Madeleine Hall-Arber | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Madeleine Hall-Arber

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
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
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
Natalie Ameral

Natalie Ameral describes the daily routine of a port sampler and the challenges she faces being only one of seven port samplers for the region in her company, as well as the only female. She has been working with AIS since she graduated in 2015 and is now switching over to a new position working for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but located in the Jamestown, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Mark Bergeron

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 Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart is a former lobsterman who now runs the only water boat delivering water to fishing boats in New Bedford and Fairhaven. He grew up in Westport, where his father was part-owner of a lobster boat; he now lives in Dartmouth. He talks about being the only water boat provider, the decline of the industry and its current status in New Bedford, even with current prosperity of scalloping, as well as voicing future ideas for New Bedford with and without the industry.

Madeleine Hall-Arber Fairhaven, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Jose Couto

Jose Couto started working at New Bedford Ship Supply the year that he graduated from high school. He was hired initially because he had taken bookkeeping courses and was fluent in Portuguese, but since then has been promoted as a manager. In addition to bookkeeping, he deals with buying and stocking the store with supplies, often consulting with his customers to meet their needs. In this interview, Jose also discusses changes in the industry and his own experience.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
James "Jim" Mercer

Jim Mercer is a 47 year old diver on the New Bedford/Fairhaven waterfront.  In this interview, he enthusiastically describes his job, how he became a commercial fishing boat diver, and why he enjoys his job and the waterfront community so much.  He speaks about the importance of having a diver’s assessment on the bottom of a commercial fishing boat and the process of doing an assessment.  He describes the dangerous nature of the job and the satisfaction he receives from working in the New Bedford/Fairhaven fishing community.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
James Lopes

James Lopes, fifty-six years old, has been involved in the fishing industry since he was a teenager. He began his career as a ‘Night Rider,’ then had his own business, Ocean Obsession, Ltd, and currently works for Norpel as a production manager. He discusses the rewards and challenges of working on the waterfront, a typical day at Norpel,  the “cast of characters” he has worked with throughout the years, and the changes he has seen in the industry and the New Bedford area over the years.

Madeleine Hall-Arber New Bedford, MA New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Workers on the New Bedford Waterfront
Jaime Rivera

Jaime Rivera was born in Puerto Rico in 1989. He came to New Bedford in 2006 and found a job at Norpel in 2007. He describes working his way up from packer to nightshift supervisor. He speaks about learning to work on new equipment, temporary and permanent workers, and that his work is not easy but he likes all of it.

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

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