New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Exhibits

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The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center will have a new home, beginning on April 1st of this year. Located in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, at 38 Bethel Street, the 3000 square foot, handicap accessible space will accommodate changing exhibits, public programs, school groups, archives, and community gatherings. A public opening is planned for late June.

“The commercial fishing community deserves a place to preserve and present its stories and artifacts, share its skills and knowledge, and educate the public about its rich traditions, heritage, and contemporary existence. We are excited to provide that opportunity.” said Executive Director, Laura Orleans.

During 2016 the Center will continue to present Dock-u-mentaries, its monthly film/speaker series and Something Fishy, its free summer camp program, in collaboration with the National Park and Whaling History Alliance. Weekly cruise ship programs, and fishermen-led walking tours will be offered during the summer months.

A variety of public programs including author readings, talks, occupational demonstrations, and performances will be presented. In addition, an interactive website with digital exhibits, an industry timeline, and standards-based curriculum materials will be launched in April.

The Center is also working in collaboration with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, and the New Bedford Public Library on a year-long initiative to create a digital archive of fishing community history.

Dock-U-Mentaries continues on Friday, March 18th with the premier of a new film “Sustaining Sea Scallops.”  The screening will take place on Friday, March 18th at 7pm at the National Park Theater (33 William Street) and is presented free of charge.

In 1999, the Atlantic sea scallop industry, in collaboration with federal managers, created the first-ever research set-aside program, designed to ensure a sustainable harvest with minimal impacts on the marine environment. Fifteen years later, the Atlantic sea scallop is hailed as one of the most well-managed and lucrative fisheries in the world.

From New Bedford, Massachusetts to Seaford, Virginia, SUSTAINING SEA SCALLOPS tells the tale of cooperative research, and how it could be a new model for sustaining healthy fisheries and fishing communities. Film makers Elise Hugus & Daniel Cojanu, and marine engineer and fisheries scientist Ron Smolowitz of Coonamessett Farm Foundation will introduce the film and answer questions following the screening.

Elise Hugus and Daniel Cojanu are co-founders of UnderCurrent Productions, a science & environment video production company based in Woods Hole, Mass. Ron Smolowitz, a marine engineer and retired NOAA Corps officer, has been conducting fisheries research and fishing gear development for almost 40 years. His specialties include exploratory fishing surveys, reducing bycatch in fishing gear, and studying the behavior of species interacting with fishing gear.

Dock-U-Mentaries is a co-production of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, and the Working Waterfront Festival.  Films about the working waterfront are screened on the third Friday of each month beginning at 7:00 PM in the theater of the Corson Maritime Learning Center, located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. All programs are open to the public and presented free of charge.

source: New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center