Baby Cakes

Gary Hathcox’s boat is named after his grandson’s first words: “Baby Cakes.” His other boat is named “Sheila Baby,” after his wife. The two boats make up Gary’s fleet; a good day on the water can bring in over 5,000 pounds of clams.

But things haven’t always been smooth sailing for Gary’s fleet. 20 years ago a controversial ban on net fishing changed the makeup of the fishing community, forcing nets nine miles offshore and crippling the commercial industry. Many of the fishers we spoke with - most of whom were third or fourth generation fishers - were forced to change tacts completely.

Some, like Gary’s crew, turned to aquaculture - and began cultivating and harvesting clams.

Here a fourth-generation fisher moves clams on the boat - and begrudgingly acknowledges the camera - while his fellow clam harvesters prepare to tumble the days catch.

Cedar Key, Florida. December 22, 2017.

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