The quiet demise of the tuna industry was in evidence last week when the 278-metric ton seasonal quota was reached early. Market prices were reported to have plummeted to a record-breaking low.


Johnny Osmers, Paul McDonald and Tim Sauer had been fishing from their 35-foot Menemsha lobster boat Shearwater for less than an hour on the first day of November, when they felt the bite.


Born and raised Menemsha fisherman Capt. Jeff Lynch said he relied on his fishing skills gained on the Island when he caught a 700-pound bluefin tuna in Cape Cod Bay last weekend. The giant fish was shipped to Japan to be sold at a fish market.


Although recreational fishing dominates Island chatter with the derby on this month, talk up and down Squid Row in Menemsha on Tuesday afternoon was of a decidedly commercial catch.

bluefin tuna

Frustrated by policies that increase overfishing, a San Francisco-based environmental group filed suit in federal court last week against the National Marine Fisheries Service, charging that its most recent rule changes are allowing additional harvesting of bluefin tuna by expanding the fishing season.



Catherine Kilduff has a childhood memory of summering in Vineyard Haven and having a day at the beach when she found a number of spider crabs. She recalled hand-feeding one of the crabs with the meat she plucked from a limpet. It was June, an early visit to the Island. “I must have been 11 or 12 years old,” she said.