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The Doryman's Reflection: A Fisherman's Life

The Doryman's Reflection: A Fisherman's Life

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Fishermen exist as relics, the last hunter-gatherers among us. Their boats, crammed with ropes and nets, carry the mystique of a near-forgotten world ruled by the elements. This is the story of Bernard Raynes, one of Maine's last independent commercial fishermen. The author, now an accomplished writer, was once Raynes's apprentice — then a young man with no experience who came to Maine with a dream of working on a boat.

In the early 1980s, these two men shared some of the fishing industry’s best years. But their world changed. Author Paul Molyneaux discusses the factors — personal and political, environmental and economic — that led to the decline of New England fishing. While Raynes still hangs on, thanks to a philosophy of hard work, consolidation leaves few choices for young fishermen.

For over three centuries, Raynes’s ancestors invested their futures in the lives of fish. They learned to think like fish. Few today could match his skills, but they don’t have to. Technology has edged Raynes out, and his fishing legacy will sadly die with him.