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Veteran New Bedford fisherman Rodney Avila leads off speaking series at Fishing Heritage Center

rodney-avilaWith a lifelong career in commercial fishing and fishing safety, Rodney Avila is a man everyone on the waterfront knows. On Wednesday night, he drew on his considerable expertise in a genial and well-informed talk at the Fishing Heritage Center about life in the fishing industry. His was the first in what will be a series of talks on all aspects of commercial fishing at the fledgling center. He brought out about 20 people, some elderly, some in their 50s and 60s and almost all of them associated with the industry, to hear him explain just how a fishing boat worked. Avila, who began fishing at 9 years old, was so determined to go on a fishing trip to Georges Bank that he said he pestered his parents into giving him permission. At 13 he went to Georges Bank as a birthday present, setting him on a course that would last for 47 years. “They did it just to have peace in the house,” he said. Avila was asked to tell the step-by-step process that gets a boat to sea and gets it back again without trouble, which wasn’t always the case. Video, read the rest here 19:43