Fighting for changes to fishing regulations takes a long time, sometimes more than a decade. The Fishermen’s Alliance provides consistent and proactive action to make sure the Cape’s fishermen win. Some wins are big and splashy; others are small but noteworthy, like preventing harmful changes to just maintain the status quo.

Here’s a sample of our greatest hits:


Secured the option to use electronic video monitoring systems to meet observer requirements that prevent unreported discarding in order to rebuild fish populations.


After 15 years, midwater trawl vessels are finally prohibited from fishing in nearshore waters from Maine to Connecticut, so there is herring and mackerel to feed everything else and to end localized depletion. *Overturned by lawsuit.  New campaign to achieve protections is underway.

Secured exclusive access to Closed Area 1 for General Category Scallop vessels, so they don’t have to compete with big trip boats and travel unsafe distances.

Secured nationwide funding for fishermen training programs to ensure the next generation of fishermen through the passage of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act.

Provided over 1 million servings of Small Boat Big Taste Haddock Chowder to food banks across New England.


Led the Massachusetts Shellfish Initiative, a forum for prioritizing industry issues and developing solutions, along with the creation of a state-wide five year strategic plan for shellfish.

Ensured that dogfish were exempt from the recent federal shark protections, including the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which would have decreased the ex-vessel price and possibly tanked the entire dogfish market.


Coordinated fishermen collection of over 240 halibut samples to improve understanding of halibut biology and inform management.


Prevented the passage of a state bill that would prohibit the commercial catch of striped bass.

Our research on juvenile cod discard mortality rates is finally incorporated into the management of cod quota.


Secured a groundfish at-sea-monitoring exemption for the local monkfish, skate, and dogfish fishermen, saving more than $400,000 a year and protecting jobs for more than 60 fishing families.


Helped secure disaster funding for Cape Cod fishermen, who ultimately received more than $660,000 in relief.


Secured exempted fishing permit to study and land barndoor skate, to support the reopening of this fishery.


Hosted the first ever Outer Cape Seal Symposium to set the stage for future cross-disciplinary conversations about gray seal management.


Our research on selective fishing methods for haddock, combined with a Council campaign, created a new special access program for hook fishermen to catch haddock in Closed Area I, resulting in more stable and diversified businesses.


Helped secure federal funds to support cooperative research projects in New England, to improve fisheries science and support fishing businesses.


Piloted the first harvesting co-op approved in New England (the Hook Sector), allowing the Cape hook fleet to locally manage its own annual allocation of codfish.


We sued the federal government to change fishing regulations to better protect sensitive seafloor habitats.