The National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with an $11,850 grant to conduct an oral history project designed to document the experience of Portuguese fishermen in southeastern Massachusetts. According to NOAA’s statement:
More than half of the New Bedford, MA fishing fleet is comprised of Portuguese fishermen, boat operators, and boat owners. This number one fishing port in the
U.S. is undergoing a rapid transformation, including the retirement of aging fishermen. This project will document their experiences by recording, transcribing and translating 15 oral histories with representative Portuguese members of New Bedford’s fishing industry and by collecting photos and other documents related to their activity.
These materials will be used to develop a variety of products and activities, such as k-12 teaching materials, exhibits, and publications, aimed at providing and preserving information relevant to the understanding of fisheries management, coastal restoration and the economic vitality of the port of New Bedford.
The study to be implemented in collaboration with local organizations will be coordinated by Dr. Gloria de Sa a professor of sociology at UMass Dartmouth and faculty director of the Ferreira-Mendes Archives and Dr. Patricia Pinto da Silva, a social scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole.
All material collected through the project will be made available to researchers and the public from the UMass archive and also from NOAA’s Voices from the Fisheries oral history database
NOAA is dedicated to preserving the nation’s heritage by promoting the benefits of preservation in communities across America though private and public partnerships.