The installation of a new fish hoist on Johnson Pier in Half Moon Bay Tuesday is drawing suspicion and frustration from a fishermen's group about the San Mateo County Harbor District's construction approval.
District officials, however, contend the hoist installation was done properly and according to lease guidelines though the board president said there could have been more communication.
"If proper outreach wasn't done with other tenants and stakeholders, it's unfortunate," said Robert Bernardo, president of the Harbor District Board of Commissioners. "In this highly, obviously, competitive commercial fishing environment, there's going to be some unhappy people. But here's the thing, we have a lease for which we have a contractual agreement with and we have to abide by that which basically says each tenant can have two hoists wherever they choose, as long as they work with the harbormaster."
District staff had assured fishermen at Pillar Point Harbor there would be consultation with those affected by the location of the hoist owned by a private fish buyer, said Porter McHenry, president of the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association, which represents more than 20 commercial fisherman.
"They should have just asked the people who it directly affects, their whole life is about being able to unload our fish or our bait or our crab pots, we'd have to move. If it was replacing the same hoist or something minor, OK that's fine, but this is a pretty major change," McHenry said. "They don't seem to really care that much about the fishermen and without the fishermen, the harbor is dead."
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