The Oceans: Red Herring

In 40 years of fishing the Atlantic off Cape May, N.J., Frank Cassedy never had a bad cod season—until last winter. Known around the Cape as the Iron Man, Cassedy blames the Russian fishing fleet massed off the mid-Atlantic states for his poor catch. The Russians are fishing for herring, not cod. "But they don't throw anything back," he says. "I've never seen anything like it. It's like the Spanish Armada."

To Cassedy and thousands of other American commercial fishermen, the foreign fishing fleets offshore challenge both pride and purse. The strangers are ever more...

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