Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buying Fish at the Dock

Rhode Island legislators are making an effort to promote locally-caught seafood, which is fine, but what caught my eye in this story, from the Block Island Times, is that there’s actually a law in R.I. that prevents people who have caught fish on charter boats from selling it at the dock.

I had no idea that such a law existed and it explains why I continued to be mystified August after August on the occasions that I wandered around the Old Harbor marina vainly looking for someone from a charter boat -- customer or crew member -- selling surplus bluefish or striped bass.

I had seen it happen in New Rochelle in the late 1980s when I’d sometimes wait on warm summer afternoons for the party boats to arrive back at the Fort Slocum dock so I could interview the captain or customers about fishing conditions. Fishermen who had caught a mess o bluefish would sell them, whole, to women who had come down to the dock looking to buy a good, cheap meal. It seemed like a perfectly good thing to me.

(As seen on Twitter, via @soundbounder)



Blogger Sam said...

Hey Tom, good to see you posting. The NMFS is against selling of fish caught by recreational concerns, and that includes charter vessels. Previously, the RI state law was intended to protect their commercial fleet, such as Galilee. But a state law would only apply to fish caught within the 3-mile state waters, have to look at a map or GPS to figure that. But am I for it? YES, on the principle that it is best to sell good fish that are already dead and would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Going to BI this summer?

5:56 PM  

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