Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fishermen of Westport

We were out birding today at stopped by Westport harbor to check out the gulls that were flying around because the fishing boats were in.  We ended up talking with the captain and crew of Sophia Gale about the commercial fishing industry.  This winter has been tough because of the storms, which creates havoc with their nets, by tangling the nets.  Also, monkfish have been very rare this winter.  Most of the catch, which they offloaded were skates.  The body of the skate will be used for lobster bait and the wings will be used for food.  Most of the wings will be shipped to Europe since the Europeans like to eat skate.  In fact, quite a number years ago, they used to punch out "scallops" out of the skate wings. 

The boat and crew will try to make 2 trips per week out 50 miles offshore, where they do their fishing.  They have been lucky to make one trip a week because of all of storms recently.  As I was watching the crew's straightening out their nets, the amount of plastic material caught in the net was bothersome.  One reason, was that they use to dump huge loads of garbage out in the ocean, and another reason is all the plastic garbage bags that you see flying around that, end out on the ocean.

I believe, commercial fishermen are under appreciated for all their hard work they do to bring us fresh seafood for all of us to enjoy.  They work in a physically and very hazardous industry, which is 60 times more dangerous than the average United States job.

I want to thank the captain and crew for all their information: Dan Neronha, Steve Medeios, Jay Lindaves and Chris Bolduc.

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Untangling the nets

Untangling the nets

Black plastic bag tangled in the net