Joe Bettencourt came to the United States from the Azores with his mother and brother when he was 14 years old. He was inspired by his father’s fishing business in the old country, and as he became a father himself, set out to begin his own fishing legacy for his family. We like to think that he would be pleased that more than a century later his Grandson David and Great Grandson Geoff are in business together and still working the ocean. The photo above includes Joe and 3 of his sons, including our grandfather Henry as a teen (4th from the left).
Though the Bettencourt family is deeply rooted in tradition and “old school” honor that has spanned a century, the family business has also adapted over the years by upgrading vessels, rebuilding the Moriah Lee and venturing into new fisheries.
Few changes to the business have been more significant than Geoff’s pioneering partnerships with environmental groups. Although Geoff started out heavily invested in the bottom trawl fishery, with his dad’s support, he has taken the business in a new direction by embracing sustainable fishing and undergoing a major gear shift to environmentally friendly traps.
The Bettencourt’s realized that Geoff had many years of fishing ahead of him and the only way to both protect the resource and secure his family’s future is to combine that old school honor & wisdom with a progressive modern approach to the future of fishing.
In 2011 the Bettencourt men asked daughter and sister Lisa Bettencourt-Damrosch to join the family business. Lisa has 20+ years of sales and marketing experience, and works from land to expand the business into new market arenas.
The family, David and wife Donna, Geoff and his wife Moriah and son Alex and Lisa and husband Matt and son Todd, all reside in Half Moon Bay, California a few miles from each other, where they are grateful for a family business and the opportunity to enjoy each others company.