Keeping maritime traditions alive
New Bedford is America’s largest commercial fishing port. The men and women who harvest the North Atlantic descend from a rich colorful history, and work tirelessly to keep their tradition alive and bring seafood from the ocean to our tables.
But what is the role of the traditional New England fishery in the ever-increasing global economy? How do local New Bedford fishing families stay afloat while competing with larger industry and keeping up with changing government regulations?
These are just some of the issues that MIT Sea Grant’s marine anthropologist, Madeleine Hall-Arber, has been helping fishermen in New England address for over 25 years. Among her many projects and activities surrounding the fishing industry, Hal-Arber advises fisheries managers on the likely impacts of their working decisions, as well as assists commercial and recreational fishing industry representatives on fishing vessel safety, working waterfronts, oral history, and spatial documentation of fishing and marine habitat research projects.
This video features Hall-Arber’s participation in the 2013 Working Waterfront Festival, organized by the local community to help give the public a fun and unique opportunity to see and understand the commercial fishing culture firsthand. Activities include walking the decks of a scalloper, dining on fresh seafood, watching fishermen contests and cooking demonstrations, fun and games for children, and more.