From Boat to Table
Using objects, text, photographs, audio, and video, this interactive exhibit allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the seafood industry. Each section of the exhibit includes a look at changes over time with historical artifacts that speak to “back when.”
Gearing Up presents the shoreside work involved in getting a vessel ready for fishing from vessel construction and the design and manufacture of nets and dredges to taking on fuel, ice, and provisions. Visitors can try mending a section of net and develop a grub list – a shopping list to feed their crew.
At Sea explores daily life aboard a fishing vessel including all aspects of the work, the use of technology for navigation and communication, and the importance of safety, as well as the experience of cooking, eating, and sleeping at sea. A wheelhouse creates a sense of shipboard life. A dress up area allows visitors to don fisherman’s clothing.
Sustaining the Resource provides an overview of industry efforts to ensure a healthy and plentiful resource including cooperative research which combines skills and knowledge of fishermen and scientists, advancements in technology, and gear modifications to allow for greater selectivity and reduced by-catch.
Landing the Catch follows the seafood from fish hold to auction, to processing plant, and finally to market. A seafood recipe exchange collects and disseminates community recipes. Settlement sheets from the 1960s and today illustrate changing economics.
The Fish News allows visitors to listen a broadcast by local radio personality Bill Brennan. For over 20 years, Fish News was a vital link between sea and shore. Listen to excerpts from a 1983 broadcast and browse our library of commercial fishing books and current and back issues of industry trade papers.
We Came to Fish, We Came to Work: Stories of Immigration
The Port of New Bedford has long drawn immigrants from around the world. Despite differences in language and culture, a highly-valued fishing industry developed, drawing on the strengths of immigrants from all over the world including Norway, Cape Verde, Guatemala, Nova Scotia, Vietnam, and Portugal. We Came to Fish, We Came to Work: Stories of Immigration explores stories of immigration and cultural heritage on New Bedford’s working waterfront.
Over the next 8 months, we will look at cultural heritage through a variety of programs including film screenings, cooking and craft demos, performances, and talks, which will be offered virtually until we are able to re-open the Center.
The Center’s 2020 exhibits and programs are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Commonwealth Initiative, and the Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, and New Bedford Cultural Councils.