Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Caleb Gilbert, Peter Burns
  • In partnership with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, these oral history recordings capture the invaluable life experiences of long-lived members of Gloucester's working waterfront, one of the oldest fishing communities in the United States.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Joe Orlando Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Joe Orlando was born in Sicily in 1964.  When he was nine, Joe and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Gloucester.  After high school, he started fishing with his father.  Six months later, he became a skipper, and has been fishing out of Gloucester ever since.  

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Sefatia Romeo Theken Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken's grandparents immigrated to Gloucester in the 1940's.  Many of her relatives worked in the fishing industry in Gloucester.  Mayor Romeo Theken was married to a commercial fisherman and worked as a fish packer at Gorton's and later for the Addison Gilbert Hospital.  After her husband died, she began to get more involved in the Gloucester community and advocating for fishers.  She became vice president of the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association.  Mayor Romeo Theken also earned a B.A.

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Rosalie Parco Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Rosalie Parco was born in 1926 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Both sides of her family immigrated from Sicily, and included many fishermen. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1944, and attended Kathleen Dell Secretarial School in Boston.  Then she met her husband, Anthony Parco, founder of Ocean Crest Seafoods and Neptune's Harvest Fertilizer in Gloucester, a family business that is still in operation today.  

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Mark Ring Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Mark Ring was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, in 1957. He graduated from Manchester High School in 1975. Growing up, Mark's father ran a marina, and he had uncles who were commercial fishermen. He spent his teenage years fishing on a skiff and lobstering with his uncles. After high school, Mark moved to Gloucester and fished - gillnetting and swordfishing - during the 1970s and 1980s. He fished in Mexico, and from the Caribbean to Newfoundland. Since the early 1990s, Mark has been lobstering out of Gloucester. 

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Philip Powell Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Philip Powell was born on June 11, 1965, in Woburn, Massachusetts. His family moved to Swampscott, Massachusetts, where he currently resides. Powell's father, born in Somerville, Massachusetts, in 1935, immigrated from Poland. His mother’s family came to the United States from Germany in 1941, settling in Winthrop, Massachusetts. Powell’s early life involved extensive outdoor activities, including family fishing trips and camping. His father, a banker by profession, introduced him to fishing, a passion that Powell pursued from a young age.

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Thomas Balf Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Tom Balf is an environmental professional with diverse experience in regulatory policy, environmental management, and sustainability in the corporate, consulting, and non-profit sectors. His current consulting work, as founder of Oceanvest, LLC, focuses on projects that support sustainable fishing communities, maritime technology applications, and 21st century working waterfronts. He is the former executive director of Maritime Gloucester.

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Anthony Gross Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Anthony Gross was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952, and moved to Gloucester as a child. As a teenager, he worked at the Empire Fish Company, where Anthony's father was General Manager. At 18, Anthony began lobstering on a 16-foot skiff and crewed on a local tub trawler. Then, at 20, he began offshore lobster fishing and worked his way up from cook to engineer and first mate. When Anthony turned 22, he served on a tallow tanker, the "Y/O Olive Oyl," that carried tallow from Miami to Honduras and Guatemala.

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Ann Molloy Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Ann Molloy was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1965. Her ancestors all came from Sicily, where they fished.  She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and began to work for the family business, Neptune's Harvest, a division of Ocean Crest Seafoods, Inc. as a bookkeeper and is now in charge of sales and marketing.  Ann is a big advocate for Gloucester's Working Waterfront.   

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Salvatore "Sam" Novello Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Captain Novello was born in 1943 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he has lived all his life. Son of Captain Joseph Novello and Lena (Parisi) Novello, Sam is the last descendant of the Novello and Parisi fishing families who still earns his living as a fisherman.  As a child, Sam went to sea with his father, uncles, and cousins – over one hundred family members - on their fleet of eight wooden fishing vessels.

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment
Sebastian Parisi Strengthening Community Resilience in America’s Oldest Seaport

Sebastian Parisi was born in 1940 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  Both sides of Parisi's family emigrated from Italy, and many of his ancestors and relatives worked in the fishing industry.  He graduated from Gloucester High School, worked as a mechanic for cars and diesel boats.   Parisi served as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force from 1960 to 1964. Later, he earned a teacher's certificate and taught at vocational schools for over twenty years.   

Molly Graham Gloucester, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Cape Ann Partnership for Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment