Professional mariners recognized for contributions to industry

(NEW BEDFORD, Mass.) — In an award ceremony at the East Coast’s largest commercial marine trade show, three professional mariners were honored for their significant contributions to the marine industry.

New Bedford, Mass., Mayor Scott Lang presents one of three Professional Mariner awards to Harriet Didriksen.

The Commercial Marine Expo (formally Fish Expo Atlantic), with a 42-year history, is an annual trade show that rotates between New Bedford and Norfolk, Va. Presented on June 9 at a waterfront location at the State Pier, the Mayor’s Professional Mariner Awards were conducted by New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang. The award is new this year and will be given out each time the show comes to New Bedford. It can be presented to an individual or an organization.

One of this year’s awards went to Harriet Didriksen for her perseverance and devotion to the New England fishing industry. “Harriet Didriksen is constantly fighting for fishing families, the fishing way of life, and the American dream,” said Lang. She comes from a long line of commercial mariners. More than an advocate, Didriksen has her own fishing vessel named Settler, and owns New Bedford Ship Supply. She is the former owner of Bagatell, which now resides at Stony Brook University, in New York, as an educational vessel.

Also honored at the award ceremony were the late Capt. Martin “Marty” Manley, 76, and the late Howard Nickerson, 97. Both men started their maritime careers when they were young and steadily persisted after retirement.

Professional Mariner Publisher Alex Agnew presenting the first Professional Mariner Award in New Bedford, Mass., at the CME.

“Captain Manley was a tireless advocate for the commercial scallop fishing industry. He was a recognized industry leader and received numerous awards and accolades, including Helmsman of the Year from the Port of Gloucester. He was a member and former President of the Offshore Mariners Association,” Lang said.

For 65 years, “Mr. Nickerson participated in the industry from every angle: as a fisherman himself; representing fishermen, seafood dealers, seafood workers, and boat owners; and directing state and municipal agencies — always fighting for fairer regulations.”

The awards are sponsored by Professional Mariner magazine, the city of New Bedford and the Commercial Marine Expo.

By Professional Mariner Staff