Like most sons of sons of Maine fishermen, Mr. Bridges, 61, grew up eating fish stews that were as diverse and densely packed as the local waters.
Cod, haddock, white hake, halibut, cusk and dozens of other groundfish, fish that live near the ocean bottom, mingled with clams, shrimp, lobster and mussels under the creamy surface of the stew, cresting a puddle of yellow butter here, a slick of smoky pork fat there.
Today there is nothing but lobster to be fished commercially near Stonington. Lobster floats alone in the local chowder, pinking the cream and, in the mind of food lovers, perhaps elevating Everyman’s dish to luxury status. But when Mr. Bridges looks at a single species stew he sees a dangerously impoverished fishery.
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