Women in the New England Fisheries

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Patricia Pinto da Silva
  • The Women in the New England Fisheries Oral History Project aims to capture and preserve the diverse and compelling narratives of women who have made significant contributions to the fishing industry in the New England region. Through a series of in-depth interviews, this project seeks to illuminate the experiences, challenges, and triumphs of women involved in various aspects of the fisheries, including fishing families, industry leaders, researchers, and policymakers. By documenting their stories, this project strives to honor the pivotal roles of women in shaping the New England fisheries and to provide valuable insights into the changing dynamics of gender, communication, and policy within the industry.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Shareen Davis Women in the New England Fisheries

Shareen Davis is deeply connected to the coastal town of Chatham, where she was born and raised. Growing up in a large family during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Shareen navigated the challenges of a struggling household. Her family's ties to the fishing industry ran deep, with her maternal grandfather being a pivotal figure in her life. Despite societal gender distinctions of the time, Sharleen defied expectations and embraced a strong voice for fairness and equity, advocating for those who needed support.

Patricia Pinto da Silva Chatham, MA NOAA Fisheries
Nancy Harrington Women in the New England Fisheries

Nancy Harrington has deep roots in the fishing and processing industry. Starting as a young worker in a sardine factory, she became a steadfast figure in the industry, working as a fish packer.  Nancy’s husband is a lobster fisherman and house painter. Nancy worked at the Stinson Cannery in Prospect Harbor, Maine, for forty-four years.  

Patricia Pinto da Silva Unknown NOAA Fisheries
Arlene Hartford Women in the New England Fisheries

Arlene Hartford has spent her life in the coastal communities of Maine. Born in Harrington in 1938, Arlene grew up in a close-knit family with one sister and three brothers. She weathered the challenges of her parents' divorce at a young age, and her mother's determination and dedication ensured that Arlene and her siblings were well-provided for, despite limited resources.

Patricia Pinto da Silva Unknown NOAA Fisheries
Edalena Ribas Women in the New England Fisheries

Maria Edalena Ribas, also known as Edalena, was born and raised in Vila Praia da Ancora in Northern Portugal. She and her husband, Luiz, grew up as neighbors and eventually fell in love and married.  With Luiz away, working on factory ships in Germany, Edalena is the primary caretaker of their son Bruno who has health problems.  

Patricia Pinto da Silva Provincetown, MA NOAA Fisheries
Lela Anderson Women in the New England Fisheries

Lela Anderson is a Maine native who has spent her life in the close-knit community of Corea, located in Gouldsboro. Born in 1931, Lela grew up in a large family of eight siblings and witnessed the changing landscape of her hometown and the fishing industry that defined it. From an early age, she was involved in blueberry raking and assisting her father with pulpwood work. Her family's connection to the fishing industry extended to her mother's employment at a local sardine plant, which later influenced Lela's own career path.

Patricia Pinto da Silva Corea, ME NOAA Fisheries