Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance Looks to Give New Life the Profession

CHATHAM – In recent years, the fishing profession has become the choice profession of fewer and fewer young people.

These declines are likely due to an increase of regulations and the costliness of starting in the field, said Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance.

Expensive boats and permits have been roadblocks for many young people, but the Alliance hopes to remedy this and other challenges with the recent passage Young Fishermen’s Development Act through in Congress.

The act seeks to provide young perspective fishermen with the education that they’ll need to successfully start in the field, and connect with the older generation of experienced fishers who are very used to navigating these waters.

Stephanie Sykes of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance noted, “There are a lot of fishermen retiring, and not as many getting into it… and there are a lot of barriers including cost, there are a lot of regulatory barriers.”

There’s a big focus on not having what Stephanie refers to as a “graying of the fleet”, meaning that the profession is mainly comprised of an older generation without many new faces.

With this new act coming into effect, there is much optimism among the fishing community that the profession will be much more accessible to all who wish to take that path.  

By Maura MacDonald

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