Small Boats. Big Science.

In 2022, we launched Small Boats. Big Science. The series brings together our community, researchers, and commercial fishermen to discuss the latest scientific advancements and how they relate to our fleet, our environment, and our coastal communities.

John Pappalardo, chief executive officer of the Fishermen’s Alliance, said he had long been thinking of a series where local scientists share their ocean research. His idea came together thanks to the efforts of intern Rachel Barrales, a graduate student at Duke University, who spent several months with the Fishermen’s Alliance working on Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management.

Our organization has been empowered not only by what staff learns on the water, and from commercial fishermen who make their living on the sea, but also in meeting rooms with scientists.

With a changing climate, and changing seas, it’s essential to raise our level of awareness and our literacy when it comes to our threatened ecosystem because what makes Cape Cod special is the quality of our environment and our relationship to it.

The policy issues we work on, as well as the regulations commercial fishermen work under, are profoundly shaped by the health of our oceans. Fishermen often help power the scientific research that happens off our shore, the results of which helps sustain their businesses.

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For the small boat fisheries to thrive, and the Cape’s unique community to succeed, everyone must learn about and discuss the risks and possibilities associated with a changing ocean.

Small Boats Big Science. is meant as an opportunity to bring everyone together to learn so we can better address the challenges that lie ahead.

The series is a next step from Meet the Fleet, an educational event that features fishermen talking about their catch and Cape chefs preparing it so attendees can enjoy local fare and learn how to make it at home.

At the inaugural Small Boats. Big Science. event Glen Gawarkiewicz, a physical oceanographer with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was joined by Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Center to talk about “Arctic Changes – From the Arctic to You,” how accelerating climate change is impacting oceans.

Watch the Small Boats. Big Science. Videos