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Flyby Investigates: HUDS Catch of the Day

Is this mysterious person responsible for the "catching"?

If you've ever been to the dining hall (sometimes called the "d-hall"), you've probably been served "catch of the day." We here at Flyby know you're curious: what kind of fish is in the "catch of the day"? How does HUDS catch these fish? What's the deal with HUDS food, right?

We here at Flyby are curious too, so we decided to investigate: 

By 4 am we were already on the strangely deserted highway, headed south toward the Cape. A group of fishermen agreed to let us join them on their daily expedition out to sea, and the Saint Lucy was to depart at dawn. When we arrived, Captain Steve Harrison introduced us to his four-man crew, and we boarded the boat. The port was alarmingly empty. Harrison informed us that once there were 75 fishing vessels competing for a bounty of fish, but now there are only a handful of fishermen left on the job. Harrison and his crew have relied on the cod population for their livelihoods, but cod have been in severe decline for some time now. 

What has led to this decline? Overfishing, warming waters, and changing migration patterns, among other things. Years ago, says Harrison, he would return from a day's work with nets full of cod ready to go to market, and he was easily able to provide for his family. Now, however, Harrison has resorted to working a second job as a fry cook in a local restaurant. Fewer cod means less money for fishermen like Harrison, less fish for restaurants and grocery stores in fishing communities, and higher prices for consumers across the Bay State.

"It's not what it used to be," said Harrison as he steered the ship into deeper waters in search of the day's catch. "I used to love being a fisherman. It was a point of pride, you know? Now I can't look my wife in the eye when I come home at the end of the day, and my job has drained me of all physical and emotional energy by the time I get home." 

The infinite loneliness of the sea somehow seems to multiply every time a net comes up empty or near-empty. Despair travels like an infectious disease among crew members, and it's not long before Harrison decides it's better to turn around now than waste more fuel on such a dismal return.

When he arrived back at the dock, the crew of the Saint Lucy gathered what they had caught, cleaned it, and brought it to market. A HUDS representative caught sight of Harrison's fish, and after a bit of haggling, decided to buy the whole lot for that evening's "catch of the day" dish. 

Harrison complained about the low selling price, but ultimately agreed because he "had to feed his family one way or another." But that is little consolation for a man whose very way of life is disintegrating, and whose world is gradually falling apart. Harrison packed up his crates and left the market. He headed home, toward an uncertain future and desperate for a reason to believe his fortune could turn around.

We here at Flyby learned a lot from this investigation. Like, wow, "catch of the day" really is mysterious and gross! We hope next time you head to the d-hall (but not the Winn, because swipe restrictions amirite) you'll at least know what a "catch of the day" is. Do better, HUDS!

© 2017