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What is the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center?

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Michael Rock (September 22, 2020)

Much the way the Whaling Museum in New Bedford honors and educates about the most lucrative era in the city’s history, there is another organization in New Bedford that does something similar for the fishing industry.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center’s aim is to preserve the storied fishing heritage of the SouthCoast.

There are displays that honor the men and women in the industry, along with their families. Due to the long periods of time that the fishing boats would be at sea, it was (and is) a great strain on families. For those that have died at sea, their names are memorialized at places like the Heritage Center and Seamen’s Bethel. For their families, this means quite a bit.

One of those names is Thomas Quintin, Jr. Quintin is presumed to have fallen overboard two years ago while fishing in broad daylight off the coast of Long Island, New York. His daughter Kaylen Quintin told us that fishing was in his blood. It was a job he’d held since he was a teenager. In fact, both of Quintin’s grandfathers were also lost at sea.

“Fishing is dangerous, and he knew that,” she said. “All the men and women who go out there and fish, they know that, too. That’s always a possibility, and it’s scary.”

Kaylen Quintin was sure to mention women, because while they were not in the majority, there are a few women that have played a part on the working waterfront for decades. According to the Fishing Heritage Center, Mary Stanley – known as “Fish Mary” – was a figure on the New Bedford waterfront and the only female lumper in the 1950s and 1960s.

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center via Facebook

“We’re so thankful for places like the Fishing Heritage Center and Seamen’s Bethel. His name is up on the wall there with all of the other people who have lost their lives while fishing at sea,” Quintin said. She said there’s a certain amount of comfort that comes from the memorial.

Normally, the center hosts a Seafood Soirée dining event as its major fundraising event of the year, but the event has been changed up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The center is instead selling coupon books featuring discounts to a list of local restaurants and seafood markets. There will also be an online auction.

The following businesses will all having coupons in the Soirée book:

  • Acushnet Creamery
  • Bittersweet Farm Restaurant and Tavern
  • The Black Whale
  • Bom Apetite
  • Brothers Artisanal Premium Jerky
  • Cafe Roma
  • Cape Quality Seafood Market
  • Danny’s Seafood Bar & Grille
  • DeMellos Produce Market
  • Destination Soups
  • Dorothy Cox’s Chocolate
  • Gary’s Best
  • Green Bean
  • Kool Kone
  • Kyler’s Catch Seafood Market
  • Little Moss
  • Marion General Store
  • Merrill’s on the Wharf
  • Moby Dick Brewing Co.
  • PLAY Arcade
  • Rochelle’s Restaurant
  • Rockin’ Guac
  • Table 8
  • The Baker
  • The Galley Grille
  • The Little Village Cafe
  • Tia Maria’s
  • Yia Yia’s Pizza Café

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