As the 2015 fishing year kicks off, fishermen are uncertain and worried about what the future will bring. An April 29 Glocuester Daily Times article sums up the current climate in our local fishery:
“It’s familiar refrain along the Gloucester waterfront. The only certainty is nothing is certain.”
GDT reporter Sean Horgan spent the day down on the docks talking to local fishermen to get their feedback on the launch of the new fishing year.
Captain Paul Vitale of the f/v Angela Rose summed up his thoughts by noting “There really is no way to plan. The way things are going, you can’t really plan because they just keep changing everything.”
Fishermen will have to stay away from cod due to the historically low allocation for the new year, a task that is easier said than done in our multispecies fishery. Instead they are hoping to scrape by by targeting some lesser known species like pollock and redfish as well as haddock, which is one of the few success stories of recent years. The article also notes that “Offshore fishermen on bigger boats, with greater range and capacity, will be able to exploit a greater versatility in the areas they fish and the species they target.” This isn’t an option for much of the fleet, which is primarily made of smaller scale day-boats. And, as we know, fishing far from shore is not the best scenario for the bigger boats since it carries higher risks and a much bigger oil bill.
The new fishing year is sure to bring with it a new set of challenges, but if our local fleet has proved anything to date, it has surely showed it’s resilience and perseverance despite the hardships of recent years.
You can read the whole GDT article and watch the associated interview footage by clicking here.