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16 • September 12 - 25, 2014 • The Log


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New San Diego open-air fish market a sweet- smelling venue for all


by Cynthia Robertson


SAN DIEGO — Every Saturday morning at Tuna Harbor in San Diego, local fishermen tie up their boats at the pier and sell their catches of the week at the new open-air dockside mar- ket. People crowd in to buy everything from albacore to razor crabs and wavy tur- ban top snails. By the time the market closes at 1 p.m., most of the fishermen have sold their hauls. Opened to the public


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since Aug. 2, the new venue has sparked a renewed interest in San Diego’s fish- ing industry and everything it offers. “The opening of the new seafood market on Fish Harbor Pier is a milestone that our fishing community, the Port of San Diego and the County of San Diego have worked very hard to achieve,” said Jennifer Windle, director of market- ing and communications for the Port of San Diego. Peter Halmay, a San


Pictured from top to bottom, fishermen are able to tie up their boats to unload their seafood cargo at the newly opened Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. Fisherman Troy Becker puts live razor crabs on ice at the market.


Diego-based commercial fisherman for more than 40 years, agreed with Windle, adding that Tuna Harbor Dockside Market builds community awareness of San Diego’s thriving commercial fishery. “It builds social capital in the fish- ing fleet and gets the community to talk directly to fishermen and share the connection to the ocean,” he said. Halmay, who is on the Board of


Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, the entity operating the market, has been a key figure in consolidating the col- lective of fishermen. “I have seen that what has held


fishermen back is their strong inde- pendent nature,” he said. For the last several years, Halmay has helped to develop the social capi- tal needed for the fishermen to work together. He has worked on formulat- ing the vision of fishermen participat- ing in a public market. The expanded interest by the public in what the fish-


ermen bring in to sell welcomes many of the species farther down the food chain. Formerly, the processors were not paying enough to make fishing for these species worthwhile. Now the fishermen are starting to


work together to bring in a steady sup- ply of a variety of fish. “When the public sees the health benefits and value of these species: mackerel, sardines, perch, octopus, whelks, top snails, sand dabs, they try them out and we find they come back to try other fish the following week,” Halmay said. “Conservation benefits and eco- nomic benefits then go hand in hand,” he added. San Diego fisherman Dan Major says the new market has made his fishing ventures much more interest- ing. “It used to be a grind to have to catch tonnage to satisfy the whole- salers, enduring all sorts of weather for See FISH MARKET page 17


Cynthia Robertson photos


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