After a strong year, the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust is pressing ahead with its mission to support commercial fishermen on the Island. On Tuesday, eight of the nine board members attended a meeting of the Chilmark selectmen to seek further support.

“We have accomplished as much as we possibly can do in a volunteer setting,” board member and commercial fisherman Wes Brighton said, emphasizing the need for funding and other support to help attract young fishermen and sustain the industry. The Island fleet has struggled in the face of increasing costs and regulations in recent years.

Last summer the trust held its first Meet the Fleet event in Menemsha, drawing large crowds to the harbor and raising awareness of the challenges facing the industry. It also partnered with The Nature Conservancy to purchase the Island’s last federal groundfish permit, in its efforts to establish a permit bank to support Island fishermen.

But the Island’s historic fishing harbor is changing. In September, the 75-foot Unicorn dragger was sold in New Bedford, following the path of its sister ship, the Quitsa Strider II, in 2014. Both ships had once landed groundfish and other species by the ton but ended up unused and rusting in the harbor. Trust president John Keene worried that as Island lobstermen retire, a new generation may be unable to replace them.

“Pretty soon the harbor will be without the main attraction,” he said of the commercial fishing fleet. “We’re worried that if that happens, then Menemsha starts changing from what it is to more of a marina.”

Selectman Jonathan Mayhew, a former captain of the Quitsa Strider II, recalled the regulatory changes in the 1990s that disenfranchised many Island fishermen. A new allocation system was based on activity in previous years, when Mr. Mayhew and others had voluntarily shifted away from collapsing fisheries. As a result, he said, most of the rights went to the larger factory ships that had remained active during those years.

“The guys who kept going were the ones that did the worst,” Mr. Mayhew said. “They didn’t let the stocks come back.”

Permits now range from around $10,000 to $5 million, depending on the species, and each fishery has its own array of state and federal regulations. The abundance of red tape is enough to dissuade young fishermen from entering the field.

The Unicorn’s groundfish quota will now be available for local fishermen to lease at an affordable rate. But Mr. Brighton said that was not enough to sustain the industry.

The trust has considered the possibility of having Menemsha listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as a local historic district, but such a designation would likely come with red tape of its own.

Mr. Mayhew said it was one thing to ask for money from the town, but he was skeptical of state and federal involvement. “Once you ask them to do something, they are going to now tell you what to do,” he said. A historic designation would likely prevent certain visual changes in the harbor.

Trust member Katie Carroll noted that Meet the Fleet had raised some money for the trust, but that its main purpose had been to raise awareness. The trust plans to expand the event next year, an idea the selectmen endorsed.

Selectman Warren Doty, also a trust member, said the board has looked into Community Preservation Act funding, which towns and cities receive from the state and allocate for historic preservation, open space and affordable housing. He said the board was still exploring that possibility, but that CPA funds would be unavailable for fishing permits.

David White, director of The Yard, a dance organization and performance space in Chilmark, has been advising the trust based on his nonprofit experience. He noted the possibility of partnering with other groups and applying for regional grants.

The selectmen strongly endorsed the trust’s efforts, as they have in the past, but seemed unprepared to offer financial support. Mr. Doty said the purpose of the presentation on Tuesday “was to just keep this issue alive for the town.”

In the end, the selectmen voted unanimously to support the trust’s efforts.

In other business, the selectmen heard from Dennis Ross of Pacheco Ross Architects, which the town has hired to determine whether a parcel of land behind town hall could support a new public safety building. The selectmen recently signed a $975,000 purchase and sale agreement with the owners, but the process was put on hold when fire chief David Norton raised concerns about the suitability of the site.

Mr. Ross was confident that some sort of building could fit safely on the site, but pointed out several obstacles, including an area of wetlands at the main access point, and having to make room for emergency and staff vehicles on the half-acre lot.

“One way or another we are going to create some kind of a crossing pattern,” he said of the expected vehicle and pedestrian traffic. “It does become a safety issue. How big a safety issue, that remains to be seen.”

Selectmen emphasized the importance of the building’s appearance.

“In general the people of Chilmark have not had a positive response to the appearance of the other new fire stations” on the Island, Mr. Doty said. “We’d like it to be something that looks like it fits in with our community.” Selectman Bill Rossi said the new building “needs to look like it belongs in a fishing/farming community.”

Mr. White spoke on behalf of The Yard, whose campus is near the property. He also stressed the importance of having the area retain its rural character. “We don’t want to feel that this thing is looming over us,” he said of the new building. The Yard had backed off from purchasing the property itself when it heard the town was interested.

Mr. Ross plans to complete a square-footage analysis for the site and report back to the selectmen with a final recommendation in about a week.

Selectmen also looked ahead to the annual town meeting in the spring, at which voters will decide, among other things, whether to break Chilmark’s long prohibition on alcohol sales in restaurants. A recent petition gathered 14 signatures, enough to place an article on the annual town meeting warrant. The petition was certified Dec. 21.

Restaurants with more than 50 seats (Beach Plum Inn, Home Port Restaurant and Chilmark Tavern) could be granted licenses to sell wine and malt beverages under the new rules. Chilmark is the last dry town on the Island.