28th Annual Fishermen's Day celebrates Stonington's fishing heritage

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STONINGTON - Each year, the town gets together for Fishermen's Day, full of fun while also thanking the men and women who work hard on the bay.

"We just want to be there to help our fellow fishermen," said Vickie Hardie, the Co-President of the Island Fishermen's Wives Association.

For the past 28 years, the Island Fishermen's Wives Association has hosted Fisherman's Day.

"It's the biggest fundraiser we do, so if they come out and support us we can support the community that has supported us," said Hardie.

On Sunday, vendors filled the Stonington Fishing Pier with clothing, accessories and of course, food.

"People from away are able to see how the island is and be able to visit different booths and experience lobster, fresh cod," said Jessica Trainor, of Deer Isle.

While the day is full of fun events, it's also a time to honor the fishing and lobster business, which forms the foundation for the island's economy.

"Oh it's everything, always has been. It's a big impact everyone depends on it in one way or another," said Richard Kent, a fisherman.

Sunday morning, the Island Fishermen's Wives Association added three men to it's Fisherman's Hall of Fame, celebrating the contributions of fishermen who are living today, as well those lost at sea.

"I really didn't think it was a big thing, but after being in this town with so many big fishermen and smart fishermen, I'm really proud to be inducted into the hall of fame," said Richard Bridges, a fisherman and Hall of Fame Inductee.

"I'm very humbled that they would pick me out of all the fishermen for this year, and you just do what you can to help," said Kent, also an inductee.

Kent and Bridges have been working as fishermen, combined, over one hundred years. They say they couldn't have done it alone.

"A fisherman needs a good wife to be behind him, because most fishermen don't do book work or cooking or all that stuff, but a good woman behind you, you're all set," Bridges said.

This tight-knit group will keep working, hoping to get younger generations involved in fishing, to ensure the survival of the industry that means the world to them.

"I love fishing and I love the fishermen in this town, every one of them are good fishermen," said Bridges.

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