Angela Sanfilippo has spearheaded campaigns to protect the physical and economic health of commercial fishermen, their families and the communities in which they live. The longtime president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association waged battle with energy behemoths while opposing two live natural gas pipeline terminals within about a dozen miles of Gloucester’s shores. She fought foreign encroachment into U.S. fishing grounds and wrestled with fishing regulators over onerous fishery management regulations that have shrunk access to the rich fishing grounds that surround Cape Ann. Now Sanfilippo is saddling up one more time to try to prevent the inexorable march of offshore wind projects in Massachusetts waters from blowing away elements of the Bay State’s historic and productive fishing industry. Read the full article …
Deb Kelsey is a New Bedford native and works as a “navigator” for Fishing Partnership Support Services, a nonprofit with four locations in Massachusetts, including New Bedford. As a certified recovery coach and community health worker, she enrolls fishermen in health insurance, connects them with recovery resources for substance use disorder, walks the piers to inform captains of training opportunities and makes house calls with local police and pastors. “I like to think of myself as a bridge builder,” she said. Read the full article ….
In April of 2021, Fishing Partnership Support Services (FPSS) took over Lifejackets for Lobstermen, which fits with our mission to provide safety trainings, health insurance and other support for commercial fishermen. The Lifejacket Van will be featured at safety trainings and made available to commercial fishermen and fisheries throughout the Northeast. To schedule a training or to find out about plans for the Lifejacket Van, contact us or read this article from the CDC to learn more.
Anastasia E. Lennon reports on the occasion of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s tour of the New Bedford Waterfront Vaccination Center at 14 Hervey Tichon Avenue, scheduled to open later this month.The new waterfront site will handle at least 125 vaccinations per hour, according to the city, with the capacity to vaccinate 800 to 1,000 individuals per day. Fishing Partnership Navigators Deb Kelsey and Jenny Amaral are featured in the article. Kelsey says, “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is ideal for commercial fishermen, many of whom have odd or unpredictable schedules.” Jenny Amaral shared that her partner is a ground fisherman who had to call to reschedule his second appointment because it did not fit with his fishing trip.”
Fishing Partnership has been awarded a second grant to assist Cape Cod fishing families with essential needs such as groceries, gas, utilities, childcare, auto loan and auto insurance payments, medical bills, rent, and for the first time since the pandemic began, mortgage payments. Disbursements of nearly $40,000 will be made through gift cards and direct vendor payments.
In this article by reporter Anastasia E. Lennon, Heidi Sulman, VP of Health Policy at Fishing Partnership explains why the nature of the job puts commercial fishermen in a tough position for getting vaccinated, “If they don’t work, they’re not getting paid.” Dan Orchard, VP and COO at Fishing Partnership adds, “most fishermen do not have reliable internet access at sea in order to schedule an appointment.”
What Fishermen Are Saying
Fishing Partnership has had a major impact on my life. In these uncertain times in the fishing industry, having access to affordable health insurance is a great relief. Thank you, your efforts are much appreciated.
Edward D., Marblehead
A lot of fishermen and their families would be without health care if it were not for you guys. Keep up the good work.
Tom M., Hingham
We can’t thank Fishing Partnership enough for being there when we needed affordable quality health coverage.
Peter P., Gloucester
Fishing Partnership is the best thing that ever happened to fishermen. Without it, I wouldn’t know what to do about my doctor bills.
Antone S., New Bedford