Paul Metivier has been fishing since 1975. He started out fishing out of the Merrimack River in a 20' skiff; four boats later he’s now on a 45'made by John Williams, rigged as a dragger. F/V Debra Ann II is moored at the Marine Railways in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Paul married his wife Debra the same year he started fishing. He is the dad to Jean-Paul (14) and Luc-Danel (9). Their home port is Salisbury, Massachusetts.
An efficient, conservation-minded businessman, Paul reduced the footprint of the Debra Ann II by not using a rock hopper, using shorter tows which reduces the discard rate for unwanted bycatch and undersized fish, and a catching and releasing system that allows a portion of the catch to swim away to adhere to restrictions of allowable poundage of restricted species such as cod. He does this by leaving his net below surface water as he pulls it. This enables the fish to escape before the net is hauled on board. By taking this one simple step, he consistently comes within 5 - 10lbs of the 800lb limit and a nonnegotiable deck rule to return bycatch and undersized fish to the ocean as soon as possible so they can live.
Paul works with the ocean and regards it as a garden that he returns to each day, cultivating a future for the fish, himself and his family. The primary catch is Cod, Flounder and Haddock. A smaller amount of Squid, Ocean Catfish (Wolffish), Red fish, Monkfish, Pollock, Whitting and Hake may grace the net on occasion.
Paul did not come from a fishing family. He rod and reeled off Plum Island, MA and invested in the "skiff" when he had more fish than he could eat. He is not sure where the new regulation will lead him, but he is sure he will be fishing.
Paul is part of Gloucester's Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery and wishes he could have all his catch distributed to a direct markets as it will take the pressure off certain species when the prices fluctuate to the high end of their range and provide a steady support.