GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

December 27, 2008

Ebb & Flow: Empty nets every day means higher pay

The words of the late Gloucester fisherman, John Aiello — "Every dollar made offshore (from fishing) has a blood spot" — now need a revision to also include some of the dollars made inshore, especially from the late fall into the early spring when cod are targeted off Gloucester.

About a half dozen skippers and their crews of small, local gillnetters often fish extreme weather, including the gales out of every compass point.

Yes, most of them were out in last weekend's snow and wind. Three of the captains, Phil Powell of the fishing vessel Foxy Lady II, Mark Byard of the S.S. Melon III, and Jimmy Santapaola, Sr., of the Amanda & Andy II, and their respective crewmen Robert Dion and Craig Walker, Mike Flaherty and Gregg Perry tell how and why they do it.

These fishermen share a fundamental goal, "to get out every day (that they have nets set), get our 800 pounds of cod (daily quota) and get home. The main reason we go every day is to land fresh product," said Powell, 43.

"You don't want to kill fish for nothing," adds Byard, 47. "If you go every day, you don't get any scalers."

"Many of the netted cod are still alive when you haul every day. Those cod netted around the gills often come up dead," adds the 53-year-old Santapaola.

The men's day-old fish usually yields them top dollar. Cod scalers are lesser-grade fish that have gotten beat up in gillnets not hauled every day, and they are worth less money. Low port landings also usually mean higher ex-vessel prices for what fish is landed.

"You go on days like this (Saturday's snow and wind) to also get the price," said Dion. Boat prices for a money fish like cod, which usually are more than $2 per pound for larger-sized fish, have sometimes increased by a $1 per pound or more during days of low landings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA