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

Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Laura Orleans
Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Cindy Pettway Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Cindy Pettway was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and grew up in Rochester. She worked at a motorcycle shop and then in 1979 she began working at her father’s shop and has been working there since. She sells Caterpillar parts and engines to local fishermen with her husband. In this interview she describes how the industry has evolved and what her personal experience has been like.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Jameson "Jamie" Bell, Part 2 Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Jameson Bell works with marine electronics. He is paid hourly and is not part of a union. He explains the types of electronics in a wheelhouse, how navigational electronics have changed over the years, and how that has affected the fishing industry. He explains the costs of navigational equipment and the life expectancy of various marine equipment, such as the magnetron. He also discusses the different types of people he meets on the waterfront, including ship captains, fishermen, and other workers. He discusses the drug use on the waterfront.

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Mark Bergeron Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

The son of a scalloper, Mark was introduced to the waterfront early. Not knowing what he wanted to do as a career after graduating from high school, he started buying and selling fish.  Eventually, he and his partner worked their way up from nothing to buying Bergies.  He discusses the changes in the business from when he started, especially the harsh realities of today that are a consequence of strict regulations (so fewer fish being landed) and changes in technology that has taken the jobs of many workers.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Tomas Calil Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

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
David Marujo Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

David Marujo was born in New Bedford in 1968 and has lived in Acushnet since age 18.  He began working at Crystal Ice 31 years ago and has worked his way up to his current job as supervisor.  He describes the process of making different kinds of ice, how the technology has changed in the last 30 years, reflects on the changing waterfront and the trickle down effects on shore-side businesses as quotas restrict fishing days and demand for services, and the next generations are/are not coming into the business.  “The waterfront is nothing like it used to be,

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Jeffery Cook Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Jeff Cook is one of the owners of New Bedford Welding Supply in New Bedford, MA. He studied welding in high school and college and has worked for his family run business from a young age, starting with painting the gas cylinders and working his way up to customer sales.  He discusses the role of New Bedford Welding Supply in the fishing industry, the changes in welding equipment over the years, the role of his family members in the family business, and the positive and negative aspects of his job.

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Michael Smith Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Michael Smith is the 58-year-old owner of North Eastern Trawl in New Bedford, MA.  His company specializes in wire rope splicing.  In this interview, he describes his job, how he became a wire rope splicer, and experiences he’s had over the past thirty-eight years as a wire rope splicer.  He speaks about his company notably as a family business and how he enjoys his work. 

Laura Orleans New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Tony Vieira Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

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
Debra Kelsey Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Debra Kelsey of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Growing up, she attended Catholic school and had no interaction with the fishing industry. She initially worked as a commercial printer until she was laid off. She then enrolled as a full-time student at Salter School for 10 months, then began to work as a medical assistant, but didn’t like it. Shortly afterwards she was offered position as a navigator at Fishing Partnership Support Services where she works today.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
John "Jeff" Ferreira Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront

Jeff Ferreira is a 50-year-old supervisor of F & B Rubberized in New Bedford, MA, a company that specializes in tire recycling for use in the fishing industry. In this interview, he describes the history of the company, his job at F & B Rubberized, and the uses of recycled tires in the fishing industry.  He speaks about his company notably as a family business and what he hopes for the future of fishing and tire recycling.  

Fred Calabretta New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center