De Hirsh Margules, Mother Ann Lighthouse, Eastern Point, Gloucester, 1946. Gouache on paper. Gift of Jean M. Horblit, 2002. [Acc. #2002.004.002]
BOSTON — The fishing industry is reeling this month following emergency calls from federal regulators to further limit cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine. A final vote is expected in November.
One hard-hit community that’s bracing for the outcome is Gloucester on Cape Ann. But a new portrait project is revealing another side to the faces, families and stories you can find on America’s oldest working waterfront.
“When I went to school you saw the boats, but you never saw the guys inside of them,” Vito Giacalone recalled. “I mean they were just going by you and you never could see the people.”
The 29-year-old grew up in Gloucester watching his father and grandfather fish for a living. Now Giacalone and his two brothers own Fisherman’s Wharf, a seafood auction house and dealership on the harbor. Last year, the three generations posed together for a community portrait project.
“Now you can see who captains them, who’s the crewmen on the boat, and I think that’s a sense of pride for these guys,” Giacalone told me with a smile. Though, at the same time, he says these guys (and some girls) could really use a boost.
“A lot of the morale is down with the fishermen,” he said.