Wheel house of the seine boat with the captain at the wheel, as we head out of the harbor very early in the morning. We would all meet at the wharf at two forty five for a three am launch.

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Commercial Menhaden Fishing

Katherine Richmond | MA, United States

My goal with this documentary series is to bring awareness to the commercial fishing industry on Cape Ann. It’s been the primary industry here for hundreds of years, with many families that have been fishing for generations. It’s a tough business, with considerable challenges on every level, from administrative and regulatory matters to outfitting a fishing vessel and hiring a capable, reliable crew, and getting the fresh fish to market.

Today, quotas and the number of licenses set by federal NOAA regulations each year either boost or deflate the price of fish and the value of a license, making commercial fishing an unpredictable endeavor at best. Fishermen have to continuously adapt to find the balance that makes it worthwhile for them to stay in business. 

I took eight fishing trips aboard a purse- seining vessel fishing for menhaden, a small, oily fish that has many uses, including bait and omega 3 oil. These fish are pelagic schooling fish that migrate inshore during the summer, and offshore in the winter months. Menhaden are a vital link in the food web for fish, marine mammals, and birds.


Katherine Richmond was born in Boston, took up photography in 1976. She is attracted to nature, abstract, action, portrait, and documentary photography. She lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Northern Vermont. From her digital lab studio she offers clients archival printing from her large Epson printer and commercial photography.

The majority of her work is limited editions, and copyrighted from her creative process. With recent development of technologies Richmond wants to establish Ai is not part of her process.

Since 2012 she has taken part in photographic juried competitions and exhibitions with her incredible photographs. Up to now she has won sixty one awards, forty are from large international competitions seventeen are regional and local. Her photos have been leased, appeared in publications, and are in many private collections.

Richmond is represented at Charles Fine Arts, Gloucester MA, Jane Deering Gallery, Gloucester MA, and a Juried member at the Copley Society of Art, Boston MA,  and belongs to numerous regional and national professional organizations.

Katherine Richmond Photography

127 Eastern Ave PMB 194

Gloucester MA 01930




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