Kurt Martin started commercial fishing when he was 13 years old. The mainstay of his career has been lobstering, but he also fishes using traditional weirs, and sea bass pots. He’s tried pretty much every other fishery, save sea scalloping. In order to stay ahead of changing times, he has participated in fisheries management and policy.
The Fishermen’s Alliance was founded to sustain the Cape’s fisheries and help fishermen evolve with myriad changes, which is why Martin, of Orleans, agreed to become a board member.
“We’ll have to change or we won’t have any fishermen,” he said.
This is Martin’s second stint on the board, he served for about 10 years starting in 2003. He stepped off to spend more time with his partner, Lara, and young son, William who often goes out on his dad’s boat, F/V Time Bandit or on the Nancy S. trap fishing.
Now, older, and with more experience, Martin has seen how the Fishermen’s Alliance has grown and continues to support the fishing industry and the wider community. “It might not do everything you like, but there are a number of ways the Fishermen’s Alliance has made sure the fleet survived. It is a necessary organization,” he said.
For example, as a raft of regulations to protect whales emerge, forced in part by lawsuits, Martin thinks advocacy organizations that bring common sense and sustainability to the table will be increasingly important not only to fishermen, but the Cape.