Tuna. What I ate for lunch every day in high school. What I ask for these days in sushi. And now there’s Wicked Tuna, a National Geographic series about the lives of Gloucester fishermen who pursue their livelihood in pursuit of these magnificent silvery fish. (Seeing them hooked, harpooned and decapitated might make a vegetarian out of me.) The series starts Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel and was previewed this week at the Wilbur Theatre, with many of the fishermen, friends and relatives in attendance.
Such stories are also the subject of a Regis College musical in April based on oral histories of the Gloucester fishermen’s wives. It will be at the college in Weston from the 11th to 14th and at the Cape Ann Theatre in Gloucester the 20th and 21st.
But overfishing isn’t the only threat to Gloucester. Increasingly there are concerns about community gentrification and historic neighborhoods giving way to luxury development. Gloucester seems on the verge of solidifying the home of its 400-year-old fishing industry by marrying it to 21st century activities around marine innovation. It’s still a working class community, and one hopes it won’t become too precious as travelers and high rollers move in. Sadly, if gentrification goes too far, the real endangered species might turn out to be the Gloucester fishermen and families themselves.
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