March 9, 2016

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center Leases Downtown Space

New Bedford, MA — The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is pleased to announce its plans to lease space at 38 Bethel Street beginning on April 1st of this year. Located in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the 3000 square foot, handicap accessible space will accommodate changing exhibits, public programs, school groups, archives, and community gatherings. Exhibits are under development with a public opening planned for late June.

“The commercial fishing community deserves a place to preserve and present its stories and artifacts, share its skills and knowledge, and educate the public about its rich traditions, heritage, and contemporary existence. We are excited to provide that opportunity.” Executive Director, Laura Orleans.

During 2016 the Center will continue to present Dock-u-mentaries, its monthly film/speaker series and Something Fishy, its free summer camp program, in collaboration with the National Park and Whaling History Alliance. Weekly cruise ship programs and fishermen-led walking tours will be offered during the summer months. A variety of public programs including author readings, talks, occupational demonstrations, and performances will be presented. In addition, an interactive website with digital exhibits, an industry timeline, and standards-based curriculum materials will be launched in April. The Center is also working in collaboration with UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, and the New Bedford Public Library on a year-long initiative to create a digital archive of fishing community history.

The Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through archives, exhibits, and programs. The Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information visit

MIT Sea Grant's anthropologist Madeleine Hall-Arber sits on the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Board.


FishingHeritage Center Executive Director and members of the Board pose in front of the space they will lease in downtown New Bedford. (from the left: Phil Mello, Kirsten Bendiksen, Laura Orleans, Cassie Canastra, Madeleine Hall-Arber, and David Martins. Not pictured: Ann Jardin-Maynard, Stephanie Rafael-DeMello, and Jeff Pelletier)