Townsfolk debate the fate of an abandoned 19th century paint factory on Gloucester’s inner harbor. It’s symbolic of a larger debate over Gloucester’s economic and cultural identity.
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Over the last four centuries, Gloucester has lost, on average, one fisherman every thirteen days. The memory of the dead, and the knowledge that there will be more, have always haunted the town and its people.
For nine nights each summer, the Italian-Americans of Gloucester gather to pray to the patron saint of fishermen. It’s been a tradition since the 1920s. But with the depletion of the fish stocks, townsfolk are beginning to contemplate a very different future.
Gloucester was once one of the greatest fishing ports on earth. Today it’s a gritty place where fishermen struggle to make a living. A debate over a proposed foreign-owned herring processing plant casts light on the challenges facing a town – and an industry – in transition.