Trap Fishing, A Sustainable and Ancient Fishery

Want to know where your fish comes from?  If you shop local along the Connecticut Shoreline, your fish might be hauled into Point Judith, Rhode Island.  And it may well be caught by trap fishing, a sustainable and ancient fishing technique still practiced off the Rhode Island shore. 

I was introduced to this fishery last week at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival where David Wells showed his beautifully shot film on the fishery. His dynamic 7-minute short follows the Wheeler family who are among the last to use this technique. Fish are caught in a floating net or trap the size of a football field. 400 pounds of fish are hauled in at a time. No bait is used and there is little, if any, by catch.

Big surprise, the captain and engaging star of this short is a young woman, Corey Wheeler Forrest.

You can watch David Wells’ film here.  This article and public radio report describes the fishery in detail.

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