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Rodney Avila (left), fisherman and vessel owner, being interviewed at the 2012 Working Waterfront Festival Fish Tales booth. Photo courtesy of the Working Waterfront Festival.
Jimmy Dwyer, longtime lumper on New Bedford's waterfront, being interviewed at the 2012 Working Waterfront Festival Fish Tales booth. Photo courtesy of the Working Waterfront Festival.

September 10, 2013
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Voices from the Fisheries Project to Collect "Fish Tales" at New Bedford's Working Waterfront Festival September 28-29

Anyone who has worked the waterfront or fished the sea has tales to tell. The Working Waterfront Festival and NOAA Fisheries' Voices from the Fisheries Project wants to hear them and will partner once again to collect Fish Tales at the 10th Working Waterfront Festival September 28 and 29 in New Bedford.

Storms and close calls, unusual catches, workplace pranks, and tales from the home front are among the many topics fishermen and others from the industry are invited to share at the Fish Tales tent. Stories recorded during the festival will be archived and shared through the Voices from the Fisheries website and Working Waterfront Festival publications. Recordings from last year’s festival can be found at by searching "Fishtales" under "Collection Name" on the search page of the website.

Twenty-seven oral histories were recorded in 2012, a number project leaders Laura Orleans and Patricia Pinto da Silva hope to surpass at this year's festival.Pinto da Silva is a Woods Hole-based social scientist at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

The Working Waterfront Festival has been collecting and sharing stories since 2004 through their Narrative Stage, Oral History Project, radio series, and publications.

NOAA's Voices from the Fisheries is a growing, web-based repository for oral history interviews related to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries of the United States. Created in 2007, the website is a resource for those interested in the lives and experiences of people who fish our nation’s waters.  It currently contains more than 500 oral histories, the majority of which are from the Northeastern U.S., along with podcasts focused on key themes or collections within the archive.

Admission to the Working Waterfront Festival is free. Activities are held on Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 3, State Pier, and Steamship Pier. The festival features live maritime and ethnic music, dance and poetry performances, fishermen's contests, fresh seafood, harbor and vessel tours,whaleboat races, panel discussions and author readings, cooking demonstrations, activities for children, and more.

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