New Bedford Fleet, photo New England Boating.

New Bedford Fleet, photo New England Boating. Gail Isaksen remembers when the commercial fishing industry in New Bedford Harbor collapsed in the mid-1980s: Cash-strapped boat owners scrimped on maintenance, borrowed to buy supplies they couldn’t afford, only to see their livelihoods destroyed.

“I have a list of guys who still owe me money,” said Isaksen, 68, the owner of Fairhaven Shipyard. “I’m not getting paid. They’re not coming back.”

Today, though, Isaksen’s shipyard is busy again with customers who can afford to pay: scallop fishermen.

Read more about how scalloping is helping New Bedford.


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