The solitary shellfishermen

Scallop drag wp

At Cape Cod’s elbow, where the land and sea blur in tidal flats, for just a few thousand dollars, a man could buy an open 20-foot boat and make a living shellfishing. His was a solitary work day, and the gear was usually human-powered. The one sure thing was bay scallop season. A husband and wife team, with a small skiff and a rudimentary steel and chain dredge, could bank $10,000 in a month. The wife didn’t even have to work: Her presence ensured a second license, doubling the limit. Here, Stuart Moore hauls a scallop drag onto his 17-foot skiff in Oyster River. Moore went on to serve as Chatham’s shellfish warden for 30 years.