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Lo Van Nguyen

Lo with his wife, Muk. Photo by Phil Mello


“Used to be, the first Vietnamese fisherman in New Bedford, was me!”

“They say communists, they don’t treat people too good. That’s why when they came over I ran away. They came looking for me and my family say, ‘well, he left here a long, long time. He don’t live here.’ They keep looking for three years. After the last year, I can’t remember exactly why they found me. And they put me in the jail. But after six months I made a hole in the land. I ran out. Me and a couple guys. That’s why I left.”

“We left Vietnam, we came [to] Malaysia, we stay over here for nine, ten months. And wait for US Consul. They decide where my family can go. We came to America. The first time we came into New York.

“They put me in the newspapers. They need some people’s help who want to sponsor my family. That’s why two Unitarian churches, one in New Bedford, one in Fairhaven, called a meeting together and try to bring me here.”

“Knut Arnsheim said he don’t care how’s my English, he cares about [whether] I know how to cut the fish and do the job on the boat. That’s what he needs. That’s why I get a job.”

Life in Vietnam:

“I lived on a small island in southeast Vietnam. About 50 miles from the mainland. People that live on the island are all fishermen. Every man is a fisherman. The ladies are farmers. I started fishing with my father when I was a boy, about 6 or 7 years old.“



Lo fishes for scallops on the F/V Hunter and the F/V Kathryn Marie.

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