester Looking For Help From Local Lobstermen

Hi Joey,

Hope all is well. We are currently looking for lobstermen to assist us with stocking our touch tanks and other aquariums this spring and summer. We would be highly interested in having anyone you know assist with the collection of local marine species for live display in our Aquarium. Any unusual lobsters, skates, or other creatures would be much appreciated starting in May. We will happily take care of transporting sea creatures from your facility to Harbor Loop. If you have any interest in helping out Maritime Gloucester in this way, please let me know.

Thanks you!
Curtis Sarkin
Marine Science Educator
Internship Coordinator
Maritime Gloucester

Hot Ticket Lobsterman Shawn Pizzo

A lobsterman’s work is never done ~ 

Shawn Pizzo Gloucester Lobsterman Hot Ticket Boat ©Kim Smith 2014I couldn’t resist the title of the post–the name of Shawn’s boat is the “Hot Ticket.” Many thanks to Shawn for granting permission to photograph and post photos on GMG.

Shawn Pizzo Gloucester Lobsterman Hot Ticket Boat  -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Shawn Pizzo Gloucester Lobsterman Hot Ticket Boat  -3 ©Kim Smith 2014Shawn Pizzo Gloucester Lobsterman Hot Ticket Boat  -9 ©Kim Smith 2014Shawn Pizzo Gloucester Lobsterman Hot Ticket Boat  -10 ©Kim Smith 2014See more photos here Read more

When The Moonies Came To Town

Adam Bolonsky writes-

I remember when the Unification Church (the Moonies) arrived Gloucester in the late 70’s and started bluefin fishing. It was a complex time, and thinking about it recently, I came across these reminiscences from Colleen Christian, a Moonie who moved to Gloucester to fish on one of the two dozen or so Gloucester bluefin boats the Moonies brought to the waterfont. Moonie crews fished with handlines for bluefin. Some crews were made up of only women. Anyhow, I got a kick out of the anecdote below, especially the part where a moonie from the Bronx teaches a Gloucester bluefin moonie crew how to respond to Moonies suck!

Colleen writes:

My first assignment in Gloucester was on a bluefin boat that went to the Northwest Corner, this huge bank, a rise in the ocean floor, where the water is about a hundred feet deep, ideal for bluefin tuna fishing. Soon after we we got there, there was a strike on one of the boats in there. When you hook a bluefin, first thing you do is, the first mate releases the anchor – attached to a big orange buoy ball – so that when you land your fish you can retrieve your anchor. In our fleet, it was permissible for any of our boats to come over and take the anchor of a Moonie boat that had just hooked up, the reasoning being, if one boat caught a tuna in that spot, another boat would, too.

So that’s what we did. Soon after we moved to the other boat’s mooring ball, I heard the snap of one of the clips holding our handlines. Our captain barked out orders to release the anchor and to pull in all the our other lines. 

It was pandemonium and utter confusion, and so another boat in our fleet motored over to help. This big German guy jumped on board with us to us. He and I pulled in the extra lines and our captain took the fighting line to the bow. After a half hour, I took the fighting line, and that’s how it went, back and forth, for over two hours. , and it went on, like that, for two hours, his turn, my turn. 

The fish we landed weighed 550 lbs. When we got it within a few feet of our boat, I gaffed it, and we inserted one line through its gills, another around its tail, and we tied it off alongside low enough in the water to keep cool for the trip home.

The big thing to do in was moon us. People in Gloucester knew us and knew our cars, and they would drive by us and pull their pants down and show us their butts. They’d yell, 

“Moonies suck! Moonies suck!”

But there was a brother in our church who was kind of a bad dude before he joined the church. He was from the Bronx, and he knew how to answer Moonies suck. He said,

“When they yell Moonies suck, you yell, Your mother sucks! Your sister sucks!

So we did. They yelled Moonies suck at us. And we yelled back, Your mother sucks!! And they yelled, My mother sucks?! You suck! and from there it would escalate.

woman moonie bluefin

Photo: Nancy Breyfogel, Susan Fox, Jane Rees and Lois Ramunnihad stand with a Moonie bluefin they landed in Gloucester in the early 1980’s. “Like anyone else,” Lois said, “I wanted to try it because it sounded exciting. It was something new.”

Seafood Myths That pretentious Foodies Will Try To Sell You On…

You know those pretentious “Foodies” that think they know everything there is to know about Seafood?

The next time you’re invited to a cocktail party and they start in on how “Monkfish tastes just like lobster.” You know what you tell them?

Get out my face sucka!” 

That’s got to be one of the biggest laughs know to anyone who has handled or tried monkfish.  Not even close.  But you’ll hear every foodie spout it out.  Idiots.

Next up is that skatewings taste just like scallops.  Another idiotic statement.  You know back in the late 80s early 90s there were days that we’d handle over 10,000lbs of skatewings at under 20 cents a lb.  And some marketing guru at a rag like today’s “Edible Boston” probably got some idea to pitch the idea that skatewing tasted like scallops and the mindless lemmings that most Foddies are, they bought it hook, line and sinker.

You want to know the best underutilized species?  Well I’ll tell you.  Number one and my all time favorite fish fried similar to smelt is Whiting.

Another great one is ocean catfish (also called wolfish).

Idiots.

Monkfish, just like lobster. Winking smile

Skatewing, just like scallops. Winking smile

August 11, 2011 016

So next time you’re at the cocktail party with the pretentious foodie, you tell them to keep the monkfish and skatewing on their side of the table and push the lobster and scallops your way.

Painting – Meeting of Gloucester Boats on Rum-Row From Bill Hubbard and More About The Arethusa

Joey,

Here is my Painting, “Meeting On Rum-Row”

It’s 1932,  Prohibition and two former Gloucester fishing schooners meet up with the US Coast Guard’s 75’ patrol boat, CG-100 which was then based in Gloucester.  They are on Rum-Row, 3 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey.  The coast guard is charged with patrolling the 3 Mile Territorial Limit to protect against the illegal entry of liquor into the US.

On the left is the 100 ft. Sch. H.L. Marshall and on the right is the 110 ft. Sch.  Arethusa.  Both were Essex-built and had been high-liners among the Gloucester fishing fleet.  They were purchased by the legendary bootlegger,  Bill “The Real” McCoy of Florida.  Both were rebuilt, strengthened and had their twin auxiliary engines replaced.  The Arethusa had a new ten ft. bowsprit added to accommodate a flying jib and increase her carrying capacity to 16,000 cases of liquor.  The Marshall carried 15,000 cases They were operating out of the Bahamas under British registry.  At that time the Arethusa’s name was changed to Tomoka after McCoy’s home port in Florida.  They were fast under sail or power and the nemises of the US Coast Guard.  At the height of his career, McCoy operated six former fishing schooners, hauling illegal booze from the Bahamas, Cuba, Bermuda,  Jamaica and St. Pierre & Miquellen Islands off Newfoundland.  Those cases, offloaded on Rum-Row to fast small boats and landed in the US earned McCoy $10/case.  The Marshall carried 1,500 cases and the Arethusa 1,600 and would earn him $31,000 cash

Rum-row was the 3 mile territorial limit of US legal jurisdiction off our coastline at the time.  The federal boats had no jurisdiction outside the limit and the smart rum-runners stayed outside to avoid capture.  McCoy operated one and hired young, seasoned fishing captains to skipper his other boats.  His boats were mounted with Bofors and Colt Machine guns – not to battle the Coast Guard but, as protection against mob-owned hi-speed boats that cruised the “row”  and hi-jacked unprotected ships.  McCoy earned the nickname, The Real McCoy because he refused to buy his liquor from the mobsters and guaranteed it was not watered down.

Eventually, McCoy was captured by what he and many others claimed to be a very unscrupulous trick by the Coast Guard.   My next painting in this series will be the show-down between his Schooner Tomoka/Arethusa and the cutter Seneca.

Bill Hubbard

Meeting on Rum-Row

Joey’s  note:

Our Lobsterman Tommy Burns named his boat The Arethusa after Bill “The Real” McCoy’s Schooner Arethusa.

Paul Frontiero Photo-

Check out Paulie Walnuts Post Here-

Arethusa 04/22/12

Arethusa

Definition: Arethusa was a nymph, possibly the daughter of an Arcadian river god, and a follower of the virgin goddess Artemis. One day as she was bathing, she discovered the river god Alpheus desired her, so she fled. She ran as far as the island of Syracuse, but he kept up. In desperation, Arethusa called on Artemis to defend her. Artemis did what she could. She transformed Arethusa into a spring, but according to Pausanias, the nymph didn’t remain pure even in her transformed state. Alpheus had himself transformed into a river running under the spring so that the waters of river and spring might mingle. AND KNOW YOU KNOW.

There are also these videos from Ben who came up and had a short stint aboard the Tommy’s Arethusa-

You may remember Ben from his brief stint as a lobsterman aboard Tommy Burns’ Arethusa and the Cartoon That Was Made About His Experience-

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Update: According to Mary Kay At @MaritimeGlou we’ve Got Ourselves a Vagina

Mary Kay from Maritime Gloucester writes in-

I’m going to go with Thetys vagina. That is the actual scientific name for the organism, not a joke. For more info see http://eol.org/pages/510608/overview.

Landed this morning at Captain Joe and Sons-

From eol.org-

Image of Thetys vagina

I put out the challenge to see who could identify it first and Mary Kay from Mariotime Gloucester as usual kicked the New England Aquariums butt all over the place.

That’s Allota Fagina if I do say so myself.

Financial Future for Fishing Industry On Broadside With Jim Braude On NECN Watch The Video-

Can the Gloucester, Massachusetts, fishing fleet survive with no fish? John Bullard, the NOAA administrator who ordered ban on cod fishing in Gulf of Maine, and Jackie Odell, the executive director of Northeast Seafood Coalition, joined NECN to discuss the depleting resource.

Click for video-

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Read The Globe: Future for fishermen bleak under cod ban By Laura Crimaldi | Globe Staff November 12, 2014

Future for fishermen bleak under cod ban

By Laura Crimaldi

 

GLOUCESTER — On the cusp of what is effectively a six-month ban on cod fishing, Russell Sherman could have spent Tuesday on the Gulf of Maine trying to catch what he could.

Instead, he never left Jodrey State Pier, opting to work on repairs to the 72-foot fishing vessel he wants to sell, rather than make a final run for cod. And he had harsh words for the federal officials who oversee the fishing industry.

“They say, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry, boys. We got to do this. We got to do it for the fish,’ ” Sherman, 66, said from the Lady Jane. “ ‘Now go out of business quietly, will you.’ ”

The death knell, Sherman and other fishermen said, was sounded Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which announced emergency measures intended to protect cod populations from further decline. The new rules go into effect Thursday.

For the entire story click here

Lost Lobster gear

Sarah “Tee” Wall submits-

Good Morning Joey,
As you are tied into the lobstering community, I am hoping you can help.
The attached photos show a number of traps and buoys that washed up on the beach at Diamond Cove (Davis Neck end) during the first big storm (10/23/14).  They can only be accessed at low tide as they are so heavy that they don’t float or show during high tide.  One of the names on the traps is Bob Beloff, I believe of Rockport.  If anyone knows these lobstermen, we would very much appreciate it if they retrieve the traps before they are buried further in the sand.
Many thanks for your help!

Phyllis A’s Moving Tuesday 11/11

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2eda478ea962425833e58161d/images/398bf474-afc6-41c4-b383-2b2f515d3b01.jpg

Phyllis A’s Moving

Tuesday 11/11
(or Wednesday – depending on weather)

We have changed the restoration plan, with the immanent State Funding, and tomorrow the Phyllis A will be launched off the Railway, lifted with the Travel Lift, and moved to a repair spot in the parking lot of the Gloucester Marine Railways.
This move and funding allows restoration work to progress from the Community Preservation funding work, in the stern, straight through to the bow!

It should be very exciting day!

We will post the final plans/ any changes tomorrow morning, in case you want to come see!

Keep watch!

Such exciting things are happening!!!!!

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visit our website

Updat:

Phyllis A’s
Moving Update

During afternoon coffee, I got updates from Doug…
After lunch on November 11, the Phyllis A will be launched, floated around to the Travel Lift and lifted into the parking lot.
As long as all goes well, everything should be done by 2pm. (IF they run into any issues, things may hold off until Wednesday. But everything is going to be just Fiiiine.)
So come on by the Gloucester Marine Railways and watch the fun.

Madhouse Today…

I swear you couldn’t dream up this scene to paint it just the way it was at that very moment when I snapped the shot in between offloading boats.

You couldn’t have dreamed up the clouds or the sun breaking through at just the right angle to lead straight down the harbor to our dock. You couldn’t have dreamed up the lobster boats waiting to offload at just the right perpendicular locations to frame the shot on either side of the lobster boat’s mast that was tied up at the dock. Picture perfect.

Sometimes amid the madness you don’t really have time to take it all in because you’re ass deep in work but that one capture you managed to fire off brings it all back and reminds you that yes indeed, it wasn’t a dream.

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