The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance debuted a new community radio show this weekend. “Voices from the Wheelhouse” will bring the experiences and opinions of fishing captains to audiences on WOMR 92.1 FM and WFMR 91.3 FM.
Cape Cod Fisheries Trust Director Seth Rolbein, an award-winning documentary filmmaker on National Public Television and independent radio producer on National Public Radio, will have conversations with fishermen onboard their boats about a handful of fishing topics — how they got into fishing, how they came to buy their first boat, how their fishery operates, among others.
"Our fishermen contribute much more than great fresh seafood in our markets and restaurants, they develop sustainable fishing practices, work to protect our oceans, and provide Cape Cod seafood to hungry families in need," says Rolbein in the broadcast introduction. "Their stories, their voices, their lives, connect us to both a historic past and a healthy future."
For the first episode of the series, which you can listen to online, Rolbein spoke with Nick Muto, captain of the Dawn T out of Chatham, Mass.
The 44-foot gillnetter spends the majority of the year offshore — fishing skates and monkfish near Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard in the first half of the year, looking for cod off George’s Bank in the summer and some tuna fishing in the fall. He also owns a lobster boat which operates from April into the early winter.
Muto says he was looking for jobs on the water when he got his start in fishing about 15 years ago. He told a captain, “Love it or hate it, I’ll give you a full season,” got a job and the rest is history. “I really got bit by the fishing bug,” he says.
Rolbein asks Muto about the ins-and-outs of gilnetting, why he targets specific fisheries and what his average year looks like. The also get into electronic monitoring, the fishing tradition in the state and the need to be flexible as a full-time fisherman.
The program is meant to provide a forum for fishermento talk about their lives on the water, sharing fish tales, insights, frustrations and hopes for tomorrow and the next generation.
As the farm-local food movement grows in strength, so too, should the fish-local movement. Fishermen's Alliance communications director Nancy Civetta will share recipes featuring the seafood the fishermen catch at the end of each episode.