Photos and clip of Senator Bruce Tarr poignant response about the embattled fishing industry at the premiere of Dead in the Water, which was held last night at the Rockport High School auditorium. Director and producer, David Whittkower, is a graduate of Rockport High School and this is the second film he has premiered at Rockport. Save the date for the next local showing of the film, which will be held at the Cape Ann Museum on February 10th, 2018.

Tonia, Andrew, and David Whittkower  

Mark Ring, David Laveille, Al Cotone, and Paul VitaleSelma Bell and Nina Groppo


Salvi Benson, the greatest of all time and winner of ten Greasy Pole Championships (four Saturday and six Sunday)

Fishing Partnership tribute to Angela Sanfilippo

Clay Sign Service installing a monumental and beautiful tribute ‘THE SEA IS A VITAL RESOURCE. SO IS SHE.’ on the back of 189 Main Street (above Wisdom’s Heart and the police station parking lot)

More honors planned for Angela Sanfilippo: see Gloucester Daily Times article about two big upcoming events: Sea to Supper at Mile Marker One on August 24th and the Fishing Partnership 20th Anniversary Gala at the Boston Fish Pier in September. 

and Manny’s post on GMG

Fishermen’s Wives website 

HarborWalk Fishermens Wives marker



Eric has something HUGE cooking up tonight!! If you want a taste of these huge fish, Passports is running a special tonight, the secret is in the video!

Change and Conflict in the Gloucester Fishing Industry Featuring Wicked Tuna’s Dave Marciano, Lady Jane Skipper Russell Sherman

Molly Ferrill came down the dock last May. She also did a time lapse video from our dock which you can see below and went out lobstering for a day with Tommy Burns, the same Tommy Burns who took out Ben Grenon. You can see those videos below her latest.

Molly fared a whole lot better than Ben did aboard Tommy’s boat as you will see comparing the two videos.

Is there apathy in regards to Gloucester’s Fishing Industry News or have people given up trying to understand it.


Cod cut loss to city: $70M

By Richard Gaines

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A statutory need to address a reported widespread decline in the status of the Gulf of Maine cod was translated Wednesday into terms of a potential economic catastrophe for the New England groundfishing industry — with projections of dealing a $70 million hit to Gloucester’s economy alone.

Click here for the rest of the story
Richard Gaines reports some really heavy stuff today in the Gloucester Daily Times but other than people directly involved in the fishing industry locally and a few other folks that seem to weigh in on it outside of the industry I wonder if the general public has tuned it all out because it is so difficult to understand and or they gave up trying because it’s impossible to keep up with all the changes.

In either case there are some MAJOR MAJOR changes to the life and independent spirit of what so many people have clung to here for so long but it seems like people are resigned to feel like it’s all a done deal.

Like the people that think that the Government is ever going to allow the amount of fish that was once landed in this city to ever be harvested again, that’s just crazy.  They would be nuts to because it would get us right back to the state of overfishing that got us into this mess in the first place.  But now with Catch shares and the privatization of the industry and without provisions to make sure that fishing permits stay in the hands of independent fishermen I never thought I’d see the day but within our lifetime there likely will be very few independently owned fishing boats.

When you listen to the bananaheads at the meetings continue to cling on to the hope that this town is going to somehow revert back into the golden days of schooners or when our Grandfathers and Father’s age when millions and millions of pounds of fish were being landed here on a daily basis tell them to wake up.

It’s not “Times, They are A Changin’”

They’ve Changed.

Fishing Industry Movie Based Out Of New Bedford

From The Preview It Looks Like They Could Have Just As Easily Said It Was Made In Gloucester As Our Fishermen Are Faced With Similar Fishing Industry Dilemmas.  I hope Rob Newton Gets It At Cape Ann Community Cinema

Here’s A Preview-


WHALING CITY is a dramatic narrative feature film set in New Bedford, Mass. in the rapidly changing world of the modern fishing industry. It tells the story of a third-generation independent commercial fisherman, struggling to keep a grasp on his way of life – and a long-held family boat – as costs rise and the heavily regulated fishing industry is pushed towards a corporate model of efficiency. While developing an unlikely relationship with a marine biologist, he is tempted to do whatever it takes to keep his boat. Principal photography was completed in fall 2010, and the film is currently in post-production. The finished film will run approximately 90 minutes in length and is slated to be ready for screenings and festival entries in spring 2011.

The screenplay was workshopped at Columbia University’s graduate film program from 1999 to 2002. It won the 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award and the 2007 Sloan Feature Film Production Grant, and has been recognized in Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.


WHALING CITY’s campaign – featuring an early trailer for the film – is now live on, after our project received an exclusive invitation to be featured on the innovative online funding platform for filmmakers and artists.  View Now »

Click picture to view the trailer-

whaling city trailer

Activity On The State Fish Pier

It has been a long while since I’ve seen this much activity on The State Fish Pier.

It seems like fishing seasons get shorter and shorter and the fleet gets smaller and smaller.  Hopefully someone has a plan for the Harbor once our fleet gets even more drastically reduced with not only the number of boats that can fish but the amount of fish they are allowed to land.

In John Norris’ Alone At Sea book about the heyday of Gloucester fishing there is a picture of over 500 huge schooners on moorings in the outer harbor. Over 500! And that had nothing to do with the amount of fishing boats in the inner harbor where the large boats would raft up 6 or 7 abreast.  Now there will be less than that number of commercial fishing permits dedicated to the entire northeast from Maine down to Virginia.  Crazy.

When I was graduating from college and deciding whether I’d come down the dock to work or pursue my passion for economics at Bentley I remember my father saying to me- “Joe there will always be fish and they will always need a place to unload them.”  Neither one of us could have imagined the drastic reductions in fleet and landings and the Auction coming to town and how much over capacity there is in the harbor dedicated to offloading what little product comes in today compared to even 20 years ago.


So You Want To Learn About Fish Distribution In Modern Times Locally?

Let Your Boy Joey Explain it For You The Best Way I Know How- Through Pictures and Video


Heather Atwood has been looking for a lead for her upcoming story which you will be able to read in her Wednesday Column in The Gloucester Daily Times.  So to help her sound like she somewhat knows what she’s talking about I was digging through the archives and found these posts from 2008 and sooner that many of our readers probably missed but are essential if you want to understand how fresh fish is distributed in Gloucester in modern times

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Market Cod
Grading Fish Inside The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction Video
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Monkfish Tails
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Grey Sole
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction Diplay Floor Video
Getting Ready To Offload 4:45AM Gloucester Seafood Display Auction
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction With Paul Vitale Part II
Gloucester Dragger Angela Rose Gets Offloaded at The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction-Hake

View From The Western Venture Wheelhouse

The Impact of Fishing Industry Consolidation On The City Of Gloucester Documentary

Produced by Erika Street.  Ann Malloy, Frank Rose, Scott Memhard, Beanie Nicastro and Yours truly are interviewed for this documentary about the effects of Fishing Industry Consolidation on the City of Gloucester.

Pollock Heads Up Close and Personal

I remember this time of year (pollock season) when we used to handle fish.  Frankie and I would steak (chop the heads off) so many pollock that we could barely lift our arms and the cleavers we used would feel like they weighed 100 lbs at the end of the night.

We would unload the pollock and dump them into vats because there would never be enough fish totes to hold them.  Then we would steak them and pack them in 100 lb boxes for shipping to New York.

We would beg Jerry Olsen to hold the New York truck for us til the very last moment to try to get as much pollock steaked as possible.

Going home  trembling, arms numb around 9:30PM.  Its a wonder we never lopped off a thumb accidentally.  You would grab each fish in it’s eye socket and try to get as close to that eye socket with the cleaver to get the highest percentage of fish to ship.  The further from that eye socket  the more gets left on the head and is loss.   Coming down and splitting through the fishes head with the cleaver sending blood all over.  At the end of the night you would be covered in pollock blood and scales.

When you finally get home shaking you get under the shower head and let the hot water beat down on you cleaning away the blood and scales and massaging the throbbing muscles in your arms, shoulders and back.  Get out of the shower, stuff something down your throat and get to bed as soon as possible knowing that in a few short hours you were going to have to be back down the dock loading the truck at 3:30AM with the pollock you couldn’t get through and load it on the truck for the Boston Auction.

You know that sleep is critical because you’ll be on the road at 4:30 to get the fish to Boston to make that day’s auction.  Grabbing multiple cups of coffee to try to stay awake on the road into town.

Once you get into town the Auction would take place at 6:00AM and when it ended you would go to unload all the fish from the truck at different fish houses in South Boston.

Generally with pollock you didn’t have to battle with the fish houses as the fish was all super fresh.  So by the time you get done delivering  the fish you get back to Gloucester around 11:00AM and prepare to unload boats for the rest of the afternoon and get to steaking that pollock and cod and packing them up for the next day’s market. Rinse, lather, repeat every day.

I remember wishing so badly for bad weather to try to get some rest and recovery for my aching body.


Pollock Heads Up Close and Personal, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction-Hake

Pictured below is hake.  Hake is commonly used in fish cakes.  It’s a good white meat fish.

Back when we used to handle fish an old time fisherman- Leo the Flounder would hang out in the mornings and tell old waterfront stories.  He spent a good part of the last ten years of his life down the dock, sipping coffee and keeping us informed on what was happening around town.  He was a character a real waterfront character and I miss him.

Anyway, about twice a year Leo would make a big pan of (poopieties) – not the right spelling but sounds exactly the way it is spelled.  Poopieties were hake fish cakes fried up in the good Italian olive oil.

When we had a big trip of hake we would give Leo a couple of steakers (large hake) and he would fry up a batch.  The thing I loved about them and I’ll never forget was the amount of garlic he would use.  He’d try to kill you with the garlic.  We would normally be working so hard that we would pound down a ridiculous number of poopieties and then as the day went on and you were sweating you could smell it coming out your pores.

Good times-  I miss you Flounder.