Whine-in at the Weigh-in, Ted Collins Goes Kayak Fishing
Mark Alan Lovewell
There are two things fishermen like to complain about: the lack of fish and the weather. There has certainly been plenty of complaining going on inside and outside the derby weigh station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. The fish are out there but they are not available to all anglers.
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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The best of the fin fishing season is far from over, but already attention shifts to the start of the bay scallop season. Oct. 1 was traditionally the start for the recreational season. Not so anymore, except in Edgartown.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

As the farmer brings in the last vegetables, in autumn the lobsterman’s season is starting to slow down.

Capt. Paul MacDonald of the lobsterboat Shearwater was putting some of his yellow-wire pots away at the dock at Menemsha Tuesday afternoon. “It was a good season, though I had to work hard to make the same amount of money as last year,” the captain said.

There is good and bad news in the stories he and others shared about his past summer.

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Ferrying Fish
Mark Alan Lovewell

Alec Gale had a great summer. With the economic engine in the country not powering, his entrepreneurship is helping to propel the Island’s oldest industry; Mr. Gale helped a number of Menemsha-based commercial fishermen make a living this summer.

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Sharing the Ocean
Mark Alan Lovewell

The most stressed-out fish of the sea, the false albacore, made an appearance a week ago. They scared the bonito away and now it seems as though both are absentee.

False albacore and bonito are among the fastest swimming fish of these waters from late August to October. They are a finicky warmer weather fish. It is hard to write a sentence about one without mentioning the other in the same paragraph.

But the prevailing northeast winds of the last few days have cut down on a lot of the boat fishing.

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Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum
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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Jaws Clenched on Both Sides as Protests Meet Shark Fishers
Alexander Trowbridge

The 22nd annual two-day monster shark tournament in Oak Bluffs ended Saturday with a total of 27 sharks caught and submitted, the largest of which was a 399-pound thresher. The team on the Waterbury caught the shark Friday, beating the other 200 boats in the tournament. Their prize was an $80,000 boat.

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Striped Bass and Bluefish Are Here
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Island fishing season arrives in June. There are enthusiasts who will go out in April or May and catch some nice fish, but they are only preparing for what happens in June.

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Three Years Into Moratorium, Island Herring Runs Still Slow
Mark Alan Lovewell

Herring are harbingers of spring. The first of them usually appear in Island waters now. But there is serious concern about the health of the fishery across the region.

Although Massachusetts is in the third year of a moratorium on the harvesting of these small fish, the fishery has failed to rebound. Fishing prohibitions are also in place in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Also known as alewives and river herring, these anadromous fish make a pilgrimage every spring into coastal estuaries, to spawn in the freshwater pond where they themselves were created.

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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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