The history of fishing in Massachusetts is in large part the history of cod. But the future of fishing here will be on display Sunday, when fishermen, chefs, environmental advocates, and political leaders sit down to a meal of redfish, pollock and dogfish.
We are calling it a “Trash Fish” Dinner because for far too many years tons of these delicious fish were tossed overboard as waste, ignored in a marketplace that stuck resolutely to cod, haddock, flounders, and not much else. Years of inadequate conservation and management measures, and now climate change impacts, such as rising ocean temperatures and decreasing salinity, have combined to push some groundfish stocks down to a point where we must tightly restrict the catch. This will give the fish a rest, and allow them to rebuild so that both fish and the fishing industry have a future here. We know that stocks can rebuild if given a chance because redfish, dogfish, haddock, and others have done just that. Now we must re-introduce the public to fish that weren’t available in the market in recent years.