Fish Tales

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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Hookers Ball launches $2.5 million endowment

Hookers Ball launches $2.5 million endowment

John Pappalardo commercially fished for close to a decade until fishermen thought he should quit his day job and focus on his volunteer work: Being a voice for the fleet at the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association.

Fast forward 20 years and Pappalardo is chief executive officer of the successful organization that is now the Fishermen’s Alliance. But during COVID Pappalardo had a recurring nightmare:

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Red’s Best fish pier manager makes summer craze look fun

Red’s Best fish pier manager makes summer craze look fun

Although Brandon Vieira gets up before dawn, his day usually starts hours before.

“I wake up to 10-15 text messages, maybe a few missed calls,” said Vieira.

Vieira manages the Chatham fish pier operation for Red’s Best, so wants it that way. He has asked fishermen to let him know when they are heading out and what they are bringing in. Sometimes that’s at 2 am.

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Meet Economic Development Manager Katie Curran

Meet Economic Development Manager Katie Curran

Katie Curran remembers the excitement of catching a fish as a child, the wonder of what might be on the hook. Now she loves fishing just as much and appreciates the peace and satisfaction it brings, how careful study yields welcome results.

“I think of fishing as more than catching a fish. I like learning different techniques and there is effort in learning how to be good,” Curran said. “I don’t look at fishing as something I do, more as an extension of myself.”

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The story of Cap’n Cass continues thanks to Michelle Lamy

The story of Cap’n Cass continues thanks to Michelle Lamy

George Morton moved to Orleans from Central Massachusetts when he was in his 30s. Before he purchased the Rock Harbor Coffee Shop in the 1960s, he became part of the cast of characters who fished out of the port.

Their camaraderie is why Morton became “Cass a Boo Boo” and the restaurant “Cap’n Cass.” It’s also why Michelle Lamy is painstakingly striving to keep the unique personality of the place alive.

“It’s an iconic establishment needing preservation. I’m into preservation,” she said.

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