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: 9/9/14
In this episode:
Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest
National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.
More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.