Anchor – a heavy object attached to a rope or chain and used to moor a vessel to the sea bottom

Barometer—an instrument that measures change in air pressure; generally, a rising barometer (increasing pressure) means clearing weather and a falling barometer means clouds and rain

Bibs – rubberized overalls typically worn by fishermen working on deck in foul weather

Birds – steel rods used to stabilize a scallop vessel.

Blackback flounder (seafood auction abbreviation is “BB”)—One of the most common flounder species caught along America’s North Atlantic coast; a right-eyed fish; most are under 14” but can reach 25”; also known as “winter flounder” and “lemon sole”; see also yellowtail flounder

Block and Tackle – a mechanism consisting of ropes and one or more pulley-blocks, used for lifting or pulling heavy objects

Bollard – a short, thick post on the deck of a vessel or on a dock, to which a vessel’s rope may be secured

Bottom-feeding fish – bottom-dwelling fish such as flounder, cod, and haddock; also called flatfish

Bow – front of the boat; see also port, starboard, stern

Buoy – an anchored float serving as a navigation mark, to show reefs or other hazards, or for mooring

Captain – person in charge of the fishing vessel at sea (not always the owner); also called skipper

Catch – the fish that the fishing vessel brings back to sell

Cod – Atlantic Cod, one of the most widely known food fish, also sold under common names of “rock cod,” “codling,” and “scrod cod;” distinctive “barbell” hanging from chin

Codling – see cod

Cookies – chaffing gear for a scallop dredge typically made from recycled rubber tires

Devil’s thumbprint – black mark on haddock skin that lets you tell it apart from cod

Display auction – seafood auction where catch is on display in coolers for inspection by buyers/their representatives

Dory – a flat-bottomed rowboat with high, flaring sides, used chiefly in commercial fishing

Dragger – fishing vessel that drags trawls (nets) for scooping up bottom-dwelling flatfish such as flounder, cod, and haddock

Dredge – steel frame with attached net used on a scalloper to harvest sea scallops

Eastern rig – fishing vessel with trawls that stick out on either side on booms; increasingly rare; see also Western rig

EPIRB – Emergency Position Indicating Radion Beacon, is a distress beacon used by mariners worldwide to alert Search and Rescue (SAR) forces that they are in distress

Fishing vessel – term generally used for a commercial fishing boat; abbreviated F/V

Flatfish – bottom-feeding fish

Fleet – group of ships at the same port

Flounder – type of flatfish with eyes on one side of the head; see blackback flounder and yellowtail flounder

F/V – abbreviation for fishing vessel

Foc’sle – The section of the upper deck of a vessel located at the bow forward of the foremast where the crew sleeps

Galley – a boat’s cooking and eating area

Georges Bank – abundant fishing grounds about 175 miles northeast of Cape Cod

Gill net – flat net suspended vertically in the water with meshes that allow the head of a fish to pass through but entangle it when it tries to get back out

GPS – (Global Positioning System), a radio navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world

Grub – slang for food on a fishing vessel

Haddock – fish similar to cod, but smaller and with a more delicate flavor; often sold with the skin, to tell it apart from cod by its black mark called the devil’s thumbprint

Hawser – a thick rope or cable for mooring or towing a vessel

Highliner – boat captain with a reputation for bringing back a quality catch

Lemon sole – see blackback flounder

Long Line – a heavy and very long fishing line with a large number of baited hooks, used in deep-sea commercial fishing

Loran – a system of long-distance navigation in which position is determined from the intervals between signal pulses received from widely spaced radio transmitters

Lumpers – workers who unload the catch from a fishing vessel

Magnuson Act – 1970s law that created a 200-mile zone from U.S. shores closed to foreign fishing vessels; actual name was the Fishery Management and Conservation Act; see also Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA)

Marlinspike – a pointed, cylindrical tool used to separate strands of rope for splicing as well as for prying and hauling smaller line tight

Mast – long pole on a ship supporting the ropes and other parts

Mate – person on the fishing vessel next in rank after the captain

Midwater Trawl – net fishing, at a depth that is higher in the water column than the bottom of the ocean

Monkfish – fish whose muscular tails and livers are eaten, used to have little commercial value

Offload – take the catch off the fishing vessel, done by lumpers

Oilers – oilskin garments (today made from rubber) used to keep fishermen dry and warm

Packet ship – ship carrying people and cargo between places, as with Schooner Ernestina during the 1950s and 1960s between Cape Verde and U.S.

Pelagic – of, relating to, or living or occurring in the open sea

PFD – personal flotation device

Pick the pile – putting sea scallops into baskets, then into shucking boxes on boat’s sides

Pilothouse – another name for wheelhouse, an enclosed structure on the deck of a vessel from which it can be navigated

Port – a harbor town or city where ships take on or unload cargo; b: the left side of a boat, looking forward; see also bow, starboard, stern

Right-eyed – flatfish with both eyes on the right side; see also flounder, left-eyed

Rusty dabsee yellowtail flounder

Rock codsee cod Sandy dab – see yellowtail flounder

Scallop Bag – a muslin bag that is specially made to store scallops in the fish hold after they have been shucked

Scalloper – fishing vessel for catching scallops by dragging steel dredges along the sandy ocean floor

Schooner – sailing ship, typically with two masts

Scrod codsee cod

Sea scallop – shellfish with a smooth shell, usually about 4 to 6 inches across; rings on the shell mark each year of age; most are caught in about 150 to 250 feet of water

Seafaring – use of the sea to travel or to transport items

Seafood auction – auction for selling the daily catch in a central place; see also display auction

Shellfish – a fish with a shell, especially a type of fish that can be eaten

Ship to Shore – a radiotelephone connecting a fishing vessel to land in use before cell phones

Shucking – removing the edible part of a sea scallop

Skipper – boat captain

Species – a classification of animals with common characteristics

Splicing – joining one piece of rope to another permanently (unlike knots)

Starboard – the right side of a boat, looking forward; see also bow, port, stern

Stern – back of the boat; see also bow, port, starboard

Subsistence – growing or making most of what you need to live

Surge – a large wave or series of waves, causing a rise in water level

Survival Suit – An immersion suit, or survival suit (or more specifically an immersion survival suit) is a special type of waterproof dry suit that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water, after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel, especially in the open ocean

Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) – 1996 law that replaced the Magnuson Act; designed to build up stocks of fish through limits on fishing; actual mane is the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Tote – a plastic bin used to hold filleted fish

Trash – unmarketable fish and also actual trash hauled up in fishing nets Trawl – net on a fishing vessel

Turnbuckle – a coupling with female screw threads used to connect two rods, lengths of boat rigging, etc., lengthwise and to regulate their length or tension

Western rig – fishing vessel with net at the stern, allowing for dragging bigger nets; see also Eastern rig

Wharf – structure built along shore, or at an angle from it, for ships to pull up and take on or unload passengers and cargo; see also wharfinger

Wharfinger – operator or manager of a commercial wharf

Wheelhouse – another name for pilothouse, an enclosed structure on the deck of a vessel from which it can be navigated

Winch – a hauling or lifting device consisting of a rope, cable, or chain winding around a horizontal rotating drum, turned by a crank or by motor or other power source; a windlass

Winter flounder – see blackback flounder Yellowtail flounder (auction abbreviation is “YT”) – type of flounder also known as “rusty dab” or “sandy dab;” a white, boneless mild meat when cooked; used to be tossed overboard if caught; see also blackback flounder