NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Mark Abraham, who has fished the New England coast for decades, kept a sharp eye on his catch as the slimy haddock spilled onto a dockside conveyor belt. He had just returned from 10 frigid days at sea, among the most brutal he has spent.
“It’s probably been the worst winter in 10 years,” he said as workers sorted the fish by weight and slid them into bins. “It’s not even the ice that’s stopping you, it’s the wind. It’s too rough to fish. If it’s rough like that, you don’t catch anything.”
This winter has pounded much of New England with record snowfall, encased the region in a deep freeze that has kept the snow from melting, and disrupted work, school and lives in general for millions of residents. Here in New Bedford, the top commercial fishing port in the nation, the winter has also slowed commerce, as was instantly apparent from Mr. Abraham’s relatively meager haul.
He unloaded 18,800 pounds of haddock at the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction here; Richard Canastra, president of the auction, said that in good weather, Mr. Abraham might have brought in 40,000 pounds.
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