Discarded Fishing Line Presents Lethal Tangle for Birds, Wildlife
Mark Alan Lovewell

With the fall fishing season about to begin, there is a renewed warning out to shore fishermen to be careful not to litter the landscape. Spent fish line left on the ground can be a killer to wildlife.

In July an osprey chick was killed when it got entangled in a monofilament fish line.

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Blue Mussel Test
Mark Alan Lovewell

The initial success of the Island’s offshore blue mussel aquaculture efforts could lead to real new jobs on the Vineyard, at a time when costs are up for fishermen but seafood prices are not keeping pace.

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Striper Wars Writer Talks About New Threats to Fish

Striper Wars author Dick Russell talks about efforts to save a troubled fishery, on Wednesday, August 27, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Chilmark Public Library.

When populations of striped bass began plummeting in the early 1980s, author and fisherman Dick Russell was there to lead an Atlantic coast conservation campaign that resulted in one of the most remarkable wildlife comebacks in the history of fisheries.

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Crab Blues
Mark Alan Lovewell

This has not been a good blue crab season on the Vineyard. The Edgartown Great Pond is doing poorly compared with last year and there are lackluster reports from the Island’s other coastal ponds.

But that is the story with blue crabs. Some years the fishing is great and some years it is bad. Feast or famine and nothing much between.

Blue crabs and the state of the fishery, which is largely unregulated, is the subject of a public hearing in Tisbury next month.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

August can be a tough month for catching striped bass. It isn’t that the fish have gone south or disappeared, but they are certainly into their warm water August state of mind.

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Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum
Sam Bungey

By SAM BUNGEY

A painting of a well-known Menemsha-based trawler by Heather Neill has been given to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum by an anonymous donor. The eight by four-foot painting, titled Strider’s Surrender, evokes the decline the local fishing industry.

The Quitsa Strider II is owned by respected Island fishermen Jonathan Mayhew. In a move symbolic of the dire state of the local fishing industry, Mr. Mayhew sold his federal permits last year, giving up his license and putting up the vessel itself for sale.

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Event Focuses on Vineyard Fishermen

Mark Alan Lovewell will present Fish Stories: Tales and Songs of Vineyard Fishermen, on Tuesday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

Mr. Lovewell, who works as reporter and photographer at the Vineyard Gazette, has been writing and singing songs about the Vineyard’s maritime history for many years.

On this evening, he will shift his attention to the commercial and recreational fishermen of the Island community. What makes a lobster pot work? Who are these fishermen and where do they go? What makes them laugh?

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Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day

Freshwater fishermen on the Vineyard who are interested in learning the mercury content of their catch are asked to call Alanna Purdy at 914-400-9241 to arrange for pickup and free analysis. The project is being sponsored by the Natural Resources Department of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

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The Fisherman
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The days this summer for eating locally caught fluke on the Vineyard are coming to a close.

Fluke, also called summer flounder, are a flat fish. Their fillets are white and tasty, and most come from Vineyard Sound. Since the start of the summer, fluke have been the catch of the day.

On Tuesday, the state closed the commercial season for landing fluke, based on projected estimates that the state quota had been met.

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Ocean Suffers When Menhaden Go Missing
Mark Alan Lovewell

Overfishing may be the buzz word on the waterfront to explain the decline of many stocks of fish around Vineyard waters, but it isn’t heard often enough when it comes to explaining the loss of bait fish.

On Wednesday night at the Chilmark Public Library, a lone man stood before an audience of anglers and commercial fishermen to report the worst environmental tale needing to be told is the loss of one of the most valued forage fish in the ocean, which used to swim in abundance in these waters but is almost gone — menhaden.

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