The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987 | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Jennifer Murray
  • The Fishing Industry of Newport, Rhode Island: 1930-1987 oral history project was implemented under the auspices of the Newport Historical Society and the University of Rhode Island Sea Grant Program. The interviews document the fishing industry from the point of view of its complex traditions and changes. These interviews provide a body of unedited primary source material focusing on priority issues of local concern and those beyond the geographic area under study. Interviews were conducted by Jennifer Murray of the Newport Historical Society and transcribed at the Center for Oral History, University of Connecticut. Copies of tapes and transcripts are available for research at the Newport Historical Society. As stated in the release form, which accompanies each transcript, the memoirs are to be used for scholarly and educational purposes only.

    Interviews conducted by Jennifer Murray of the Newport Historical Society Interviews were conducted between 1987 and 1988. Copies of tapes, releases, and transcripts are available for research at the Newport Historical Society http://www.newporthistorical.org/. Copies of transcripts are also accessible on the National Sea Grant Library website http://nsgd.gso.uri.edu/.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Ellen Kaplan The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

While she was in her early twenties, Ellen Kaplan worked in the fishing industry for approximately two years. This included work on offshore lobster boats, an offshore scallop boat, and an offshore dragger. Her manuscript contains valuable information about life and work at sea, the life style of working in the fishing industry, changes in the offshore lobster industry, and conflict between tourism, development and the fishing industry in Newport, Rhode Island.

Jennifer Murray Newport, RI Newport Historical Society
Christopher Lutyens The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Christopher Lutyens began his work in the lobster industry in Southwest Harbor, Maine at age sixteen. He came to Newport one year later after reading an article about Newport's offshore lobster industry in the magazine, National Fisherman. Mr. Lutyens has worked in both the inshore and offshore lobster industries in Newport. He offers valuable information about the work of lobstering, lobster boats and equipment, lobster grounds, catch size, and the condition of the lobster stocks. He expresses concerns about the future of the fishing industry in Newport, R.I.

Jennifer Murray Newport, RI Newport Historical Society
John McDonald The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

John McDonald and his brother, James, have worked together as fishermen on their day dragger, a Natator, since 1948. Prior to that time, Mr. McDonald spent his childhood on the water catching eels and scalloping. During the 1940's he had extensive experience swordfish harpooning off Martha's Vineyard, Point Judith, and Block Island. Swordfish were abundant in those waters then. Now they are seldom spotted. Mr.

Jennifer Murray Warren, RI Newport Historical Society
George Mendonsa, Part 1 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Mr. Mendonsa's transcript contains 4 interviews from 1/30/1987, 1/4/1987, 2/10/1987, and 2/11/1987. George Mendonsa was born in Newport, R.I. in 1923. His father came to Newport from Madeira, Portugal in 1910 and supported his family by working as a trap fisherman. He passed on his knowledge and pride in his work to his son, George, who has worked in the floating fish trap industry in Rhode Island waters for his entire life. George Mendonsa's manuscript is an important document of the floating fish trap industry in Newport, R.I. from the 1940's to the present.

Jennifer Murray Middletown, RI Newport Historical Society
George Mendonsa, Part 2 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Mr. Mendonsa's transcript contains 4 interviews from 1/30/1987, 1/4/1987, 2/10/1987, and 2/11/1987. George Mendonsa was born in Newport, R.I. in 1923. His father came to Newport from Madeira, Portugal in 1910 and supported his family by working as a trap fisherman. He passed on his knowledge and pride in his work to his son, George, who has worked in the floating fish trap industry in Rhode Island waters for his entire life. George Mendonsa's manuscript is an important document of the floating fish trap industry in Newport, R.I. from the 1940's to the present.

Jennifer Murray Middletown, RI Newport Historical Society
George Mendonsa, Part 3 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Mr. Mendonsa's transcript contains 4 interviews from 1/30/1987, 1/4/1987, 2/10/1987, and 2/11/1987. George Mendonsa was born in Newport, R.I. in 1923. His father came to Newport from Madeira, Portugal in 1910 and supported his family by working as a trap fisherman. He passed on his knowledge and pride in his work to his son, George, who has worked in the floating fish trap industry in Rhode Island waters for his entire life. George Mendonsa's manuscript is an important document of the floating fish trap industry in Newport, R.I. from the 1940's to the present.

Jennifer Murray Middletown, RI Newport Historical Society
Richard Allen, Part 1 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Richard Allen is Vice President of Atlantic Offshore Fisherman's Association which acts on behalf of offshore fishermen and lobstermen in fisheries management deliberations. Major issues of concern to A.O.F.A are conservation, establishment of a countervailing duty on Canadian codfish, offshore oil exploration, and gear conflicts. Mr. Allen's manuscript contains important information pertaining to the fishing industry on a local, national, and international level.

Jennifer Murray Newport, RI Newport Historical Society
George Mendonsa, Part 4 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Mr. Mendonsa's transcript contains 4 interviews from 1/30/1987, 1/4/1987, 2/10/1987, and 2/11/1987. George Mendonsa was born in Newport, R.I. in 1923. His father came to Newport from Madeira, Portugal in 1910 and supported his family by working as a trap fisherman. He passed on his knowledge and pride in his work to his son, George, who has worked in the floating fish trap industry in Rhode Island waters for his entire life. George Mendonsa's manuscript is an important document of the floating fish trap industry in Newport, R.I. from the 1940's to the present.

Jennifer Murray Middletown, RI Newport Historical Society
Richard Allen, Part 2 The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Mr. Allen's transcript contains 3 interviews conducted in 1987. Richard Allen is Vice President of Atlantic Offshore Fisherman's Association which acts on behalf of offshore fishermen and lobstermen in fisheries management deliberations. Major issues of concern to A.O.F.A are conservation, establishment of a countervailing duty on Canadian codfish, offshore oil exploration, and gear conflicts. Mr. Allen's manuscript contains important information pertaining to the fishing industry on a local, national, and international level.

Jennifer Murray Newport, RI Newport Historical Society
Jeanne Palombo The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987

Jeanne Palombo was the wife of Raymond Palombo who was also interviewed for this oral history of the fishing industry in Newport, R.I. Because of Newport's close proximity to the offshore lobster grounds, fishermen and lobstermen relocated to Newport during the early 1970's to become part of that lucrative and growing industry. The Palombos were part of that group. Mrs. Palombo worked closely with her husband and took over their business after his unexpected death in 1987.

Jennifer Murray Tiverton, RI Newport Historical Society