Untended Gill Nets Are Killers of Fish and the Environment
By WARREN DOTY

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Paul Diodati, director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The letter was also signed by Chuck Hodgkinson, Emmett Carroll, Jennifer Clark, Jonathan Mayhew, Virginia Jones and Tom Osmers.

Regarding the request for consideration of a tending requirement on bottom tending or sink gill nets in Massachusetts state waters: All nets must come in with the boat and not be left at sea when the boat is at port.

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Fishermen Seek Congressional Action
Mark Alan Lovewell

Bait fish that were once plentiful in the waters around the Cape and Islands have grown scarce. And recreational fishermen want Congress to step in to help do something about it.

Menhaden, also called bunker, have all but disappeared. Atlantic mackerel had a weak showing this spring. Even squid are down; the commonwealth has extended the spring fishing season into June to help commercial draggers meet the state quota, but the bigger question is what happened to the squid?

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Fishing season has finally hit its stride. And if they can keep from getting lost in the fog, anglers are finding dinner. There are reports of bonito. Striped bass are still around, although in deeper water. Somebody caught a nice bluefish in Nantucket Sound on Wednesday morning. Someone else was seen toting five gallon buckets full of black sea bass.

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Commercial Fishermen Seek to Organize
Mark Alan Lovewell

A small but spirited group of fishermen met this week to discuss forming an advocacy organization.

The meeting was held Wednesday at the county administration building; 16 people attended. The idea of forming a formal fishermen’s association comes at a time when federal regulators are clamping down on fishing permits and a new bill has been filed in the state legislature to ban commercial fishing for striped bass.

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Black Sea Bass Are Back Here, But Commercial Limits Stay Low
Mark Alan Lovewell

Black sea bass should be another New England fisheries success story. Years ago they were scarce but now they seem to be everywhere in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Nevertheless, regulators farther down the coast still consider the fish in trouble, so local commercial fishermen are feeling shut out of what is an apparently healthy, growing fishery.

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Conservation Commission Says Yes to Fishing Pier

A dedicated fishing pier off of the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs has cleared its final local hurdle.

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Hope is the Thing With Scales
Paul Greenberg
In 1978 all the fish I cared about died. They were the biggest largemouth bass I had ever seen, and they lived in a pond ten minutes’ walk from my house on a large estate in the backwoods of Greenwich, Connecticut, perhaps the most famously wealthy town in America. We did not own the house, the estate, the pond, or the largemouth bass, but I still thought of the fish as my fish. I had found them, and the pond was my rightful hunting ground.
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Whither Striped Bass?
Mark Alan Lovewell

The commercial striped bass season ended last Monday and Alec Gale of West Tisbury said it was the worst season he has seen in the six years he has been hauling fish to the mainland for the local anglers. “It was a slow season, and it wasn’t because of overfishing,” Mr. Gale said. “I think it was a lack of bait and the warm water temperature.”

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Crab Hunt
Mark Alan Lovewell

Blue crab is a Vineyard seafood delicacy. For many years, the idea of eating blue crab here was kept quiet among those who knew where to find them. They were the Vineyard’s secret seafood.

But increasing awareness of the health of the Island’s great ponds has moved the topic above a whisper; the only secret now is where.

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Elusive Bonito
Mark Alan Lovewell

It should be bonito season. The water is warm, well into the 70s. There are plenty of sand eels swimming near the shoreline and there are plenty of terns overhead feeding. The bonito should be here. But they mostly aren’t.

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