Island fishermen gathered for a dinner meeting at the Home Port Restaurant last week. The guest speaker was Niaz Dorry, a director with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, based in Windham, Me.

She compared the plight of the small-town commercial fisherman to that of the family farm, and as with small farming, she painted a picture of hope amid innovation.

Ms. Dorry told the gathering of mostly up-Island fishermen that concerted steps are being taken in New England to protect small fishing communities. Describing how distant the seafood industry has become from the consumer, she said the recent locavore movement has sparked a fresh outlook in small fishing.

Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from — and the closer to home the better. Ms. Dorry said a group of Gloucester fishermen have formed a fishing version of a CSA (community supported agriculture), a program where consumers join a cooperative by paying a sum of money, and then collecting their produce — or in this case catch — every week. She said the Community Supported Fishing (CSF) in Gloucester already has 1,000 members. Through the year, CSF members will receive a variety of seafood products caught and landed by local fishermen.

The free dinner and talk were sponsored by Bob and Sarah Nixon, owners of the Home Port. Flounder for the dinner was donated by Dennis Jason Jr. who owns the 42-foot wooden dragger Little Lady. There were other contributors as well.

The evening also included tributes for two widely respected fishermen who died this year: Eric Cottle and Tom Osmers.

Gregory Mayhew, who owns the 75-foot steel dragger Unicorn, gave the tribute for Mr. Cottle, who died April 2 at the age of 92. Mr. Mayhew described Mr. Cottle as simply one of the best. He said he and his brother Jonathan were always happy to receive advice and encouragement from the man many considered a senior statesman among fishermen.

Steve Norberg, owner of the 55-foot fishing boat Corrina, gave the tribute for Tom Osmers, the Codfather, who died March 12 at the age of 57. Mr. Mayhew spoke of Mr. Osmers’s success, against all odds, in working with the leadership of the New England Fishery Management Council. “We couldn’t have had a better advocate for the fisherman,” Mr. Norberg said. He also said: “He did his own thing — most of the time.”

Warren Doty, the cochairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Dukes County Fishermen’s Association, introduced the speakers. And by unanimous vote, the group elected a board of directors which includes Warren Doty, Jonathan Mayhew, Steve Norberg, Michelle Jones, Buddy Vanderhoop, Wes Brighton and Billy Alwardt.

Great Weather, Good Fishing

There were 67 fishermen entered in the Dick’s Bait and Tackle Shop Memorial Day weekend fishing tournament. And while the fish were out there, they didn’t start showing up at the weigh-in until later in the weekend.

The heaviest striped bass and overall heaviest fish was caught by Capt. Jeff Canha of Vineyard Haven. The fish weighed 25.9 pounds. Capt. Ed Jerome of Edgartown weighed in an 8.9-pound bluefish and took first place.

Captain Canha, 46, said he caught the striper at 8:30 Saturday morning off the north shore. He said he used a legal-sized scup for bait. Also on board was Ralph Buck. While they both had fish on at the same time, Mr. Buck lost his fish.

Mr. Canha has now won the tournament five times.

Doug Asselin, who runs the store when Steve Morris is off doing errands, said the anglers were enthusiastic about the weekend of great weather and good fishing. Tournament participation this year was down.

Captain Canha said there was plenty of fish, although not so many big ones. He also said there was a lot of seaweed fouling lines. During the week, he teaches automotive and marine technologies at the regional high school.

Cash prizes for the three-day-plus contest were awarded Monday afternoon.

The winners are as follows: Boat striped bass: 1, Jeff Canha, 25.9; 2, Bill Aibel, 19.6; 3, Trevor Maciel, 19.0. Shore striped bass, 1, Ken Anderson, 21.2; 2, Pat Toomey, 18.1; 3, Bob Jacobs, 16.3. Boat bluefish: 1, Ed Jerome, 8.9; 2, Keith Olsen, 8.6; 3, Ralph Buck, 7.7. Shore bluefish: 1, Jonathan Cornwell, 8.1; 2, Tom Hiatt, 7.1; 3, Jim Cornwell, 6.8.