Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Laura Orleans
Interviewee Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation Collection
Virginia Martins

In this interview, Virginia Martins discusses the challenges of being in the fishing industry, including the changes to the industry, the role of women in the fishing industry, and the role of climate change and technology in the fishing industry. She shares her personal work history and her experiences at Bay Fuels, Inc.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Valeriano Garcia

Valeriano Garcia is from Guatemala and his job is an essential part of the fishing industry in New Bedford. He shares experiences working at a warehouse and skills that are required.

This oral history was produced in 2017 as part of the Workers on the Waterfront Oral History Project conducted by New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center with funding from an Archie Green Fellowship provided by the Library of Congress.

Corinn Williams New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Patricia M. DiCienzo

Trish DiCienzo was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in the year 1963, the oldest of four kids. She married at age 18 and moved out to Boston for 22 years then moved to West Roxbury, Massachusetts where she worked in the police department. Later, she moved to Lakeville so she could work at a processing plant in New Bedford. Shortly afterward she was asked to transfer to Maritime Terminal where she works today.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Tor Bendiksen

Tor Bendiksen discusses what it’s like to be involved in a family-owned business that manufactures fishing gear such as nets and trawls for commercial fishermen. He made his first fishing trip at the age of thirteen aboard his father’s trawler. He understands from first-hand experience how fishing gear works and the needs of his customers. He discusses how fishing regulations have evolved from when he first stated fishing to what they are today. The regulations have a tremendous impact on how he designs his custom fishing gear.

Fred Calabretta New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Tony Vieira

Tony Vieira is a 46-year-old marine electronics specialist and the owner of T & K Marine Electronics in New Bedford, MA.  He describes his work history in the marine electronics field, his company, and the work he does on a day-to-day basis.  He also speaks about the changes in technology and the industry he has seen over the past twenty-five years. 

Fred Calabretta New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Tomas Calil

Tomas Calil is from Guatemala and is a supervisor at Bergie’s Seafood.  He has been working at Bergie’s for 15 years and knows all aspects of production at the plant.

This oral history was produced in 2017 as part of the Workers on the Waterfront Oral History Project conducted by New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center with funding from an Archie Green Fellowship provided by the Library of Congress.

Corinn Williams New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Sebastian Ayala

Sebastian Ayala is a forty-three year old foreman at the Norpel plant in New Bedford.  He has been working at the Norpel plant for almost fifteen years, working his way up to a foreman position. In this interview Sebastian describes coming to New Bedford from El Salvador and his work at Norpel, including various positions in the factory as well as safety concerns.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Robert Hicks

Robert Hicks is a fifty-two year old Plant Manager of Crystal Ice in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  He has been working at Crystal Ice since 1989, starting as a laborer and working his way up to Plant Manager. In this interview he describes his family history in the business, his early days at Crystal Ice, changes in the plant over the years, types of ice the plant makes, icing the fishing boats, other projects of Crystal Ice, and his favorite and least favorite parts of the job.

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Richard Gallagher

In this interview Richard Gallagher, an electrical engineer at Chris Electronics in New Bedford, MA, shares his work history, discusses various electrical components of boats, details his daily work, and explains the relationships with customers, fishermen, and between co-workers at Chris Electronics.

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Phil Mello

Phillip Mello describes his duties as a general manager at Bergies Seafood in New Bedford, MA, including auctions, transportation, fish cutting, sales, deliveries and networking. He joined Tichon Seafood in 1980 and continues to be active throughout the Fairhaven/New Bedford Harbor. Mello enjoys photography and documenting the fishing community. Changes in weather and fishing regulations have altered prices, catches and the economy of the fishing industry.

Fred Calabretta New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront