Shipwreck off Gloucester listed on National Register of Historic Places

Maine maritime museum

By Martin Finucane


The wreck of an early 20th-century fishing schooner that is resting on the sea floor off Massachusetts has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

The 105-foot-long Joffre, which was built in 1918 in Essex and sank in 1947 off Gloucester, represents technological change in the New England fishing industry as it transitioned from fishing with hooks to trawling, the NOAA said.

The Joffre fished with tub trawls, or hooks, until 1939, when it was converted to a diesel-powered eastern rig dragger, a type of trawler, the NOAA said in a statement. Trawlers catch fish by pulling nets behind them.

The conversion "reflected changes in the fishing industry, both at sea and onshore, that dramatically changed America's relationship to seafood," said Craig MacDonald, superintendent of the NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which is where the wreck lies. "The shipwreck is a physical link to New England's rich maritime heritage."


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Massachusetts Gloucester National Register of Historic Places Joffre New England fishing industry