Cape Cod Port Profiles Project
To help ascertain what is available and what is needed, the state is working with Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the Fishermen’s Alliance, to do a comprehensive study entitled Developing Port Profiles and a Commercial Fishing Infrastructure Assessment for Massachusetts Coastal Harbors. With a $41,034 grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Urban Harbors Institute is gathering information for each fishing harbor in Massachusetts through surveys, interviews, analysis of existing data, and research. The goal is to develop port profiles to ensure that needs of commercial fishing communities are met, and provide a benchmark for municipalities to improve current conditions. All of the Lower and Outer Cape’s harbors will be part of the study — Wellfleet, Provincetown, Pamet, Rock Harbor, and the multitude of ports in Chatham and Harwich. Questions include listing fisheries that use the port, if harbormasters have noticed growth or decline, and if there are moorings and slips dedicated solely to commercial fishing. Harbormasters are also asked if space for commercial fishermen is discretionary or required, and what their three top infrastructure improvements would be. The fishermen’s survey questions range from asking whether essentials (such as ice, bait, storage, and offloading capacity) are available, to what policy changes might be helpful (including standardized fees, tax credits, and routine dredging).