May 29, 2014
While seeking funds to update one of the most productive commercial fishing ports in the state, the San Mateo County Harbor District is receiving pushback from a group of fishermen who say they no longer trust the district has their best intentions at heart.
On April 28, the district applied for a $3.4 million grant from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), to help fund road and pier improvements at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.
Pillar Point Harbor is home to the county’s only coastside search and rescue vessel and team while also housing top performing commercial fishing fleets comprised of 100 commercial vessels and three offloading facilities, which generate about $6.5 million a year, according to the district.
Yet the district has fallen under suspicion by the public and the fishermen it’s meant to serve with accusations of backroom deals, high fish buying fees and the installation of a new hoist that benefits one fish buying company.
Although the improvements are meant to benefit the harbor’s fishing industry, some have spoken out against the district’s application citing frustration and lack of consultation with recent policy and infrastructure decisions.