An upbeat report earlier this year said herring catches were up because of a ban on mid-water trawlers. Others disagree.
It’s a moonless night in the Gulf of Maine. In the wheelhouse of the blacked-out Western Sea, radar and sonar screens cast weird palls of blue and red on captain Danny Fill and his crew as they watch for herring on the sounders. The light accentuates barely simmering anger in their faces.
“Last year we had two and half million pounds this week. This week it’s 100,000 pounds,” says Shaun Rockett, the purse seiner’s skiff man and engineer. He pulls sharply on his cigarette, one from a carton of Marlboros that he and Fill are burning through tonight in their frustration, via National Fisherman.