GLOUCESTER, MA – Fishermen, fish buyers, community members, and state, federal, and local officials all honored Angela Sanfilippo, the longtime president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association (GFWA), during a “sea to supper” dinner here on Aug. 24.
The dinner celebrated Sanfilippo’s 40 years of leadership and service to the fishing community.
Under Sanfilippo’s guidance, the Fishermen’s Wives have labored to improve safety standards on US vessels and to develop new seafood markets, particularly for abundant but lesser known species such as redfish and whiting.
They helped spearhead a successful fight against offshore oil drilling on Georges Bank and to establish a marine sanctuary at Stellwagen Bank.
And their work helped launch the first subsidized health plan for fishermen, a model for both a Massachusetts plan and Obamacare.
Above all, the Wives have sought to protect the health of the oceans and the future of the fisheries that feed us all.
The dinner also raised funds for Fishing Partnership Support Services, of which Sanfilippo is a founder and “navigator,” or counselor. She is also the executive director of a separate organization, the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, which represents commercial fishing groups throughout the state.
Fishing Partnership Support Services, the evening’s host and beneficiary, serves some 19,000 households in New England, providing, among other services, assistance enrolling in health plans, safety and survival at sea training, CPR certification, financial and legal advice, health and dental screenings, professional counseling, and disaster relief support.
The partnership maintains offices in Gloucester, New Bedford, Chatham, and Plymouth, MA, as well as in Kennebunk, ME.
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