Fishtales | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Fishtales

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Laura Orleans, Patricia Pinto da Silva
  • Fishtales was a collaborative effort between the Working Waterfront Festival and the Social Services Branch of the Northeast Fisheries Science of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fishermen and others connected to the working waterfront who attended the 2012 and 2013 Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford were invited to share short stories on a variety of topics such as storms, close calls, unusual catches, workplace pranks, tales from the home front, and more. Project leaders were Laura Orleans and Patricia Pinto da Silva.

Interviewee Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation Collection
Corey Wheeler-Forrest

Ms. Wheeler-Forrest tells two stories about her life as a third generation trap fisherman.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Alan Wheeler

Mr. Wheeler shares two stories from his life as a fisherman and the son of a fisherman.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Richard Violino

Mr. Violino tells the story of a radio transmission he overheard on the Cape Cod Canal.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
James Tomasia

James Tomasia was born in the Azores and immigrated to the United States when he was a boy. He talks about his life growing up, how he became a lumper, what a lumper does, and about the changes he has seen.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Len Tchorz

Len Tchorz was a fisherman for thirty-five years, worked for the Steamship Authority, and worked on a tug boat. He tells how he began in the industry and nicknames of those men who worked on the waterfront. He tells about his second trip which ended when his fishing vessel ran into an ocean liner in the fog.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Paul Swain

Paul Swain comes from a fishing family. He fished for a time when he came out of the service in 1956. He became a sampler for the Port of New Bedford, eventually becoming the State Supervisor for all the ports in Massachusetts. He tells of his time fishing and about life on the waterfront.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Melvin Shorey

Melvin Shorey has fished for over thirty-four years. He has worked as a scalloper, as swordfisherman, and a draggerman.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Sarah Schumann

Sarah Schumann is a commercial shell fisherwoman in Rhode Island. She currently targets underutilized shellfish species such as razor clams and periwinkles. She tells how she began her commercial fishing career.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Ellen Schomer

Ellen Schomer has been a commercial fisherman for over 30 years. She began shucking scallops in Provincetown, MA before crewing on scallopers. She discusses her start in the industry as well as how it is to be a woman in a man's world.

Markham Starr New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales
Renee Ruscoe, Part 2

Renee Ruscoe is originally from Mississippi but now fishes in the Pacific Northwest. In the first interview, she tells how she came to be a fisherman. She explains about life on a salmon purse seiner, how the seine works, and the day to day life on board. In the second interview, she tells the story about being buried in the net on the deck and how the captain left her there while finishing hauling in the fish. He wrote a poem about the experience which she shares in this interview.

Patricia Pinto da Silva New Bedford, MA Northeast Fisheries Science Center - NOAA, Working Waterfront Festival Fishtales