Manly Gray | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Manly Gray

Location of Interview
Collection Name

The Fishing Industry in Newport, RI 1930-1987


The Fishing Industry of Newport, Rhode Island: 1930-1987 oral history project was implemented under the auspices of the Newport Historical Society and the University of Rhode Island Sea Grant Program. The interviews document the fishing industry from the point of view of its complex traditions and changes. These interviews provide a body of unedited primary source material focusing on priority issues of local concern and those beyond the geographic area under study. Interviews were conducted by Jennifer Murray of the Newport Historical Society and transcribed at the Center for Oral History, University of Connecticut. Copies of tapes and transcripts are available for research at the Newport Historical Society. As stated in the release form, which accompanies each transcript, the memoirs are to be used for scholarly and educational purposes only.

Interviews conducted by Jennifer Murray of the Newport Historical Society Interviews were conducted between 1987 and 1988. Copies of tapes, releases, and transcripts are available for research at the Newport Historical Society Copies of transcripts are also accessible on the National Sea Grant Library website

Date of Interview

Manly Gray was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1922. "Too big to go to school" in the eighth grade, he obtained work sorting fish in a Gloucester fish house. Mr. Gray worked in the fishing industry from that time until his death in the summer of 1987. He recollects the way of life of a Gloucester fishing family during the Depression and describes the various fisheries which comprised the Gloucester fishing industry at that time. He includes fascinating stories about dory fishermen who worked the Grand Banks and the depletion of certain Grand Banks fish species. He also provides valuable information about various aspects of the fishing industry he experienced first-hand when he lived in Gloucester. From 1958 on, Mr. Gray and his family resided in Newport, R.I. He talks about the state of the fishing industry prior to the establishment of the 200 mile limit and recounts the effects of Russian factory ships on the offshore fishing grounds. He explains the hard, hard work of offshore draggers and offers moving perceptions of his work and experiences.


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