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Theme: Regulations

Interviewee: Anonymous

Role: Seafood processing workers

Date of Interview: 2007 to 2010

Collection: New Bedford Processing Workers 2007-2010

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Immigrant women processing workers discuss how fishing regulations affect them.

Many Central American women are employed in New Bedford’s seafood processing industry.  These exhibits were created using excerpts from oral history interviews with 15 of these women.  Each exhibit is thematic and includes the voices of several women.  The interviews were conducted in Spanish. An English language transcript is provided. 

Transcript:I10: They say because the boats are not catching as much fish and that the quantity they are allowed to catch is being decreased, and that there are other companies that are buying fish too, and that they’re not getting as much. That is the explanation they are giving us of why there is not much work right now.

I15- We heard a little bit that it was bad in fishing that they are not selling much and that has affected us. It’s not like before we have heard that it has affected the fishermen and they are not able to go out continuously. We hear people talking about it, but we don’t know much about it because what we know is how to clean the fish. But yes, we have heard that it is very bad for the fishermen and it has affected our company too. What we have heard is that the (fishing) trips are not like they used to be when the boats came in loaded with fish and now they say they bring in very little. They are going through a rough time and that is why it has affected our company and our families too. . . . I have a friend who is Portuguese and her husband is a fisherman. He is Portuguese too. She says fishing is very bad. Sometimes her husband stays home for a month without going out to sea. She has commented to me about this and that’s why we have found out why work has been slow at our company.

I6- Sometimes when the boats would go out they would only bring back a little bit of fish, so it depended in how much fish the boat brought in to know how much you could work. If there was only a little, you would work 2 or 3 days.  Sometimes you worked 12 hours, sometimes 8 hours depending on the fish brought in by the fishermen. . .  I know some Honduran fisherman too and they are helping out their families. They earn a good income but they take a big risk with all the danger that is in the sea. Sometimes we don't value the work that they do, if not for them we wouldn't be working. The people who clean the fish, all of us, those who eat fish at restaurants, we wouldn't have work otherwise. We should value them because thanks to them, they contribute a lot .

I5- What we really want is that work would pick up again, to give permission to the fishermen to go out more days more months, to give them work and in turn to give us work too to help us out. . . Well, what can we do? We have to ask God that the work will pick up, and that the people who don't want to give the permission to allow more fishing to allow more days, to put their hands on their hearts to think about all the people who are out of work , that they would be given the chance to work again.