In search of a lost market

GOOD CATCH: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Rhode Island landed about 66 percent of all butterfish on the East Coast between 1965 and 1995. / PBN PHOTO/JOHN LEE
GOOD CATCH: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Rhode Island landed about 66 percent of all butterfish on the East Coast between 1965 and 1995. / PBN PHOTO/JOHN LEE
From the late 1970s through the ’80s, the small, silver-colored butterfish was a high-flying commodity in Japan. Millions upon millions of pounds were bought and sold, and almost the entire harvest came off Rhode Island vessels. But as often happens with boom cycles, this one was followed by a bust – and the whole butterfish…

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