Written by Linc Bedrosian
September 4, 2014
Two top-notch icons of the U.S. fishing industry, New Bedford, Mass., and Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal take center stage in the October issue of National Fisherman.
New Bedford and Fishermen's Terminal are both cover-worthy subjects. So rather than select one over the other, we did something we've never done before — we developed two covers for the October issue, one featuring New Bedford, the other Fishermen's Terminal.
New Bedford embraces its fishing heritage, which dates back to the 1700s when the whaling industry held sway for some 150 years. The New Bedford Whaling Museum and work being done to preserve iconic buildings such as the Seamen's Bethel, built in 1832, and the Mariner's Home, built in 1787, are examples of the city's appreciation of its fishing past.
But the city also celebrates the industry's present day success. Led by its thriving scallop industry, New Bedford has been the nation's top fishing port by landings value for 13 straight years.
The annual Working Waterfront Festival, which this year takes place Sept. 27 and 28, helps the community celebrate New Bedford's past and present. The festival not only offers plenty of family friendly activities, but also educates visitors about commercial fishing and documents the stories of the people who make up the New Bedford industry.
New Bedford also works with forward-thinking resources like the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology to promote future success. For example, it's hoped that the same kind of video survey innovations that have helped the scallop fishery thrive can likewise lead to better days for the port's struggling groundfish fleet.
In Seattle, Fishermen's Terminal has plenty to celebrate, too — including a pretty big milestone. Home to the North Pacific commercial fishing fleet, Fishermen's Terminal is 100 years old this year.
Commercial fishing vessels didn't have a centralized location to call home before Seattle decided to build Fishermen's Terminal. Since it opened June 10, 1914, Fishermen's Terminal — originally known as Salmon Bay Terminal or Fishermen's Headquarters — had space for 100 boats, a two-story warehouse and a marine railway.
Today, Fishermen's Terminal moors nearly 500 boats, and offers a wide variety of services to commercial fishermen such as repair facilities for large and small boats and net mending areas. It's also home to the city's Fishermen's Memorial, a special place where friends and family of fishermen lost at sea can gather to remember their loved ones.
Like New Bedford, Seattle honors its fishing industry each fall. The 26th annual Fishermen's Fall Festival, slated for Saturday, Oct. 4, celebrates the return of the North Pacific fleet to the terminal and strives to increase knowledge about the importance of Fishermen's Terminal and the fishing industry to Seattle, while raising money for the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial Foundation. This year the festival will also feature a centennial celebration for Fishermen's Terminal. New Bedford and Seattle are two great examples of fishing communities that are proud of their past, embrace their present and looking ahead to try and ensure their future
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