CCCHFA is funded by membership contributions, private foundations, and public institutions. Contributions are tax deductible.
In 1991, a small group of commercial hook and line fishermen got together in the Harwich Town Hall to discuss their plight. Less fish and more fishing regulations were taking their toll on an industry that was already feeling the encroachment of modern development pressures like tourism and coastal development. They all agreed it was time to mobilize and organize.
Months later, the loosely formed group had decided that they would call themselves the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association and that they would stand together in favor of conserving marine resources through sustainable fishing. They reasoned that the use of artisenal gears like hooks and lines or fish weirs would not adversely impact ocean habitats or needlessly kill juvenile or unwanted fish. Their theory was simple: that clean fishing would generate healthy fish stocks and revitalize the region’s ailing fishing communities.
Soon after their formal organization, the CCCHFA hired their first Executive Director, Sherrill Smith, who piloted the group safely through Groundfish Amendments 5 and 7. In 1994, at about the same time, we obtained legal counsel from David Farrell at the local law firm Connors and Farrell to sue the federal government over their failure to protect undersea habitats and prevent unwanted fish from being killed senselessly. Our legal battle over habitat continues to this day.
In May 1997, Lori LeFevre was hired as the second Executive Director to the CCCHFA. Lori recognized the need to get more information out to the members and published the first Hooked on Cod newsletter. She also saw that non-fishermen were concerned about the health of marine environments and fishing communities on Cape Cod. So, she worked with the Board of Directors to open membership to include concerned coastal residents, thereby jumpstarting an increasing trend in membership that has continued to the present. In early 1998, Lori moved on to a staff position with the New England Fishery Management Council.
Paul Parker was hired as the Executive Director in 1998 and held the wheel until 2008. Paul was lucky that his Grammy would let him operate the group out of her basement for over a year. During that time, “Big” John Pappalardo began volunteering, patiently following along as he learned the ropes and then working his way up to policy director.
Susan Nickerson became the Executive Director in 2008 and resigned in 2010, at which point "Big" John stepped up as the group's Chief Executive Officer. Our institutional growth and development has been steady over the years with fine results. Through our evolution, we have gained political muster and credibility without losing touch with our grass roots- for it is the depth of our roots that keeps us strong and able to make a difference in marine fisheries policy.