Laura Anderson

Location of Interview
Collection Name

The Lives of Fishermen's Wives, Mothers, and Daughters - Oregon


Fishermen's wives, mothers, and daughters have historically played integral roles in fishing families for generations. Responsibilities have typically included managing homes, children, and business operations. As fisheries management increases in complexity, the roles of women in fisheries is changing. While still maintaining their traditional roles, they are also expanding into management, research, and advocacy. In some circumstances, women are interacting regularly with other fishermen, processors, fisheries managers at both the state and federal levels, as well as researchers. These changing roles may precipitate changing communication and policy. In this collection meet women and families that talk about their experiences in commercial fishing and how it has changed over time.

Date of Interview

Laura Anderson, a third-generation commercial fisherwoman, began fishing with her father at the age of 14, engaging in salmon trawling and crab fishing along the Northern California coast. Her experiences as a female in the male-dominated fishing industry were shaped by her father's accommodating approach, which made her time on the boat more comfortable. After her fishing years, Laura studied marine policy and science in college. She later ventured into the restaurant business, founding Local Ocean Seafoods, where she maintained strong relationships with fishermen and expanded the establishment to accommodate growing demand. 

Scope and Content Note
The interview with Laura Anderson provides an insightful exploration into the life and career of a woman deeply embedded in the commercial fishing industry. Anderson discusses her journey from a young girl fishing with her father to becoming a successful restaurant owner and influential figure in fishing policy-making. She highlights the significance of sustaining relationships with fishermen and the broader community, underscoring the mutual benefits of such connections for her business and the local economy. Anderson discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by the dynamic nature of the fishing industry, including regulatory changes, market demands, and environmental concerns. A notable aspect of the interview is her perspective on the increasing participation of women in fishing, a sector historically dominated by men. Anderson's reflections provide valuable insights into the shifting dynamics within the industry, the importance of sustainability, and the evolving role of women. 

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