Remembering the Fishermens Strike of 1985-86

young man holding an "on strike" placard stands next to a fishing boat at a dock
Fisherman on strike

Spinner Publications

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News Release Date: November 11, 2017

Contact: Laura Orleans, 508-993-8894

When workers don’t receive what they feel is their fair share they will often go on strike. New Bedford fishermen took that action in 1985-1986. Find out the rest of that story, as the Dock-U-Mentaries Film Series continues on November 17th at 7:00 p.m. This month the film Community Conversation: Remembering the Fishermen’s Strike of 1985-86 will be presented. Dock-U-Mentaries is a co-production of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center. Films about the working waterfront are screened on the third Friday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the theater of the Corson Maritime Learning Center, located at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. All programs are open to the public and presented free of charge.


The Fishing Heritage Center is currently working to document the history of organized labor on the New Bedford/Fairhaven waterfront. On November 17th, we invite the public to join us for a community conversation on this topic. We will show clips of television coverage from the period, play excerpts from a live radio broadcast, and present a slide show of archival images. Community members will be invited to share their memories of these events. This month’s program is co-sponsored by Spinner Publications and the UMass Dartmouth Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center. Funding for the project has been provided by Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of New Bedford’s fishing industry through exhibits, programs, and archives.


New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM-4 PM. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge. For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to or visit the park’s Facebook page at Everyone finds their park in a different way. Discover yours at


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Last updated: November 11, 2017

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