The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association is a multifaceted organization providing for many of the needs of the diverse fishing communities based in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The organization recognizes that the fishing industry is at a crossroads as it continues to face the harshest fishing regulations to date. GFWA is working with local fishermen to establish market-based approaches that will allow fishermen to make a living while ensuring a sustainable fishery. While advocating for the right of fishermen to continue to fish, the GFWA also is working to preserve the ocean ecosystem as a source of nutritious food. To accomplish this, the GFWA works with fishing families, scientists, community groups, religious leaders, members of Congress, and others to assist in this time of transition.

Its sister organization, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Development Programs (GFWDP), provides education, training, research, and support for the conservation of ocean ecosystems, the promotion of underutilized species, transitional programs for fishermen and family members, and charitable and social services for families in fishing and related industries.

Its efforts are concentrated in the following areas:

  • Advocating for regulations that make it possible for fishermen to earn a decent living
  • Sustainable use of ocean ecosystems and resources
  • Promotion of sustainable fishing
  • Improvement of public health and nutrition
  • Cultural and community awareness and education
  • Job training and transitional programs
  • Educational activities

Past activities have included:

  • Presentations or workshops in schools about fishing, fish, and nutritious ways to prepare and eat fish
  • Public seminars on health related issues of particular concern to fishing communities
  • Community planning meetings, such as, Vision 2020 and Citizens for Gloucester Harbor
  • Regional or broader meetings to facilitate communication on social, economic, and fisheries management issues through such events as an International Women in Fisheries Conference
  • Exhibitions to communicate the oral history, knowledge, and experience of fishermen and their families
  • Mentor programs to match high school students with professionals in the workplace and provide them with workplace learning
  • Lectures and presentations to provide fishing community information and research to universities and others with an interest in educational and curriculum development to promote better understanding of the complex issues of fisheries, habitat, and communities which depend upon them
  • Coordinate joint projects with scientists and fishermen working together so that fishermen can learn from scientists and scientists can learn from past and present fishing experience

For a list of GFWA Programs, Accomplishments, and Programs, June 2008 to June 2009, click here.