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Human connection to our nation's fisheries comes alive through oral history project
Date:12/16/2008

e to both the public and to researchers, and to give people an opportunity to share their stories by recording oral histories which can then be added to the collections. These oral histories have the power to illuminate common themes, issues and concerns across diverse fishing communities over time and illustrate the rich cultural foundations of our nation's fisheries."

Each oral history provides an in-depth view of the personal and professional lives of an individual. Entries from the Northeast, for example, range from Sarah Broadwell, a female fisherman from Montauk, N.Y., who talks about being a woman in an industry dominated by men, to Adelmar "Tuddy" Urquhart, a retired 77-year-old fisherman from Jonesport, Maine, who discusses how the fishing industry, technology and fishermen changed over his lifetime.

The Voices project started five years ago in Maine as the Local Fisheries Knowledge Pilot Project, with funding from the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology. The project goal was to train high school students to conduct oral history interviews with local fishermen and others in marine-related fishing industries to explore the connection between their communities, fisheries and the marine environment. A database for these interviews was created as part of that effort, which has now evolved into the Voices from the Fisheries project.

Abbott-Jamieson and Pinto da Silva are now contacting people and organizations with oral history collections to see if they are interested in consolidating and making available their collections in a central repository or archive. The interview database is searchable in a number of ways, from regions of the country to the gender and occupations of the participants.

While most of the interviews in the database to date come from the Northeast, Abbott-Jamieson and Pinto da Silva plan to add interviews from other regions of the country and from U.S. territories such as the Pac
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Contact: Shelley Dawicki
shelley.dawicki@noaa.gov
508-495-2378
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Source:Eurekalert  

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