Sustaining the Future of Fishing in San Diego

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Ambitious plans to redevelop Seaport Village will affect one of San Diego’s oldest industries — fishing.

Local fisher also factor into the Port of San Diego’s future development plans, which are being revised right now.

According to the Port of San Diego, approximately 2.5 million pounds of fish are unloaded every year from regional commercial docks.

Some of it is sold directly to consumers at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, open every Saturday between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“You can see the fish coming right off the boats to our booths, so we’ll scoop it off live, or frozen or on ice, all different ways,” said commercial fisherman David Haworth.

First-time customer Aaron Denton said a book he’s reading brought him to the market.

“It’s about healthy eating. They suggested your local market and this is one of them,” said Denton.

The market, located between Seaport Village and USS Midway, opened in 2014. Five years later, local fisher say it has helped show fishing is alive and well in San Diego.

According to the port, fish caught in local waters include Ahi, Albacore, Black Cod, Bluefin, Boccacio, Bonito, Box Crab, Cal King Crab, Fish Head, Halibut, Mackerel/Sardines, Mahi Whole, Mako, Mongchong, Octopus, Ono, Opah, Prawn, Rock Fish, Sand Dab, Black, Sea Cucumbers, Sheepshead, Skate, Skip Jack, Squid, Swordfish, Thorny Head, Thorny Head, Short Spine, Top Snail, Urchin, White Fish, Yellowtail.

As San Diego’s commercial fishing industry expands, fishers are protecting their turf.

They’re talking with the developers looking to overhaul Seaport Village.

Local fisherman Peter Halmay said the proposed redevelopment plan would help local fishing by modernizing the docks and possibly adding more slips.

Local fishers are also working with the port as it updates its master plan.

The plan would identify what development would be allowed, and how the land and water under the port’s jurisdiction would be used for the next 30 years. The public comment period ends Wednesday.

Halmay said fishermen meet with the port regularly, to ensure the port’s policy guarantees the existence of an operational commercial fishing harbor.

San Diego was once known as the tuna capitol of the world. Local fishermen hope the area will now be known for its wide variety of high quality, sustainable fish.