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To educate the public about the history and culture of New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry by engaging them in authentic experiences, to document that culture and history for future generations, and to honor and support the men and women who make their living from the sea.


Education and Interpretation
To educate the public about the culture and history of the working waterfront

  • By developing temporary and permanent exhibits
  • By providing school-based and site-based programs for students
  • By providing classroom resources including guest speakers, audio visual materials, and curriculum materials
  • By providing public programs for people of all ages
  • By providing educational opportunities for adults
  • By cooperating with area high schools, colleges, and universities to offer internships
  • By establishing a resource center and public archive
  • By producing and disseminating media and publications

Preservation & Documentation
To preserve the artifacts of the commercial fishing industry

  • By establishing an archive for photographs and documents
  • By incorporating artifacts into permanent and temporary exhibits
  • By documenting artifacts
  • By establishing appropriate storage for artifacts and documents

To document the lives, skills and traditions of the working waterfront

  • By conducting ongoing oral history interviews and digital documentation of the community

Community Support & Partnerships
To strengthen the fishing community

  • By engaging retired/former fishermen/workers as docents, advisors, and presenters
  • By providing a gathering place for fishermen and others in the industry
  • By referring fishermen to social services
  • By honoring those lost at sea

To develop strong partnerships

  • By collaborating with other local cultural institutions to develop complementary exhibits, programs, and co-marketing opportunities



38 Bethel Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Located in New Bedford, the nation’s most valuable fishing port, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives.

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