Interviewee: John Liarikos

Role: Owner of Sea Fuels

Date of Interview: 9/24/05

Collection: Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project

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

Abstract: Owner of Sea Fuels talks about the day to day operation of his company which provides fuel for the New Bedford fishing fleet.

Transcript: My father was with a oil company called Stanley Oil Company, which was started by my Uncle Stanley, my father’s uncle, actually he was my great uncle. And they were big suppliers to the fishing industries back in the 70’s. I worked for my Uncle Stanley’s company when I was in high school, in the late 60’s early 70’s in the summer time. So I’d come down to the waterfront once and a while with my father when he came down he used to supply. They were the largest suppliers to the New Bedford Seafood Co-op at the time. Fuel oil suppliers. So I’d come down with him once in a while when he came down to see his customers. I got involved with the fishing industry on a day-to-day basis in 1985.

We have got 250 feet of dockage. We have a full supply warehouse and we have diesel pumps at the dock and we also have two fuel barges that go out in the harbor and fuel the fishing fleet on a daily basis.

We take the fuel in everyday. We have our own storage facility which make it convenient for us because we can, when there’s a lot of price fluctuations in the fuel we can kinda control what our costs is going to be so that our customers don’t get killed with a ten or twenty cent price spike. So we bring the fuel into our tanks and from our tanks we feed the barge and we feed the fuel dock. And the barge goes out and we fill the barges at our own facility, from our tanks. It goes out every morning at five o’clock.  We know which customers have come in overnight. They’re off-loading. We put the fuel on. The fuel bill goes right to the settlement house. The settlement house gets the check from the fish dealer who buys the catch off the boat. And they take out the fuel bill, they take out the grub bill, any food they purchased for the trip, any gear work they’ve done for that particular trip, and the rest is distributed amongst the captain and the crew and the boat owner.

We start at four thirty in the morning. Every morning. We’re open till four o’clock every afternoon. I have a general manager that runs the day-to-day operations. I usually come in around five thirty, six o’clock. And then my day is seeing what’s going on for the course of the day and then I’ve gotta get out and see customers. I’ve got to go out and try and find new customers, I’ve got to do the day-to-day business stuff that you have to do. Look at the stuff that comes in front of you—Deal with the regulations. You know, move people around if I need got a truck driver over here I’ve gotta send him there. And then I’m in and out of the office. I’m on the road most of the day, I don’t like being in the office. I spend two or three hours first thing in the morning, but by nine or ten o’clock I’m out, and I’m back and forth and then I usually like to get back before by time we close just to see what’s going on for the next day and talk to Paul about what happened this day.

To read John's full transcript, click here.