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Provincetown-Chatham, MA

Provincetown harbor is the site of the first landing of the Mayflower, and is also where the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact. With its large, safe natural harbor, whaling, fishing and shipping were key industries for this Cape Cod town.Chatham, MA was an English settlement in the mid 1600s. By the mid-18th century, Chatham’s industries consisted of a bustling fishing trade, ship building, fishing, and salt making. Its destination as a summer resort began early too, with the building of the railroad in 1887.

Celebrating Fishing

Today, the fishing culture persists along side a booming tourism industry in these two communities. Each year Provincetown celebrates its heritage through the annual Blessing of the Fleet (started in 1948) and the Provincetown Portuguese Festival the last weekend of June. It also hosts the Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta and yacht race include a fishermen’s cup race from Gloucester to Provincetown commemorating the fishing Schooner Rose Dorothea’s win in 1907 of the Lipton Cup. The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance’s plays a major role in the community of Chatham holding an annual ball.

Combined, the commercial fishermen in the communities of Provincetown and Chatham, brought in 17 million pounds of fish in 2012, worth an estimated $28 million dollars. 

Top species harvested in port: Groundfish, Lobster, Scallops, Skate, Monkfish, Dogfish, Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Surf Clams, Ocean Quahog.