Fishing Traditions & Fishing Futures in Georgia

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Sweeney Tookes, Bryan Fluech


The goal of the “Fishing Traditions and Fishing Futures” project is to raise awareness of the experiences of commercial fishermen and their changing livelihoods in Georgia by documenting their local fisheries knowledge and perspectives about the state and fate of Georgia’s commercial fishing industry through the use of oral histories. Capturing the life stories and experiences of Georgia’s commercial fishermen is especially important since many local communities have depended on the coastal environment for their economic and cultural base for generations. (34 total)


Below are four Links to Recording From McIntosh Fishermen, that are several more in the collection. I believe these four would be good ones to begin with for the board.


Thornell King, Darien, Georgia


The interview begins with a brief history of Thornell King’s childhood and his father’s involvement in selling fish back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He then goes on to talk about his brief interest in shrimping and how that eventually led him into the world of jellyballing.


Gibb Walker, Sapelo Island, Georgia


He describes that he was born in Sapelo, but moved to Brunswick with his family because there were no jobs in Sapelo. He explains that his uncle made him fall in love with shrimping at the age of 15 or 16 years. He father was also a shrimper. At 20, Walker ran a boat in 1961. He has not been shrimping since 2000 or 2003. He explains that in Darien most shrimp dealers were Portuguese.


Reverend Robert Thorpe Harris Neck, Georgia


One of the original members of the Harris Neck community explains fishing, crabbing, and oyster picking in McIntosh County, Georgia. He recounts the locations and ownership succession of oyster factories in the area. Thorpe’s oral history describes how catch was sold in Harris Neck and surrounding communities to support his family; the roles of men and women working in oyster plants; and wintertime trapping as a way to supplement fishing income.



Charlie Philips, Crescent, Georgia