The Christian Science Monitor

Can dogfish save Cape Cod fisheries?

Fishermen unload dogfish at the Chatham fishing pier in Chatham, Mass., Aug. 13. Dogfish are so plentiful in the waters off Cape Cod that Chatham fishermen can easily fill entire boats in a day. Source: Eva Botkin-Kowacki/Christian Science Monitor

Low clouds hang over the pier as fishing boats line up to drop off their catch for the day. Fishermen in orange suspendered waders and rugged boots perch on the edges of their boats. The fishermen, with weathered faces and hands toughened by their work, ignore the tourists gawking and snapping photos from a viewing platform overhead.

Then, the fog descends, giving the scene a sense of timelessness. But this scene has changed from decades past. For 400 years, fishermen across Cape Cod caught boatloads of, well, cod. The fish was so plentiful and valuable that fishermen bought houses and new boats off cod profits alone. But today, there’s a different fish filling the piers: spiny dogfish.

Cape Cod has nearly lost its namesake fish, due to overfishing and climate change. So fishermen

A dog’s taleChanging perceptions

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