Letter to the Editor: Plenty of fish in the sea? Not in Cape Cod’s seas, Fritz Lauenstein, Dennisport Ma. (if it were only this simple)

My grandmother recounted how she and Grandpa used to row down to Nauset Inlet below Fort Hill and catch market cod. As a kid I used to be able to catch them off the backside. In the ’80s I jigged cod in 80 feet by hand for a summer job. [email protected]

  • There are still enough New England fishermen who will call it like it is, and he’s right, the waters off Cape Cod are pretty much barren of codfish. One could harken back to the late seventies and right through the eighties when codfish could be found a short ride out of Chatham or Hyannis. Those who would travel down the Channel would find all the cod they wanted off Middle and Fishing Rip and 800–1200-1500 lb days before you G&G, were expected when you had the weather during May and June. It started in the mid 90s though, things did start to change and not for the better,and we should of realized that beating up on the spawning fish in November off the Cape and for those further north, off the Whaleback in May and June was just not in the best interest of the fish or fishermen as we have come to see.

    Ah we could look back and say “we should of did this” or ” damn we knew better”, but its not the nature of fishermen to avoid catching fish, especially when they know where they are. We put ourselves in a pretty deep pickle to say the least, and one only has to look up north to the Canadians and how long they have been biting the bullet when it comes to rebuilding the cod stocks in that region.

    A story I passed along the other day on the GDT was on a Cape Cod boat surveying cod down the Channel. how far south he went along the east side of the Shoals, I don’t know. But he did pass along something we all knew, but put it into perspective, “its a nuclear wasteland out there.”

    Where do we go from here should be the next question. There are many theories to why it all went bad from zillions of dogfish, to Al Gore’s global warming, to seals all over the place, Lady Janes Catch Shares and the depletion of forage fish. But maybe we fishermen should just for a moment walk away from the computer screen and look at a mirror….yes that is the answer to the question on why there are no cod off Cape.