The view from the back deck at The Gloucester House on Wednesday was of a pristine, late-summer afternoon, with sunshine streaming through a cloudless sky and glinting off the deep blue harbor in a tableau suitable for framing.
The view through Al Cottone's eyes, though he sat on the very same deck, was far different.
Where the uninitiated might have seen the quaint calm of New England's famous port, Cottone continues to see inaction and the economic withering of one of the world's great commercial fishing fleets.
Where someone who doesn't fish for a living might have seen glorious sunshine slowly edging toward evening, Cottone, the owner and captain of the 45-foot Sabrina Maria, saw only saw dark clouds figuratively massing on the horizon.
"I haven't been out (fishing) in a month," Cottone said. "I'm like everyone else. Everyone is devastated."
It is a common lament throughout the harbor, as the city's commercial fishing fleet struggles through one of the worst years in its long and vivid history, a year in which NOAA slashed groundfish quotas based on scientific data that fisherman not only question, but suspect to be purposefully inaccurate.
Their distrust of the federal regulators is palpable and deep. Perhaps worse, that exodus of that trust now seems to have taken all their hope with it.
"There used to 16 boats tied up right around where we are now," said veteran fisherman Joe Orlando, owner and skipper of the Padre Pio. "Now there's one. Mine."
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.