Chatham’s identity is wrapped up in its fish pier, the most visited spot in town, among the most popular vantages on the entire Cape. The pier on Shore Road exemplifies the term “working waterfront” and figures prominently in the town’s economy, history and culture. Many artists have tried to capture its essence. In the pictures that follow, Christine Walsh Sanders gets right into the thick of it, offering her sense of a day in the life of the real work at hand, up close with people offloading one of the port’s current staples, dogfish.
Tim Linnell, captain of the Perry’s Pride II, backs into the Chatham Fish Pier with a full load of dogfish. His crew, his son Jonas, assists.
Mike Davis of the David Michael comes in with a boat-tilting catch, most of which will head overseas
Rebecca Putnam and Captain John Our hoist up.
Dogfish, maneuvered here by Josh Neal, are a mainstay of the summer fishery, as are skates
Captain Dave Gelfman concentrates as he puts his fish in totes.
About 8.4 million pounds of dogfish crossed the pier in 2017.
Fishing days are long and labor intensive, fishermen can go a month without a day off.
Fish travel up to be packed much as they have for decades.
Some fishermen truck their own product.