By Elizabeth Saito
On Monday evening, December 1, two fishermen from Chatham handed out frozen fillets of dogfish caught last month in the waters off Cape Cod to clients of the Falmouth Service Center’s food pantry.
A little past 5 PM, Tammy M. Corey of Woods Hole pushed her cart down the food counter to where the two fishermen, Doug R. Feeney and Luther J. Bates, stood by a freezer. Ms. Corey gladly accepted the 1 1/2-pound-bag of fillets. “I never pass on fresh fish,” she said.
Ms. Corey works part time in the prepared foods section of a grocery store deli, but said she does not make enough money to afford buying expensive foods like fish. “Usually the only time I get it is when friends catch it,” she said with a laugh.
Mr. Bates told her dogfish is “very versatile” and could be fried, baked, or ground up into fish cakes. Ms. Corey said she would probably bake the fish or make it into a chowder. “It’s so healthy for you,” she said.
The fish was supplied to the service center by The Family Pantry of Cape Cod in Harwich, which has been partnering with Chatham fishermen to make local fish available to needy families since August 2013. A combination of local grants is making it possible for that pantry to buy fish from local fishermen at a market rate and distribute it to needy residents. The initiative satisfies three objectives: it supports the local fishing industry, provides a healthy source of protein to people who otherwise could not afford it, and helps expand the market for locally abundant but commercially underutilized fish species.
“We’re importing cod from Iceland, instead of eating delicious whitefish from our waters,” said Nancy A. Civetta, communications director for the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s alliance, who was on hand Monday night with the fishermen.
1566 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633