A new publication from

Harbor Electronic Publishing

ON THE EAST END: The Last Best Times of A Long Island Fishing Community

By Clarence R. Hickey, Marine Biologist




On The East End is a first person story, and recent historical account, of the commercial fishing community on Long Island's East End during the 1970s, when the fisheries were abundant and the fishers were vigorous in their pursuit. That community vigor of the 1970s is contrasted with its decline, along with the quality of the marine environment, in the 1980s to present. On The East End champions community environmental stewardship and espouses several general environmental principles and truths for the East End in order to recapture the fishing community's vigor and cultural identity and to develop a renewed community environmental ethic among all the stakeholders in the East End. This is a non-fiction account from the perspective of a marine biologist who lived among and worked with the East End fishermen. Many of the author’s original photographs of the East End and its fishermen are included.

Hickey writes: “The degrading environmental conditions of the East End's marine environment and the deterioration of the fisheries are not just the fisherman's or the fishing families' dilemma. They are a dilemma for all of society. As eastern Long Island has become more populace and the East End has grown, one consequence of a burgeoning people is change to the landscape, along with related changes to the environmental quality of the watershed and estuarine and marine waters into which the watershed flows.

These are societal issues and consequences that need to be addressed by all who have an interest in and a stake in the natural environmental quality of the East End. East End "stakeholders" are everyone, all of us, all the permanent residents of the East End, those with second homes and vacation homes, all of the tourists who visit seasonally, all of the sport fishers who come from nearby counties, and several states around, to partake of the East End's natural bounty, and all who do business there regardless of where their place of business is housed. The changing nature of the traditional baymen is but one symptom of much larger societal alterations and society-induced environmental perturbations. It is an environmental indicator of sorts, a canary in the East End environmental and sociological mine. It will take all of we stakeholders aligned together to work on this problem of our East End environmental commons.”

1Clarence Hickey is a marine biologist who holds an MS in marine science from Long Island University. From LIU, he went directly to Long Island's East End in 1970 to work at the New York Ocean Science Laboratory on Montauk. The Laboratory was a teaching and research consortium of eight colleges and universities, LIU being one of them. At the Lab, Clarence conducted basic and applied marine biological and fisheries research in New York and Southern New England waters, and taught summer courses in marine biology for adults and interpretive beach ecology for secondary teachers.

He authored numerous professional journal articles, technical reports, and conference presentations on marine fishes and fisheries, and catalogued the marine fishes of Eastern Long Island and Fort Pond Bay with Bayman Jimmy Lester. Clarence lived among the local residents and worked beside the Baymen as he studied the fishes and fisheries, and was a member of the East Hampton Town Baymen’s Association in the 1970s.

He is a part-time free lance writer on various subjects, published in newspapers in NY, NJ, and MD, and was a regular contributing author to The East Hampton Star (1982-1991). Clarence has more than 150 environmental writings in professional science journals, conference reports, technical reports and gray literature, annual reports, professional society and agency newsletters, book reviews, brochures, and newspapers and magazines, and environmental impact assessment documents. In 2009, the Montgomery County Historical Society, Maryland, published Clarence’s book on the life and times of a 19th century doctor and Civil War surgeon in Maryland.