The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

Vin Malkoski invited me to join him and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries on a dive in Boston Harbor the other day! I met Vin and Steve at the Weymouth Back River and we headed out to Boston Harbor to check up on the progress of an artificial reef mitigation site in the Harbor. A pipeline built through the harbor destroyed some of the local boulder reefs and as part of the permitting process a mitigation site was created to restore the bottom communities. We met the Gloucester team in the harbor and joined them on their boat. They were all very pleasant and I enjoyed shadowing their work! At the first site, Vin and I went down the line and inspected the bottom to obtain a general overview of the marine life in the area. The visibility was poor (reminder, it’s Boston Harbor) but I was impressed by the diversity of marine life! There were blood stars, lobsters and plenty of small fish. We completed three different dives and the second dive I accompanied the team on the bottom and helped placed quadrants for surveying and ran the line down the length of the artificial reef. They were documenting the species present and keeping track on their clipboards. The last dive was very poor visibility due to the slack tide but surfacing and seeing the Boston skyline in the distance was something I will never forget. I loved every minute of the experience and could definitely see myself doing something like this as a career in the future!

I also met Ethan Gordon at his office for Gordon Multimedia in Ashland this week! I was helping Ethan get organized for the 2016 show and going through the logistical side of running a dive show! I had drive to Mike Zapalla’s house to pick up the ticket stubs the night before and I didn’t realize just how close we live to each other; only a few streets away over the town line! Ethan and I also got lunch a local restaurant and discussed my progress so far this summer. Thanks Ethan for being so helpful and kind this week!

Today I met Vin in New Bedford at the Pope’s Island Marine to join the Division in seizing illegal fishing gear! We headed down to the docks and met the Environmental Protection Officer and first mate that were assisting us in removing the gear. We headed out into Buzzards Bay and spotted his buoys and began hauling up the gear. The fish pots and lobster pots were not up to regulation standards and the violator had broken numerous rules on multiple occasions. We set all the lobsters and fish in the pots free and pulled countless spider crabs off the pots as well. After hauling in all of his gear, we brought the boat to Mattapoisett and unloaded the pots onto the dock where we were met by a team of Environmental Police who confiscated the gear. Vin let me drive the boat for some of the ride back to New Bedford and under his watchful eye we made it there in one piece! I loved the time I spent with the Division of Marine Fisheries and Vin this week and I’m extremely appreciative of everything he has done for me this summer! From the Submarine Races to the Division, he has been an excellent mentor and source of guidance for me!