Fish Tales

Thirty six offices in two days, small boat fishermen in D.C.

Thirty six offices in two days, small boat fishermen in D.C.

Bradley Louw, a commercial fisherman for 15 years, was running on four hours of sleep in two days when he landed in Washington, D.C. during the week before the Memorial Day crush.
He had two days of 14 meetings scheduled with legislative offices and had bought a new shirt and tie, tag still on.
“It’s the only knot I don’t know how to tie,” the captain said with a laugh.

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From Jamaica’s Treasure Beach to Cape Cod (and back); “Jelly” Hill’s pragmatic vision

From Jamaica’s Treasure Beach to Cape Cod (and back); “Jelly” Hill’s pragmatic vision

Everyone in Jamaica has a nickname, a familiar name. For Anthony Hill it’s “Jelly,” and has been ever since he was little.
The name carried to Cape Cod, where he met his wife Sarah Robin 20 years ago and the two carved a life first working in Provincetown then owning and running the Flying Fish Restaurant in Wellfleet, busting ass season by season, investing in community and property, living what some might call the American Dream, understanding that the dream is not simple, easy, or clichéd.
“All de while,” as they say in Jamaica, Jelly kept Jamaican roots and aspirations.

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High quality fish should equal better price

High quality fish should equal better price

Steve Gennodie, owner of Chatham Pier Fish Market, was flying to Florida recently and saw an in-flight advertisement for scallops – from Japan.

“It’s a frozen, farm-raised product. It is just comical,” he said.

But Hokkaido Bay scallops sell for at least $3 less a pound than the ones buys fresh from Cape fishermen.  

When Japanese scallops are cooked it becomes clear local scallops are much better, but how do you get the average person to buy more expensive fish?

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What do herring mean to the Cape? Council wants to know.

What do herring mean to the Cape? Council wants to know.

With river herring populations rebounding, Harwich selectmen heard a proposal to open that town’s Herring River to harvest.
“This is a legacy,” said Selectman Don Howell, a member of the board when they shut the run down in 2004 because of low numbers. “We are good stewards.”
While the town has done its part, too many river herring heading to runs across the Cape are being caught offshore, beyond the limits of town and state regulations.
Ray Kane, outreach coordinator at the Fishermen’s Alliance, was at the Harwich meeting in early February. He supported Brad Chase from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and Don Yannuzzi, natural resources director in Harwich, in developing a re-opening plan.

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Lobster and a local connect Mac’s Seafood to Maine – Part 2

Lobster and a local connect Mac’s Seafood to Maine – Part 2

Billy Day helps manage a wharf in Machiasport, Maine and makes sure lobsters from the 60 boats that land there, as well as those that arrive in Stueben and Addison, get down to the Lobster Trap in Bourne and then to customers around the world. But the other day he was in the woods.
“He is cutting down some trees. Good, straight, spruce,” said Sam Bradford, chief operating officer of Mac’s Seafood, and Day’s boss.
The trees were going to Addison to repair the wharf that had flooded on Jan. 13 in one of the worst storms Maine has ever seen. Day was going to help rebuild the pier and raise it a couple of feet.

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Lobster and a local connect Mac’s Seafood to Maine

Lobster and a local connect Mac’s Seafood to Maine

Sam Bradford, tall and lanky, stood in a crowded hallway at the Lobster Trap in Bourne, dwarfed by hundreds of stacked white boxes printed with lobster in red letters and destined for places all over the world. 
Bradford, chief financial officer at Mac’s Seafood, had climbed the narrow stairs from the concrete floor below where lobsters were being sorted in an enormous, chilly room.
“We have a really good system; they are grading for shell quality and size,” Bradford said as gray crates filled with lobsters moved along watery tracks in a tank that can hold 100,000 pounds. “We have a 20- to 25-person crew during the day and eight at night. The first job is to pack the international stuff.” 

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A scalloper, a lobster boat and a fish market – Bradley Louw’s story

A scalloper, a lobster boat and a fish market – Bradley Louw’s story

When he was young, Bradley Louw wanted to be a professional windsurfer and found himself chasing waves on the Cape, doing some instructing, living on the wilder side out of his minivan. Louw felt a change was needed:

“I had three choices, the military, jail or commercial fishing. I heard there was good money in commercial fishing, so I chose that. It gave me purpose.”

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Herring: The battle resumes

Herring: The battle resumes

When John Our was a kid, he’d go out to sea with his father and see enormous factory trawlers from Russia and Poland catch so much herring it would take days to cut all the fish.

Small boats from the Cape that relied on groundfish wouldn’t stick around because once herring were gone, so were the cod and haddock that fed on them.

More than 50 years later, the foreign fleet is a memory, pushed beyond 200 miles by federal law. But there still is no herring.

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Move over Iceland, New England competes on quality

Move over Iceland, New England competes on quality

Anyone standing near the side door of Chatham Pier Fish Market this summer may have heard an unusual phrase as totes of glimmering black sea bass were brought into the building:

“Delivering the science!”

On one hot, sunny day Mike Holubesko, who works for Captain Ron Braun, was standing in the cool back section of the market with two totes of black bass, lobster-filled tanks gurgling in the background.

Holubesko, smiling after a day fishing, was waiting for Josh Goodrich, the market’s manager, to measure, weigh and assess 30 sea bass, while Braun was delivering the rest of his 500-pound catch to Red’s Best across the parking lot.

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