Cortez, FL

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Interviewee Sort descending Collection Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
John Banyas In Their Own Words

John Banyas is a fish house owner and fisherman from Cortez, Florida. His grandfather, Neriah Taylor, was a boatbuilder in the community. John fishes for mullet and baitfish. He also owns a wholesale/retail seafood shop and restaurant on his property, along with a boat haul-out facility.  Banyas began fishing with his grandfather around the age of ten or twelve, starting with repairing cast-off nets and progressing to fishing full-time after high school. His primary fishing activities included mullet fishing, as well as catching mackerel, pompano, and trout.

Michael Jepson Cortez, FL Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage, Florida Humanities Council
John Campbell Cortez Village Voices from the Fisheries

John Campbell, a resident of Cortez, Florida, has spent his life engaged in the profession of fishing, a trade that runs deep in his family lineage. His career on the water is not only a testament to his personal dedication but also serves as a living history of the fishing industry's evolution. Prior to his full immersion into fishing, Campbell served in the Army, an experience that stands as a distinct chapter in his life.

Steve Marshall Cortez, FL NOAA-NMFS Southeast Regional Office, Manatee School for the Arts, Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, A.P. Bell Fish Co., Inc., The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage
John McDonald Cortez Village Voices from the Fisheries

John McDonald, a native of Cortez, Florida, has a rich history rooted in the local fishing industry. Born into a family of fishermen, McDonald learned the trade from his father, spending his formative years on the waters around Mullet Key. His upbringing in Cortez was marked by a close connection to the sea and the community's maritime traditions. Seeking to broaden his horizons, McDonald enlisted in the Navy, where he acquired technical education and embraced the opportunity to travel.

Steve Marshall Cortez, FL NOAA-NMFS Southeast Regional Office, Manatee School for the Arts, Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, A.P. Bell Fish Co., Inc., The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage
John Philip Banyas A History of Red Tide events on the West Coast of Florida

John Banyas is a fourth-generation fisherman from Cortez, Florida. He has dedicated his life to the fishing industry, learning the trade from his grandfather and engaging in various fishing techniques such as gill netting and purse seining. Banyas has become a vocal advocate for addressing the detrimental effects of red tide on the fishing industry, highlighting the decline in fish populations and the urgent need to improve water quality to ensure the sustainability of the fishery. 

Michael Jepson Cortez, FL Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Julian Culbreath Vanishing Culture Project

This interview has two tracks, one an interview with Julian Culbreath and the other some music played on his fiddle with Leo Gale on guitar.  The interview discusses Culbreath's family history and fishing. Culbreath's family was musical.  A lot is about his musical career and the formation of The Cortez Grand Old Opry. The music tape has "The Cortez Rag" and "The Orange Blossom Special."

Michael Jepson, Wayne Nield Cortez, FL Florida Humanities Council, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage, Florida Maritime Museum
Karen Bell In Their Own Words

Karen Bell is a dedicated member of the Cortez fishing community in Florida. Born and raised in Bradenton, she has always had a deep connection to Cortez, spending Sundays at her grandmother's house, where large family gatherings and delicious meals were a regular occurrence. Karen's father and uncles were fishermen, and she grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of the fishing docks. Karen's father eventually transitioned from fishing to working at the AP Bell fish house in the early 1960s. In 1986, after completing college, Karen moved to Cortez and began working at the fish house.

Michael Jepson Cortez, FL Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage, Florida Humanities Council
Karen Bell Cortez Village Voices from the Fisheries

Karen Bell is deeply rooted in the Cortez community, where she stands at the helm of A.P. Bell Fish Company, a family business with a rich history in the fishing industry. After attending college, she returned to lead the family enterprise. Bell's journey includes the acquisition of a restaurant, an endeavor that brought its own set of challenges, particularly in the wake of a net ban that affected sales.

Steve Marshall Cortez, FL NOAA-NMFS Southeast Regional Office, Manatee School for the Arts, Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, A.P. Bell Fish Co., Inc., The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage
Ken Jenkins Cortez Village Voices from the Fisheries

This interview Ken Jenkins was conducted as part of the Cortez Village Voices from the Fisheries Project. This project is a collection of oral histories of Cortez, Florida community members who are involved in maritime activities (such as commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, crew members, and fish house workers) in order to document the changing face of Cortez Village's marine environment.

Steve Marshall Cortez, FL NOAA-NMFS Southeast Regional Office, Manatee School for the Arts, Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, A.P. Bell Fish Co., Inc., The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage
Mark Taylor Vanishing Culture Project

Oral history interview with Mark Taylor.

Michael Jepson Cortez, FL Florida Humanities Council, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage, Florida Maritime Museum
Marvin Carver Vanishing Culture Project

This interview with Marvin Carver covers family, fishing, fish camps and net spreads. He also had a bridge tender's job in Cortez.

Michael Jepson, Wayne Nield Cortez, FL Florida Humanities Council, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage, Florida Maritime Museum