Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Ben Berke: We’re making more money from seafood in this port than any other port in America. But there are some fisheries that aren’t financially stable anymore. As offshore wind starts to move in, do you think the fishing industry’s physical presence in New Bedford will shrink?

Gordon Carr: No. I don't. What I have seen with that industry over 20 or 30 years of observing it is that it’s an extraordinarily resilient commercial industry that is also sustainable and understands the importance of the ecology of the ocean to their livelihood. They adapt and have for decades. I will say that it is a top priority of the Port Authority, and certainly the City of New Bedford to help them do that however we can — making sure that we have the facilities that they need, the policies in place that they need, and that we advocate on their behalf at every level.

Berke: Last year, the owner of New Bedford’s biggest fishing fleet, Roy Enoksen, actually sued the city over a proposal that could basically force him to give up a piece of the waterfront he leases from the city to the offshore wind industry. When a conflict like that arises, how do you pick between leasing to a fishermen versus leasing to an offshore wind contractor?

Carr: Well, I think it's sort of hard to speculate on something like that. That's a hypothetical. But that's what long term planning is for, right? It's to not get yourself into that sort of bind.

Berke: But this piece of the waterfront that Enoksen sued over is a real example of this kind of conflict. So in the end, does the Port Authority simply give the lease to whoever’s willing to pay more?

Carr: I don't think so. I mean, I'm not going to prejudge our decisionmaking on the use of the site. There's all kinds of other factors that go into that. Somebody could offer to spend a lot of money and create relatively modest or minimal economic impact or jobs, and that's a judgment call that we will want to make.

Berke: A unique thing about New Bedford is that it's protected by the longest hurricane barrier on the East Coast.

Carr: It's awesome. Yes.

Berke: But as the city tries to become an offshore wind port, the hurricane barrier also limits the size of the boats that can fit into the harbor. There are enormous boats that the offshore wind industry uses in Europe to erect turbines and bury undersea cables that are just not going to fit through New Bedford’s hurricane barrier. Is that going to be an obstacle toward this port’s dream of becoming an offshore wind hub?

Carr: I don't think so. All ports have constraints of some kind. I think that we will see quite a bit of vessel activity, certainly in the construction phases of offshore wind, but what we need to keep in mind is the long-term, 10-, 20-, 30-year activity of operations and maintenance, where we are uniquely positioned. Those ships are generally not too large to come in and out of the hurricane barrier, and there will never be a port closer to New England’s offshore wind developments than we are. And nobody can change that.

Berke: You took over last month as Port Authority director, and you’re coming down here from Massport, which is the agency that manages the waterfront in Boston. What made you want to make that transition?

Carr: As an economic development professional, if you can describe my career in any particular way, the opportunity to come here at this point, when there is so much activity, so much investment and so much future opportunity for the port, was irresistible.

Berke: This is a special little city, isn’t it?

Carr: It's an extraordinary location, really, that has contributed greatly to society globally. But it's also a community. And the balance of those and the pride that it takes in that role that it's played over the decades and centuries, you can feel it. I think that's what drives the strength and the future of the port.