Dec 29, 2021 | A Day in Photos

Hook Association members’ efforts to get John Pappalardo on the council included demonstrations in Boston.

They say a photo is worth a thousand words, the images in the gallery are at least that. They tell the story of our journey and all the people who helped us along the way – many of whom are going to be with us as we navigate the next 30 years. They also provide a fun look back at our younger selves and the issues we campaigned for. Thanks for being part of our history, present and future. .

Sherrill Smith, fisherman, writer, and minister was the first executive director of the Hook Association. He was described as a great conciliator.

Lori Lefevre, now Steele, met Hook Association president Mark Leach when she was doing her thesis on groundfish in New England. When she got out of graduate school Leach offered her a job as executive director. Here she is on Leach’s boat the F/V Sea Holly.

Paul Parker went to Duke with Lefevre and was living in Chatham when she introduced him to the Hook Association. He took over after Lefevre took a job at the New England Fishery Management Council and helped grow the nonprofit.

John Pappalardo, like Parker, fished to earn a living during the Hook Association’s early days. He was immersed in policy in the early years and took over as chief executive officer in 2010, he also has served on the New England Council for close to 20 years.

Mark Simonitsch was with the Hook Association in the early days and said the group’s ability to strategize and unite on a common cause was key to its success.

Hook Association members were involved in a lot of scientific research that helped shape policy, including many studies around cod.

The Fishermen’s Alliance has always benefited from community support and engagement. The Hookers Ball has been a successful fundraiser and educational event. The first was held in 2001. Image courtesy of Connie Loomis.

The Hook Association, with some controversy, began representing all small-boat gear types on the Cape to better protect the peninsula’s fishing tradition.

Under the leadership of Paul Parker, the organization raised $4 million to buy quota from retiring Cape fishermen and others. The Fisheries Trust was designed to lease quota to local fishermen at affordable rates. Here Provincetown Captains Beau Gribbin and Scott Rorro talk about the importance of the trust to local media.

Over the years, the Hook Association and Fishermen’s Alliance have launched many programs that help the community and fishermen – one of those is Fish for Families with the Family Pantry of Cape Cod. Captain Kurt Martin supplies a youngster with scup during one of the early distributions.

Greg Walinski, one of the early members of the Hook Association, said the non-profit’s work protecting fisheries, such as dogfish, benefited the fleet. Photo by David Hills/Fishy Pictures who has captured many fishing moments over the years.

Captain Mike Anderson is one of many retired fishermen who have helped make the Pier Program a success and talked to tens of thousands of visitors to the Chatham Fish Pier about the importance of the commercial fisheries.

The Fishermen’s Alliance has always had a strong intern program and many staff and volunteers go on to take important jobs in the fisheries. Nicola Meserve, far right, works at the Division of Marine Fisheries and Eric Brazer, to her right, is the deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance.

The organization has consistently fought for habitat protection and economic growth and worked with scallopers to open valuable bottom off the Cape while protecting groundfish habitat.

Mel Sanderson, chief operating officer, started as an intern close to 20 years ago and has filled virtually every role in the organization and has helped drive all policy and advocacy initiaitives.

Whether it is working with Congressman Gerry Studds and Sen. John Kerry, having Congressman Bill Delahunt visit the office in the early days, or traveling to Washington, D.C. numerous times to advocate on issues that protect small boat fisheries, the organization has always been engaged in the political arena. That work continues today as board members, fishermen and staff gave Sen. Ed Markey a tour of the fish pier.

Our recent herring campaign drew on fishermen as well as community organizations and officials across the Cape and beyond. The effort to protect forage fish and help rebuild traditional fisheries took close to a decade, but the benefits to the ecosystem are well worth it. Photo by Chris Seufert, who in the organization’s early days produced a video for the Hook Association that drew national attention.

The objectives the Hook Association fought for in its original lawsuit – habitat protection, stopping overfishing and preserving sustainable fishing – are what the organization’s mission is built on today.


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