Deadliest Catch may be over for this season but you can get a feel for the business — East Coast variety — at New Bedford’s Working Waterfront Festival on September 29-30.
This is the annual free opportunity to climb aboard real fishing boats in America’s largest commercial fishing port. Selected boats will be open for visits — from engine room to wheelhouse.
These will include a wooden Eastern rig vessel, a deep sea clammer, a modern day scalloper, a Stonington dragger and a tugboat. In addition, a Coast Guard boat will be available for tours as well as Schooner Ernestina, a 108’ traditional schooner, the official vessel of the Commonwealth.
As always there will be plenty of music seafood, booths and demonstrations. These include a dockside man-overboard demonstration of how fishermen on deck rescue a crew member who has fallen overboard, wire splicing, clam shucking and more.
Look for local talent — Portsmouth’s Louis Lagace, owner of the 84-foot clammer Mariette, will be there to show both his boat and a bit of what he catches.
“I’ve participated in the festival since the first year,” he said.
Mariette will be there, and “I usually stand next to it with samples of the product that is produced from the sea clams that we catch. I explain to the public how the product is harvested and even take a few people here and there for a tour of the engine rooms, wheelhouse, etc. I find that they are fascinated by the whole operation and ask bunches of questions. I answer them all and I am always impressed by their genuine interest. They are blown away by the size of the clams that are on display (5-7 inches); especially the kids.
“Also, most people have no idea that this type of clam is where ‘clam strips come from. Our clams are prossessed in Bristol at Atlantic Capes — formerly Galilean Seafoods. That is my small niche in the festival which focuses on all the fisheries that make New Bedford the #1 fishing port in the nation.”
An earlier boat of his, the Ellie B, was lost at the end of a long surg-clamming trip when it rammed the breakwater at the entrance to a New Jersey port.
Seafood Throwdown on Sunday will feature two chefs competing to create a seafood dish using a surprise local seafood ingredient not revealed to them until they arrive, and local produce. There will be whaleboat rides, tugboat contests and a blessing of the fleet.
For details, visit /www.workingwaterfrontfestival.org/
This can’t be good
During the first six months of 2012, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem were the highest ever recorded, according to NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), headquartered in Woods Hole.
Above-average temperatures were found in all parts of the ecosystem, from the ocean bottom to the sea surface and across the region/ The high temperatures extended beyond the shelf to the Gulf Stream.
The 2012 spring plankton bloom was intense, started earlier and lasted longer than average. This, says NOAA, has implications for marine life from the smallest creatures to the largest marine mammals including whales.
Atlantic cod continued to shift northeastward from the species’ historic range.
Bud Humphrey Race
The 34th annual Wallace “Bud” Humphrey Memorial Race around Prudence Island will be sailed on Sunday, Sept. 30 starting at 11 a.m. near Ohio Ledge.
Honoring longtime Barrington Yacht Club and Narragansett Bay sailor Bud Humphrey, the race is typically one of the last and biggest of the season. Boats of all sorts are welcome for the family-style non-spinnaker race that runs counterclockwise around the island. Format is staggered start with slowest rated boats starting first.
The Barrington Yacht Club will hose a reception after the race.
Entries, in writing, are due to at the club the day before at 10:30 a.m. For an entry form and more information, visit the club website at http://barringtonyc.com/
Brewer’s open house
Boaters are invited to attend Brewer Yacht Yard Group’s annual company-wide open house this Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All 22 marinas from New York to Maine (including Cove Haven in Barrington and Sakonnet in Portsmouth) will be open for tours.