New Bedford, Mass. — The Dock-U-Mentaries Film Series continues on Friday, April 20th at 7:00 PM with Counting Fish a film by Don Cuddy. 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.
New England groundfishermen are in trouble. The annual catch limits are now set so low that many boats remain tied to the dock. But controversy abounds. The fishing industry has expressed no confidence in the NOAA trawl survey that provides the raw data for the stock assessment. But counting fish in the ocean is no easy task. While everyone agrees that more and better data is needed NOAA Fisheries says its resources are already overtaxed.
UMass Dartmouth marine scientist Kevin Stokesbury believes he may have found a solution- using cameras to record fish passing through a net that is intentionally left open, allowing them to escape unharmed. The video is then taken ashore and analyzed to obtain an estimate of stock abundance for a variety of species. Don Cuddy documented this new technology in action and the results can be seen in this splendid documentary. Film maker Don Cuddy will lead a post-film discussion.
The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, located at 38 Bethel Street, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of New Bedford’s fishing industry through exhibits, programs, and archives.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM-4 PM. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge. For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to www.nps.gov/nebe or visit the park’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NBWNHP. Everyone finds their park in a different way. Discover yours at FindYourPark.com