Bluefin anglers push the boundaries on Cape Cod
By Doug Fraser
HARWICH – Reeling in a bluefin tuna - an ocean predator averaging 6 feet long and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds - has been compared to hauling a refrigerator onto a rooftop using a rope and a 2-by-4.
“For sure, it’s a very big adrenaline rush and tense moments when you are fighting it,” said Harwich commercial fisherman Jesse Rose.
That’s if you can find one. Until recently, hundreds, if not thousands of fishing vessels, crowded Cape ports in the pursuit of these valuable fish. Prized by sushi lovers, bluefin was, until recently, found every summer and early fall in waters close to the Cape, and was considered an important part of many commercial fishermen’s annual catch.
But a lot has changed in the past decade. This speedy, muscular prey is now mostly found far offshore and the market has shifted from the lucrative Japanese sushi trade to the domestic market, with lower demand and lower prices paid to fishermen.