Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1992/10/07 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Custodian Congress designates Gerry E Studds Stellwagen Bank a National Marine Sanctuary.

Data »

Particulars for Gerry E Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary:
Category Marine Environ

History »


The Stellwagen Bank area has seen active vessel traffic for hundreds of years, with the plethora of ships passing through these waters illustrating the history of New England. The evolution in the size, design and capacity of fishing boats, cargo vessels and passenger ships has paralleled the economic development and population growth of the region.

The Pilgrims came to the Plimoth Colony seeking religious freedom, but also the economic potential of bountiful fish stocks in the local waters. Stellwagen Bank and offshore banks, including Georges and Grand, drew fishing vessels from the ports of Boston, Salem, Beverly, Marblehead and Gloucester. Today, commercial fishing vessels from Maine to New Jersey regularly visit these waters, while legions of recreational fishermen also try their hand at cod, tuna and other species.

Whaling, once an industry on Cape Cod, has been exchanged for whale watching. Truro and Provincetown were whaling towns in the 17th and 18th centuries - first with shore-based harvesting of stranded animals and then later hunting from boats. By 1760, some 12 whaling ships called Provincetown their home.

Passenger vessels have carried the wealthy and privileged as well as the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Immigration in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries brought families from England, Ireland, and many other European countries to these shores. Cargo vessels have been bringing goods from around the world to Boston. Travel between the colonies, and later the states, was possible via vessels that ranged up and down the coast, with a passage over Stellwagen Bank a necessity for any Boston-bound ship. - NOAA

Activities »

Whale watching companies depart from Provincetown and Barnstable on Cape Cod, while other companies base their operations in Plymouth, Boston, Gloucester and Newburyport. - NOAA

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