MaxKatt

‘Salt Water People’ Explores Baymen’s Lives on Long Island

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Max, Great read, exceptional author . I’ve recommended the book here on this forum in various threads . I looked into the whole series of events designed to bring our Waterfront into the conscience of more folks . Due to a prior commitment, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the reading in Oyster Bay . However , I will be taking advantage of other events . Thank You for raising awareness of this worthwhile endeavor . Bill J 

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12 mins ago, oneeyewilly said:

Max, Great read, exceptional author . I’ve recommended the book here on this forum in various threads . I looked into the whole series of events designed to bring our Waterfront into the conscience of more folks . Due to a prior commitment, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the reading in Oyster Bay . However , I will be taking advantage of other events . Thank You for raising awareness of this worthwhile endeavor . Bill J 

 

It's a long way for me, but I figured some LI guys might like it.  Price is certainly right...FREE.  Learn something about some real fisherman and the life there.  Hopefully some guys get to hit it.  

 

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Thank you Max for this info

Almost right across the street for me.

If I make back on time, from Northport theater (The Wizard of Oz) I would love to see it.

 

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It’s been a while since I read “ Men’s Lives “ . If I recall correctly , the majority of the fishing , all aspects , were family run operations . Some family’s prospered more than others, my take away from the book was that while some did better than others the larger more established family’s with deep historical ties to the area actually did well. I think prosperity was measured a little differently than it is today . My opinion , nothing more . I wouldn’t call it “ slave laborer “ but hard work under tough conditions , working on shares can be feast or famine. Most crews / family’s had their hands in many endeavors to keep the wolf from the door . These folks cling fiercely to their independence , and resisted regulation just as fiercely . The more I recall , the more disappointed I am that I won’t be able to attend the reading lol . If you haven’t read “Men’s Lives” , I highly recommend it . Enjoy the day . 

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While having never see this play but have read Matthiessen’s book and witnessed these folks for many years. Guys like Matthiessen and Billy Joel have done a wonderful work mythologizing these guys, yet if you look at the behavior of the baymen, without your heart strings being pulled, it becomes clear to me that the hero worship is not deserved.

 

There are fishing families going back 13 or 14 generations on the east end. They know the waters intimately and have lived off them for generations, yet they do nothing to protect the fish that live in them.  Just the opposite. They fight tooth and nail any legislation that would protect the fish. They view the fish as theirs and the stocks limitless. The folks that should be the estuaries strongest advocates are actually the estuaries worst enemy.

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obviously if their are families that have been at fishing for 13 or 14 generations they must have done something that allowed that many generations to catch fish and make a living

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21 mins ago, l.i.fish.in.vt said:

obviously if their are families that have been at fishing for 13 or 14 generations they must have done something that allowed that many generations to catch fish and make a living

Such as?

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On 11/3/2019 at 0:41 PM, Cpalms said:

Such as?

When the fish aren't running, smuggling is an option.  It helps if you know where all the sandbars are, but I imagine the night vision equipment makes it more risky.

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On 11/3/2019 at 11:27 AM, Cpalms said:

While having never see this play but have read Matthiessen’s book and witnessed these folks for many years. Guys like Matthiessen and Billy Joel have done a wonderful work mythologizing these guys, yet if you look at the behavior of the baymen, without your heart strings being pulled, it becomes clear to me that the hero worship is not deserved.

 

There are fishing families going back 13 or 14 generations on the east end. They know the waters intimately and have lived off them for generations, yet they do nothing to protect the fish that live in them.  Just the opposite. They fight tooth and nail any legislation that would protect the fish. They view the fish as theirs and the stocks limitless. The folks that should be the estuaries strongest advocates are actually the estuaries worst enemy.

 

Is that 13 / 14 generations a real thing?!?!?!   That's a Loooooonnnngggg time for a familty to be doing the same work.  Amazing if true.

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Yes, of course - every been to Amagansett?  Their numbers have dwindled to virtually nothing because small time commercial fishing is garbage business coupled with that fact that fish stocks are down nearly across the board. Remember, remember East Hampton (perhaps the wealthiest municipality in the United States) is a blue collar working man's paradise but that paradise is not found tending fish traps. But yea there are EH families that have been fishing since before the Revolutionary war. 

 

Now if you saw these folks today you might mistake them for Appalachian meth heads but they have been there a long time and will not hesitate to tell you.  You would think after that long and the fisheries have given them so much that they would be fighting day in and day out to PROTECT "their" fisheries. Unfortunately the opposite is true.

 

Their politics have never changed . The fish and game are theirs - they own them and their waters. (for fun go to the East Hampton municipal building and try to get a license for a fish trap). The Stocks are endless.  And they will fight to the death any legislation that reduces the amount of fish they can kill.

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1 min ago, Cpalms said:

Yes, of course - every been to Amagansett?  Their numbers have dwindled to virtually nothing because small time commercial fishing is garbage business coupled with that fact that fish stocks are down nearly across the board. Remember, remember East Hampton (perhaps the wealthiest municipality in the United States) is a blue collar working man's paradise but that paradise is not found tending fish traps. But yea there are EH families that have been fishing since before the Revolutionary war. 

 

Now if you saw these folks today you might mistake them for Appalachian meth heads but they have been there a long time and will not hesitate to tell you.  You would think after that long and the fisheries have given them so much that they would be fighting day in and day out to PROTECT "their" fisheries. Unfortunately the opposite is true.

 

Their politics have never changed . The fish and game are theirs - they own them and their waters. (for fun go to the East Hampton municipal building and try to get a license for a fish trap). The Stocks are endless.  And they will fight to the death any legislation that reduces the amount of fish they can kill.

 

They should look to what some of these long time small family farmers have been doing for survival.  Brand it.  Not just "fish," but "Fish from _(Insert 13 generation family surname here)__."   Sell only to upscale restaurants and people willing to pay a premium for the product and it's sustainable harvest.     Maybe even get tables at all these little farmer's markets that are cropping up everywhere.  As long as they didn't abuse the trust, I'd pay more to source from them vs. some nameless, faceless, corporate fish operation that doesn't really care about the product, the environment, or me.  I'll trust my fish is safe and better from people doing it since...forever vs. Big Fish LLC.

 

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1 min ago, MaxKatt said:

 

They should look to what some of these long time small family farmers have been doing for survival.  Brand it.  Not just "fish," but "Fish from _(Insert 13 generation family surname here)__."   Sell only to upscale restaurants and people willing to pay a premium for the product and it's sustainable harvest.     Maybe even get tables at all these little farmer's markets that are cropping up everywhere. 

 

They already do. Google Round Swamp Farm. The end user of their catch is RICH people.... Go to a nice fish market that sells fresh local fish - what does striped bass, scallops, lobster, fluke, sea bass, etc etc cost per pound?  Call Round Swamp and check.  

 

That's the fallacy to our local commercial fishing. Their catch does not feed the people - their catch feeds the RICH people. Rich people are the only ones that can afford to buy their catch. Average american families in not paying $28/ pound for striped bass on even a semi regular basis.

 

Why is it so important that they survive?

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