NHCS Newsletters

What's New?! Stay in the know and follow our Community Supported Fisheries progress
Posted 7/16/2013 11:31am by Andrea Tomlinson.

NH Community Seafood 

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Seacoast Fishermen.

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Greetings Members of New Hampshire Community Seafood.

Normally, Sarah does most of the communication and outreach to you and I stay in the back managing our New Hampshire Fishing Industry and making sure we have enough fish to catch for you all each week.  

But I wanted to take a moment to reach out to you all and formally thank you being part of our CSF and our fishing community.  I've been fortunate to be able to attend most of the drop offs to this point and I'm sure I've talked to many of you about the New Hampshire Fishing Industry and why your support is so important.  

For those of you who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet, allow me to re-introduce myself.  I'm Josh.  Not only do I help run the CSF, but I also manage the two New Hampshire Fishing Organizations responsible for catching your fish.  I make sure our boats fish underneath their allotted amounts, I buy and sell fishing rights (catch quota) on their behalf, and I the enforce rules and fishing regulations to make sure that collectively we are fishing sustainably but also at maximum yield.

This year was the most difficult year since I started managing.  To start the year, the federal government severely limited our allocation of Gulf of Maine Cod by 78% from last year.  In New Hampshire, Cod is king and has been the driver of our fishery for years.

Fishermen had to figure out how to still go fishing without focusing on Gulf of Maine Cod, a task that forced 50% of our fishermen to stop fishing completely this year.  The twelve boats that continue to fish are struggling to make enough money landing other species.  

One stock that is completely healthy, delicious, certified Marine Stewardship Sustainable is dogfish.  As many of you know, we catch a lot of dogfish here in New Hampshire, but the market is all over seas for now--mostly in Britain for their "Fish and Chips".  The global prices are also getting lower and lower.

We wanted to change that.  Not only did we want you to experience our delicious dogfish, but we wanted to offer you a product unavailable anywhere in the world right now--"day boat" dogfish which is cut, gutted, headed, bled, and then iced at sea for a dramatically different and superior product.

Last season, we offered our "day boat" dogfish with an assortment of recipes to our Underdog Members and we received enough positive feedback that we decided every one should try it.  Not only will you be able to eat a delicious local product unique to this State, but you will also be greatly benefiting our shrinking New Hampshire commercial fleet as we are able to give them a much better price for their "day boat" dogfish than they get on the global market.

Please join us next season to continue to get the freshest and best tasting seafood available, and to continue to support our local fishermen, who could probably use it now as much as ever.

Thank you again for making this a successful fist 8 weeks.  We intend to send around a short questionnaire for you to fill out to provide us some feedback about what worked and what didn't work the first season, what things you'd like to see different. etc.  We also hope to reach 500 members at some point this year.  We are currently at about 275, so if you like us, please tell one other person about us.  We hope to keep growing and spreading our community by word of mouth. 

Thank you again,

Josh

-------

NHCommunitySeafood@gmail.com


Sarah E. VanHorn

Co-Founder/Manager

(207) 899-6042


Josh Wiersma, Ph.D

Co-Founder/Executive Director

(603) 682-6115

Posted 7/15/2013 12:45pm by Sarah VanHorn.

 

NH Community Seafood 

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Seacoast Fishermen.

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Good afternoon CSF members!  We are entering our 6th week of season 1.  This week groundfish members will be picking up either Pollock or White Hake based on their availability.  Both fish are mild-tasting, white, flaky fish and are easy to work with; any white fish recipe should do.  Our fishermen of the week this week is stern dragger, David Goethel of Hampton Harbor.  You can read a blog I wrote about him last summer here.



In other news, we officially have our refridgerated van which has simplified both our lives greatly.  I'm hoping this will enable us to be more punctual and organized.  That in mind take note we will now be driving a white van rather than Josh's blue Tacoma.  Also, we are having it painted with our logo this coming Saturday which will make it much easier to spot.  We're feeling more official each and every day.  

 
NEW VAN!


Also this week, we will have Damon Frampton's Terra Cotta Pasta Lobster Raviolis available for $14 a bag.  They will be available at pick-up on a first-come first-serve basis.  We can accept cash, credit, or check for those at pick-ups.  There's also a slight possibility that we will be teaming up with a local harvesting company in the area to offer our members little neck clams each week at pick-up.  We will be sure to share more information about that as it becomes available.


Season 2 is fast approaching!  Our next season will run 8 weeks from August 5th to September 27th.  We have opened sign-ups for Season 2 as of this morning.  The deadline to join for the start of Season 2 will be Friday, August 2nd.  We will be accepting both returning members, as well as new.  We'd love for you to share information about our CSF with your friends.  We currently have plenty of room for additional members.  Also, please remember if you are unable to pick-up one week due to a leave of absence from the seacoast or otherwise, that all CSF members have the ability to put their fish on hold for that week, and may later double up their share or extend their season by 1 week.  Rolling enrollment will also be available at a prorated cost for the first 4 weeks of sign ups.  


Sign up here.  


Some changes to note from Season 1 to Season 2.  Our underdog share will no longer be offered as a bi-weekly share, but rather a weekly share with Full (2 lbs.), Half (1 lb.), and Quarter (1/2 lb.) shares as options.  It has been to difficult trying to manage bi-weekly members.  Also, due to a lack of interest, we have removed whole fish shares from our option menu all together.  Sorry for those of you who have been enjoying that option in season 1.  We are also continuing to work on some sort of lobster share.  We will be sure to let you all know more about that as soon as we have some more details worked out.  We are also looking into printing some NH Community Seafood t-shirts and have since added it as a menu option to help us gauge interest so we don't end up printing too many.  We are planning to have them printed locally on a high quality cotton.  Most likely they will be a solid color with the logo on the front.  




On another note, there have been some drastic changes within our local fishing industry the past few weeks regarding the market for dogfish shark and many of our fishermen's livelihoods have been put on the line.  It is likely that we will be losing a good portion of our local fishing fleet in the weeks to come.  It is a scary time for both our guys and our new cooperative.  We hope we are able to sustain our community supported fishery despite the drastic decrease in fishermen expected to be fishing in the weeks to come.  Here at NH Community Seafood, we want our CSF members to be in the know and we want all our NHCS members to  know that things are not looking good for our local fleet, but that we have no intent of giving up, and we are doing our best to sustain our new cooperative.  We each must all step up and take control of our local food system and support our seacoast fishermen at a time when it is needed most. NH Community Seafood needs your support now more than ever.  

 

You can look for a newsletter from my partner Josh, the Sector Manager of the NH fishing fleet, in the next couple of days with more information about the crisis at hand.  Please stay tuned for that.  

 

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but please let us not lose sight of all the good that is happening within our community.  This week we have 277 members eating locally caught fish! That means we have over 500 pounds of locally caught fish filets staying in state rather than being exported to the global market.  That is a huge feat in it of itself and it is thanks to all of you, our CSF members.  


Thank you for your continued support!


May our NH fishermen rally and their livelihoods be sustained.



See you later this week.


Sarah

-------

NHCommunitySeafood@gmail.com


Sarah E. VanHorn

Co-Founder/Manager

(207) 899-6042


Josh Wiersma, Ph.D

Co-Founder/Executive Director

(603) 682-6115


Posted 7/15/2013 9:55am by Sarah VanHorn.

FISHERMAN:  David Goethel

New England Fisheries Council Member

David Goethel
David Goethel

"Both my sons have fished with me at one point or another.  And I'll tell you, nothing clarifies the mind like picking small fish for the day, 10 miles offshore," shares David in reference to his two sons' decision to pursue a college education rather than entering into the fishing indsutry.  "I do it because I love it, but it’s not for everyone."  David Goethel, who was born in Boston and raised in Needham, Massachusetts, has been working on the water since 1967, starting out as crew for party boats, which he would fish off of when he got the chance.  He later went to Boston University where he received a degree in biology with a focus on marine sciences.  David continued to work on boats throughout his time at school and later received his US Marine Officer license which led to him receiving his captains license later on.  In the winter of '76 David worked part-time at the New England Aquarium where he met his wife, Ellen.  Though he was offered a full-time position in the Spring he decided to return to the party boat business, because he had felt too disconnected from the day's natural rhythms working indoors.  David later moved north to New Hampshire and was soon able to pay off his college loans in their entirety working on the water.

First tow of the day
First tow of the day

In 1982 David Gothel had his 44 foot stern dragger built, Ellen Diane, by the John Williams Boat Company in Hall Quarry, Mount Desert, Maine.  "There's only ever been one captain of this boat, and that's me," points out David proudly, drawing my attention to the delicate wood work throughout the cabin.  Never having operated his own fishing vessel before, he considered the time a great opportunity to enter the industry.  "Back then I had the luxury of being able to learn to become a fishermen, there were no regulations and you could fish as often as you wanted." For that reason, he was able to pay off his custom boat in 3 years.  Today David fishes 7 days a week.  "If the fishery is open, I'm going," he exclaims.  David tows 3-4 times a day for an hour and a half at a time about 8 miles offshore targeting silver hake, also known as whiting.  According to David the first tow of the day is always the best due to the vertical diurnal migration of silver hake, meaning they feed at night just above the bottom, but at the first sight of day they begin to migrate back to the ocean floor, at which time the trawl is most likely to sweep them up.  There have been various studies conducted on this unique behavior such as the one from the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences that can be read here.

On an average summer day, David hopes to haul in 3,000 pounds, but there have been days where he's caught as much as 7,000 pounds and as little as 500 pounds.  Today he hopes the price of silver hake to be between $0.60-$0.80 a pound, but that's not always the case, at times it has been significantly less.  Though David is a member of the Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative, his hake is typically shipped straight to the cities where it is then sold around the world since there's little to no market for them around here.  "They taste a lot like haddock or cod," he says.  "They're really good, just under-appreciated."  David also fishes for tuna, cod and flounder at different times throughout the year.  "That's why there's always been a fishing fleet in New Hampshire," he shares, "there's fish to catch year-round."  David takes pride in the knowledge he has gained as a fishermen and a naturalist over the years.  "People don’t know anything about the ocean bottom until you try to drag a net across it,” he claims.

Releasing the catch
Releasing the catch

Scattered amongst the whiting within David's haul, there are also butter fish, mud hake, flounder, lobster, skate, squid.  Many of them are thrown over as bycatch and others are thrown in boxes to be sold as bait.  "These fish we’re selling as baitfish are great tasting fish," he says picking them up to show me.  "It’s just that nobody wants them around here. If I think back, the things that are delicacies now...I used to throw those things over every day years ago: scallops, monkfish, lobster.  It wasn't until chefs like Julia Child came along and changed all that."  Like David, his wife Ellen is a strong believer in the power of education.  A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in biology, Ellen has since started her own traveling education program called Explore the Ocean World Now.  With the help of David, Ellen collects different organisms which she cares for in large aquariums set up in their garage.  Ellen takes these creatures to elementary schools throughout New Hampshire educating children about the ocean, sharing with them live organisms they may never have had the opportunity to experience otherwise.  Ellen visits about 80 different schools a year.

Throwing over bycatch: skate, flounder, lobster, etc.
Throwing over bycatch: skate, flounder, lobster, etc.
One tow's catch
One tow's catch

David is known to be a passionate member of the local fishing community, placing great faith in the collaboration between scientists and fishermen, and has partnered with scientists and organizations on various occasions, conducting research on his boat throughout the work day.  An example of this being the tagging of yellowtail flounder, a program he initiated with his youngest son, Daniel, who has been working summers on the boat with his father since he was 14.  Daniel is now 28 and working on his PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, with the relationship between the science center and the fishermen at the heart of his research.  Eric, David's oldest son, went to Boston University for air and space engineering and is currently a tugboat captain in Boston.

Last tow of the day
Last tow of the day

In 2004, David Goethel was appointed the position of New England Fisheries Council Member by the secretary of commerce.  The duties of the council consist of writing the regulations for all fishermen in federal waters, 3 miles offshore and beyond, with 32 fisheries in total.  Duties as a council member consist of meeting every other month for 3 days at a time, for a total of 50 days of meetings a year, which are held at various locations throughout New England.  Each term is 3 years long, and one member is allowed a maximum of 3 terms.  David will be finishing up his 3rd term come next August.  "It's a big undertaking," he shares, "if you're doing the job you've been appointed."  As a council member you are expected to have a strong understanding of the biology behind stock management and are required to be up-to-date on all the stock assessments.  David views sustainable fisheries as a delicate relationship.  "We have to have sufficient numbers of both fish and fishermen," he argues.  "We need some flexibility within management; right now it's way too rigid."  David brings up a quote said by John Bullard, the National Marine Fisheries new regional administrator, at the opening of the Portsmouth meeting on September 12th.  Bullard paralleled the declining number of right whales to the declining number of fishermen, stating that only 400 remained of the endangered whales, compared to the 400 fishermen that remain from North Carolina to Maine.  "I'll tell you what," says Goethel, "we're dropping a lot quicker than the right whales."  He fears present and past regulations are to blame.  "We tend to protect some animals at the expense of others.  When you protect one species and exclude everything else you damage the ecosystem."  He describes the increase in harbor seals as a prime example of this, suggesting there's so many these days, that they are damaging the local fish populations.

Picking all the fish out
Picking all the fish out

David fears for the future of the industry.  He believes that once a market for a species goes away, that that market can't be regained, markets such as silver hake.  The market for silver hake dissolved sometime in the '60's and since then silver hake have been primarily shipped elsewhere.  David also believes it's necessary to the success of the market as well as the stocks to have a diverse fleet.  "You need the big boats to bring in the volume and the small boats to bring in the quality for what I like to call table cloth restaurants, high quality establishments.  And the small boats provide fish to the seacoast every single day which help to keep the system going, maintaining the market."  He pauses.  "Once you put an end to those day boats you destroy the infrastructure, and you can't get it back."  The October and November gillnetting closure lies at the heart of our conversation, for the effects of the closure are much greater than the already devastating loss of work for the fishermen.  With the closure fast approaching it's hard to say the effect it will have on establishments such as the Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative.  Currently there are about 15 people working there, and if there's only 5 draggers for 2 whole months, they're not going to need all those people working.  "You don't need a fish coop if no one's bringing in any fish," suggests David.  "If Yankee goes away, it's not coming back."

Filling in the trip report
Filling in the vessel trip report

When I ask David why it is he fishes, he responds, "I'm happier on the ocean than I am on the land.  I get to see the sun rise every day and most days I get to see it set too.  100 years ago I guess they would have called me a naturalist.  I get to see it all."  After a near death experience involving a 20 foot fall onto a dock below 2 years prior to the day, for David, each day's rising sun is a blessing. He looks out over the water from the helm, and looks out back to check on his deckhand.  He continues, "I’m not a specialist, but more of a generalist and because of it I have a greater understanding of the whole picture.  You have to understand your interactions to your surroundings and respond to them."  He believes this idea the key to effective management.  David argues not all stocks can be at maximum sustainable yield.  "If something’s up, something’s got to be down, and management doesn’t account for that kind of thing and because of it we’re in a lot of trouble right now.  We have got to learn from our mistakes."

Along for the ride
Along for the ride


 From David Goethel to NH seafood consumers:

“Broaden your horizons.  There’s a lot of great fish that are caught off the coast of New Hampshire that people haven’t ever tried.  They’re not even being sold in the stores, but that’s because no one’s asking for them.”

Posted 7/8/2013 8:57am by Sarah VanHorn.

KURTIS LANG, Gillnetter

F/V Alanna Renee

Kurtis Lang
Kurtis Lang

“In 10 or 20 years, I think it’s going to be all over; there’s no young blood left.  But you can’t think like that.”  Meet Kurtis Lang, one of the youngest full-time fishermen left in New Hampshire.  Having grown up lobstering with his father and having fished since the age of 10, it only made sense to him that he continued to fish into adulthood.  When asked why he fishes he responds, “I just like being out here.  Even a bad day is a good day when you’re on the water.”  He also mentions avoiding the family landscaping business, Lang's Landscape Service, in Greenland, NH may also have been a motive as well.  By age 20, Kurtis had a boat of his own, gill netting off the coast of New Hampshire.  For the past two years now, he has been fishing off a 36 foot Novi built in 1999.  Kurtis and his two deckhands fish 7 days a week with a few days off in October, a time when he typically switches over to lobstering to make up for the lack of fish allocated to him that time of year. Currently, while the dogfish sharks are plentiful through the end of August, a good day is described as catching 3,000 lbs. of dogfish and about 10 boxes full of fish, such as cod, pollock, sole, and monkfish.

Picking Fish
Picking Fish
Kurtis pulling in the net
Kurtis pulling in the net

Though Kurtis agrees it is important to establish a fishery that is able to sustain itself, he argues it's hard to really predict what's in the water, and thus certain regulations aren't always appropriate.  "Came out here yesterday," he says, "there were no fish, just dogs.  And it would make you think that there's no fish, but things are always changing.  It's a big ocean, and there are lots of factors affecting the changes: tides, migration patterns, water temperatures, spawning.  There's never just one factor."  He later shares he pulled in over 8,000 lbs. of dogfish just the day before and very few fish, a dreaded day for any NH fishermen, considering the price for a pound of dogfish is typically around half a dollar, not to mention he's only technically allowed to land 3,000 lbs. a day as prescribed by set quotas.

Fishing Vessel Trip Report
Fishing Vessel Trip Report (VTR)

He worries that the continual increase in fishing regulations is going to put more local fishermen out of business if the regulations don't scare them away first.  Piles of paperwork, emails, and phone calls, on top of fishing a full day, is common place for today's fishermen.  "In some cases, it's making people not want to fish," he claims.  With the growing concern for the Atlantic cod populations, he fears what regulations will come next.  "If they cut the quota for cod fish anymore, I don't see how most of us could continue."  After all, fish is where the money lies.

When asked about local seafood in relation to the general public, he states, "It's good to have local interest in seafood because people don't always know what's in our water here, and people don't know what we go through as fishermen, to catch fish.  I think more people would buy fresh fish if they knew more about it."  


To NH Seafood Consumers:

 "Buy fresh fish.  You'll be amazed at how much better it tastes."

Unloading
Unloading

Kurtis resides in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with his wife and his two daughters, Sydney, 3, and Riley, 1.

Posted 6/29/2013 11:37am by Sarah VanHorn.

Gillnetter, RICKY ANDERSON

F/V Bridget Leigh, Rye Harbor

Bridget Leigh in Rye Harbor
Bridget Leigh in Rye Harbor

 

 

 

Rick Anderson
Rick Anderson

 

“In the old days you'd come out, work hard, and make money; but in the old days there weren't any restrictions," reflects fisherman Rick Anderson a resident of the same house in Rye, New Hampshire for the past 40 years. When Rick's father was first stationed in the seacoast area, Rick was 9 years old.  He spent the remainder of his childhood living in Dover, New Hampshire and as a young adult found work lobstering with a guy down in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he commuted from his Dover home.  It wasn't long before Rick had a few traps of his own, and at age 23 had saved up enough money to have his own boat built.  “Boats were cheap back then; only $10,000 for a boat,” shares Rick.  4 years later, in 1972 Rick switched over to gillnetting, and in 1983 to dragging, and in 1992 back to gillnetting and has been doing it ever since.

 

Working with the rising sun
Working with the rising sun

 

End of the line
End of the line

 

Fishing being the only thing Rick's ever done for work, today he fishes off of a 1997, 44 foot Novi he had built for himself by McGray Boatbuilders, in Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia.  “I fish because I enjoy it.  It's a good way to make a living, doing what you enjoy," proudly shares Rick.  Bridget Leigh leaves Rye Harbor at 3:00 am 7 days a week, heading 18 to 25 miles offshore, depending on where they set their strings the day before.  Rick describes a good day fishing to be when they are able to make a bit of money for the day, with the aim of catching around a thousand pounds of groundfish and a couple thousand pounds of dogfish shark, which can fluctuate.  To maintain his fishing operation as a whole he needs to pull in a total of 1,500-2,000 pounds a day.  At the end of each work day, his catch is offloaded at Rye Harbor, and shipped to the Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative in Seabrook, New Hampshire.  Rick and his wife, an elementary school aid, spend their winters, November through February at their home in Marathon Keys, where Rick spends his time fishing recreationally, as well as tending to his extensive flower gardens.

 

Working the Line

"At least 90% of us out here, believe in sustainability," shares Rick, speaking for his fellow fishing community.  "We're not here to assault the ocean, we'd put ourselves out of business that way."  Rick feels that the rules and regulations currently set by the government are more than sustainable and fears scientists haven't considered the possibility that fish may come in cycles.  Like most NH fishermen, he's frustrated with the increase in the amount of dogfish he's seen the past few years.  "We can't have a bunch of dogs running around," he says in defense of the more valuable fish they feast upon.  "We fish within the regulations, whether we like it or not," shares Rick.  "We're just trying to make a living and enjoy ourselves, but the government's done everything backwards."  He pauses to reflect.  "The worst of it is they're persecuting fishermen like they've been thieves forever.”

 

Picking Dogfish

 

Rick picking a dogfish
 
Sorting Fish
 

Having been in the industry for so long, Rick doesn't understand how anyone new could ever get started.  “There's no way anyone can get into this business anymore. It's just not feasible; with this quota system, there's no way you can get any [quota] because it's already given out.  Everything costs more these days."  Because no new blood is able to join the fleet, on top of the ever increasing amount of government regulations, Rick fears for the future of the fishing industry.  5 years down the road, he predicts the local fishing industry will be controlled by a few good boats, with only 1/3 of the entire New England fleet remaining.  He fears it won't be long before the fishing will be left to about 100 boats for all of New England's coast, with only 2 or 3 boats in NH, forced to fish part time, compared to the approximate 40 groundfishermen within the granite state.  It's a grim future, to say the least.  "These days, people just don't stand a chance; they really don't."

 

About to pull in the last string
About to pull in the last string

 

Resetting the net using a "Flaker"
Resetting the net using a "Flaker"

 

From Fisherman, Rick Anderson to NH seafood consumers:  

 

"Buy Local. We got fish. It's all fresh and it's well taken care of.  All we have is fish of the day, the best kind, and it hasn't been sitting on a boat for a week."

 

Buy Rick's Catch at Yankee's Market in Seabrook
Posted 6/24/2013 11:40am by Sarah VanHorn.

Gillnetter, Jamie Hayward

F/V Heidi & Elisabeth, Portsmouth Harbor

 

Jamie Hayward, offloading in Portsmouth Harbor

Jamie Hayward, offloading in Portsmouth Harbor

"The only reason I'm still here is because I'm good at it. If I wasn't good, I would have been gone a long time ago,” says Jamie Hayward as we head out to sea in the early hours of the morning.  Jamie has been fishing for the past 25 years and gill netting for the past 20 years.  Today he fishes off a Novi that his father had built for himself in 2000 by McGray Boat Builders LTD, Cape Island, Nova Scotia.  Jamie grew up gill netting with his father, but when his father switched over to lobstering, Jamie bought his boat in 2004, and hired a crew to operate his previous boat, the Rolling Stone which also operates out of Badgers Island.

Checking in with Rolling Stone out to sea
Checking in with Rolling Stone out to sea
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
 

His crew jokes, and suggests his nickname is, King Cod.  Jamie smiles, and shrugs them off.  "We have a finely tuned machine here," he responds when asked about his success as a fishermen.  Targeting dogfish, monkfish, cod, and pollock, Jamie is well-known by other fishermen for fishing up and down the edge of a 900 square mile section closed off to all fishermen just over 20 miles out to sea.  A closed section can serve different functions, but more often than not, they serve as a refuge for different species, helping to maintain their populations.

Pulling in the first net of the day
Pulling in the first net of the day

Jamie describes a good day fishing as when he can sell everything that comes up in his net.  "A good day fishing?  Westbound is a good day fishing; when we're able to go out, fish, and come back.  Any day when we don't get over dogged really."  Over dogged, an issue many NH fishermen have been dealing with the past couple of weeks.  NH fishermen are only allocated 3,000 pounds of dogfish a day due to regulations assigned by management, but as of lately dogfish shark have been hard to avoid, and many have been pulling in a great deal over their allocated quota and very few fish since the dogfish and the more valuable species, like Atlantic cod, don't always coincide.  "Today, slightly cloudy with a chance of dogs," suggests Tommy, Jamie's deckhand, a man who has been in the business 30 years himself.

Last net of the day full of dogs
Last net of the day full of dogs
Dogged Up
Dogged Up

When asked what a sustainable fishery means, Jamie responds, "To maintain a certain amount of fish.  It's just a scientific term that says fish will be here forever as long as the government maintains a certain level of regulations." When asked about a sustainable fishery in NH he replies, "It's already sustainable, it's not being overfished, but the annual catch limit is based on science and that changes all the time.”   He pauses, gazing out to the open water, "The government's in control now, you can't blame the fishermen anymore."  He pauses, and one of his deckhands jokingly fills in, "Don't hate the player, hate the game."  There are laughs all around.

Tommy
Tommy
Resetting the Net
Resetting the Net

Jamie is a big fan of the New England Patriots and goes to their games any chance he gets.  When I ask if he has any other hobbies, he responds, "Maintenance."  I look confused, and he clarifies.  Maintenance: mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, working on the boat, etc.  "We fish 13 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That's all we have time to do."

Gutting Fish
Gutting Fish

"Then why do you do it," I ask.

"If I had any kids, I would say I fished to feed my kids, but it's really just a means to make a living.  It's not really fun anymore," says Jamie Hayward of Eliot, Maine.  There's mention of fishing not being what it used to be, and of regulations creating new challenges each year in regards to their ability to make a living.  For many fishermen, it's the only way of life they have ever known.  He looks over his shoulder from his seat at the helm to his crew filleting fish on the open deck.  "I fish to give these guys jobs."

Pulling into dock
Pulling into dock
Offloading
Offloading
Preparing fish for shipping
Preparing fish for shipping

Jamie is one of the few NH fishermen that endures the piles of paperwork to maintain his dealer's licence, allowing him to cut out many of the middle men from the equation, and sell directly to the markets and fish auctions.  He sells the majority of his fish off the boat directly to Seaport Fish of Rye, or the fish auction in Gloucester, MA.  To NH seafood consumers: “Buy fresh and local fish, but how to find it?  You've got to look for it because it's not everywhere you look. It's not in every supermarket or in every restaurant, it's not even in every market. You've got to look for it.”

Seaport Fish Market, Rye, NH
Seaport Fish Market, Rye, NH

Visit Seaport Fish to buy Jamie Hayward's catch of the day.  Support him and his crew, as well as the future of a Sustainable New Hampshire Fishery.

Posted 6/21/2013 3:04pm by Andrea Tomlinson.

NH Community Seafood 

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Seacoast Fishermen.

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Due to the holiday, there will be no CSF pick-up on Thursday, July 4th.  Your share of fish will be available Wednesday, July 3rd instead, at the same place, same time from 4:00-7:00 pm. If you are unable to make this pick-up due to the change in the schedule please contact us immediately and we will do our best to accommodate you.

 


Thanks for your understanding.


Happy Summer Solstice!


& Enjoy the weekend.


Sarah


-------

NHCommunitySeafood@gmail.com


Sarah E. VanHorn

Co-Founder/Manager

(207) 899-6042


Josh Wiersma, Ph.D

Co-Founder/Executive Director

(603) 682-6115

Posted 6/15/2013 2:50pm by Sarah VanHorn.

Neal Pike

President of Yankee Fishermen Cooperative

Fisherman:  Dragger

(Norman) Neal Pike with son Neal Michael Pike
                       (Norman) Neal Pike with son Neal Michael Pike

“My boat has all the comforts of home, it's just noisier," jokes fisherman Neal Pike of Seabrook, New Hampshire as he pops in the first DVD of the morning at 4:30 am.

Home-away-from-Home Entertainment System
                       Home-away-from-Home Entertainment System

On his 42 foot '85 Novi, Sandi Lynn, which he bought in 1997 we set out in search of whiting, the plan for the day being 2-3 tows for about an hour or more each.  This time of year Neal targets whiting, herring, mud hake, and an assortment of other bait fish used by other fishermen as well as lobstermen.  "I fish all year round," says Neal, "I try not to fish 7 days a week, but sometimes it just works out that way."  Neal typically fishes with one other deckhand onboard, and as of lately, that has been his son, also Neal Pike, who's been fishing with his father on and off for as long as he can remember.  He shares one memory of his father cutting a pair of skins, or fishing overalls, at the knee so they would be his size.   When I ask Neal if he has any other children, he jokes, "When you get perfection, you just stop."  His son, a law school graduate who's had difficulty finding work in his field, lets out a laugh and continues pulling on his skins in preparation for the first tow of the morning.

First trawl of the day
                                       First trawl of the day
First trawl of the day
When asked why he fishes, Neal responds, "I love it, I really do.  I just like being out here on my own."  He pauses to reflect, "It used to be a lot of fun, but the government's slowly been taking all the fun out of it."  Neal Pike has been fishing since high school, starting in 1975.  By the age of 23 he had a boat of his own, with which he started out lobstering and later switched to dragging.

 

 

 

 

He describes fishing as being different than what it used to be.  "You have to be computer-smart now, it never used to be that way."  With the system currently in place, all NH commercial fishermen are required by regulations to notify the government 48 hours before they plan to fish, often making it difficult for many of them to plan out their work week.  "I used to get up, and see if it's a nice day, and then go," shares Neal.  "Now I have to give 48 hours notice.  The future of fishing is not good."  Neal feels mismanagement is to blame, using the overabundance of dogfish as an example.  "It didn't used to be that way," he says with regards to dogfish.  "People always say fishermen need to be held accountable, while management is not.  They're above the law.  Fishermen aren't to blame anymore."

Fishermen asking for bait fish
Recreational Fishermen asking for bait fish
Fishermen asking for bait fish
Some fishermen have baitfish accounts, and get billed later...

When asked what Neal does for hobbies he responds, “I fish...and I like to ride my motorcycle, a Honda Fury.”   Neal Pike's catch is distributed outward via Yankee Cooperative.  Most of his baitfish are used locally, while the whiting is shipped all over, and most commonly used  for things such as the infamous fish sandwiches or fish sticks that can be found at various establishments around the country.

Sorting fish
Sorting fish
Left to Right:  Lobster, Flounder, Whiting, Mudhake, Herring, Squid
Left to Right: Lobster, Flounder, Whiting, Mudhake, Herring, Butter Fish, Squid
Boxed Fish
Boxed Fish

Given the opportunity to say anything to NH seafood consumers, Neal says, “Thank you,” and I laugh at the simplicity of his response. He looks my way and continues with a smile. “No really, we appreciate it. If they didn't buy our fish we wouldn't make it. That's the truth.”

Posted 6/4/2013 9:40am by Sarah VanHorn.
Hi Everyone.  
 
I'm happy to write to inform you, that due to ample interest in in-landers joining our CSF this past week, we've decided to rearrange our schedule to add Manchester to our list of Pick-Up locations.  We plan to deliver fish on Thursday nights from 3 pm-7 pm in the Manchester Farmers' Market parking lot next to Victory Park.
 
The next step for those interested, would be to sign up online at our site and to add your name to our email list.  www.NHCommunitySeafood.com 

Make sure to select the Thursday, Manchester drop-off.  Assuming enough of you sign-up right away, your first pick-up would be Thursday, June 13th.  However to make this worth our while, we're going to need your help spreading the word throughout your Manchester community.  We'd really like to get around 50 people in the Manchester area for it to really make the commute worth it.  Do you think all of you can help us out?!  
 
Feel free to be in touch.  We really do want to hear from you.  Let us know what you think. And please feel free to share any ideas, progress, or further inquiries.  And thanks for choosing to support our NH Fishing Community.  
 
We'll be in touch.
 
Sarah & Josh

Posted 6/1/2013 5:19pm by Andrea Tomlinson.

NH Community Seafood:

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Seacoast Fishermen.

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Happy 1st day of the NH Commercial Fishing Season! 


If you are receiving this email it is because you have either


a.) Signed up for our mailing list or


b.) Have purchased a share of our NH cooperative's fish


...or maybe a combination of the two.  




First and foremost we'd like to Thank You for choosing to support our local seacoast's fishing community.  We have received a tremendous amount of support these past few weeks and cannot thank everyone enough.  Secondly, we'd love to fill you in on our progress these past few weeks as we approach the first week of drop-offs, Monday, June 10th.  


  • Today we spent our time sharing info about our CSF at Chowder Fest in Prescott Park in Portsmouth.  We will also be at several Farmers' Markets this upcoming week as well.  We'd love for you to stop by and say hello.  Look for us at the Durham, Dover, and Exeter Farmers' Market this week.  

 

 

  • We finally have gotten our website up as you have most likely noticed.  There are still some edits and hiccups we need to work out, but are thankful for your patience.  We are not the most tech-savvy of teams here at our office in Portsmouth Harbor, but are doing our best to learn.  We appreciate you sharing any issues you find with the site along the way.  
 
  • We have entered all the payments we have received for shares thus far via checks in the mail or in person.  If we have received your payment we have entered it into the system, and you should have subsequently received an email saying we have done so.  We are hoping to have a pay-pal account added to our site on the checkout page soon at which point you will be able to pay online. Until then we will be accepting checks made out to: NH Community Seafood.  They can be mailed to: 1 Peirce Island Rd., Portsmouth NH, 03802.  Payment is due by the first day of your pick-up. Any questions regarding payment please feel free to contact us via email or telephone.  

 

 

  • This week we are looking to finally purchase a refrigerated van to transport our fish from our processor, Seaport Fish, to you, the consumer, at our drop-off locations.  We're hoping to have our logo painted on it within the next week or so to help our members better identify our vehicle.  Also, we will be meeting with our fishermen this Thursday to discuss their involvement with the cooperative.  So far they have had nothing but positive feedback.  You can read about our guys on our site or on our Fishues blog featured on our homepage.

  • We are fast approaching our first week of deliveries.  Our plan is to inform you of what fish you will be receiving each week several days in advance in order to help you prepare.  It is my intent to include recipes and ideas on our website each week as well.  Additionally, we would love to hear back from our members about how you prepared your fresh catch; our Facebook page may be a great place for you to do so for those of you with an account.  If you have any conflict with picking up your fish during your scheduled time, please let us know ahead of time and we will do our best to accommodate you.  Don't forget to bring a cooler to transport your fish home, keeping your fish cool during those hot summer days.  And don't forget to check out our blog page, Fishues: NH Seacoast's Fish Issues, from time to time, where we will be posting articles with news about our local fisheries.    


I think that may be it for now, although I'm sure I am forgetting something.  If there's any additional information you are looking for, please feel free to contact us and I will do my best to answer your questions.  Again we are so very thankful for your patience and support.  We have been learning new things each and every day and are doing our best to stay on top of everything in preparation for our first 8 week season.  We are very excited about the potential of this new cooperative and the possibilites for the future.  Though we are taking it one day at a time, we eventually would like to include shrimp, scallops, lobster, in addition to including restaraunts, and possibly other drop-off locations, especially further in-state for those poor land-locked folk.  Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.    

I fear I have begun to ramble, so I'm going to wrap this up.  Can you tell I'm excited?!  The fruit of our labor is finally coming together at a time when it is needed most.  From here on out, I plan on writing more frequent newsletters so as not to overwhelm all of you, and to keep you in the loop.  We would love for each and everyone of you to be involved in our local fishing community.  


May this newsletter find you well.
Enjoy the beautiful weather & hope to see you all soon.

Sarah 
 

-------

NHCommunitySeafood@gmail.com


Sarah E. VanHorn

Co-Founder/Manager

(207) 899-6042


Josh Wiersma, Ph.D

Co-Founder/Executive Director

(603) 682-6115

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