Some of the best fish we’ve ever eaten is caught by this group of 1,000 or so New England fishermen, all of whom we count among our heroes. Formed in 1991 in response to the depletion of marine life due to overfishing in northeastern United States waters, the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association has demonstrated that it’s possible to bring home high-quality cod and haddock while still protecting the species. Instead of using wasteful methods such as massive-net trawling, the members fish with hooks, lines, and smaller nets. All by-catch, or unwanted fish, is released alive. Unlike industrial trawlers, which can stay at sea for up to a week, the Hook Fishermen deliver fish to port fresh. The group has also lobbied for stronger monitoring of catches nationwide, cooperated with scientists and educators to support healthy oceans, and helped revamp the way the region’s fishing is regulated. Best of all is the quality of its catch, which we recently enjoyed in sweet, meaty, fluffy white haddock cakes.
Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association