The decline of the Vineyard's fisheries has little to do with a lack of fish and more to do with lack of access, Island fishermen say. A new regulatory system tends to favor larger companies that can afford to purchase quota from other fishermen and reinvest in equipment.
Last weekend, dozens of surfcasters at Wasque Point could hardly believe their luck. The water churned with bluefish as fishermen reeled in catch after catch. “Some of the best fishing days I’ve ever had,” said Wayne Smith, an avid surfcaster.
Tim Broderick took a leap of faith when he sold his 55-foot fishing dragger Four Kids this summer, switching to oyster farming in Menemsha Pond with his father Stephen. But the Brodericks say the change is already paying off.
An Island-based group that includes fishermen, a documentary filmmaker and a world-renowned oceanographer are leading an unprecedented effort to create three marine protected areas in waters south of the Vineyard.
The Quitsa Strider II, an iconic fishing dragger that has long been synonymous with the working waterfront in Menemsha, has been sold to a New Bedford dealer. Matthew Mayhew and his father, Jonathan Mayhew, made their final run on the 72-foot dragger to New Bedford last Friday.
On Thursday night the Massachusetts marine fisheries advisory commission set the new commercial striped bass season to open on June 23 this year. Commissioners dropped the daily bag limit from 30 fish to 15 fish per fisherman. Rod and reel fishing permits are limited to two fish per day.