Smooth Sailing

Happy Wednesday!

At this point, the Shop at the Dock crew (we even have matching jackets) has gotten the routine down pretty well. We set up camp, explain the program to passersby, ogle at the cute dogs on the dock, runs tours, and pack up. Every time, the event passes by more quickly than I expect!


This vessel catches hagfish, which is an eel-like fish that produces sticky slime to defend itself from predators.

Last week’s wind left many fishermen unable to fish, due to unsafe waters. As a result, fewer vessels were able participate in Shop at the Dock and sell over the weekend. We still had a couple of vessels selling though, but hopefully next week will bring smoother sailing.

I went out on one of the tours with my mentor and while I’ve gone with her on several dock walks with her before, I feel like I learn something new every time. The tours are generally broken up into two distinct parts, beginning with information about commercial fisheries. Often times, tour guides will walk the group to different vessels and explain what it’s rigged to catch. It’s then followed by a section on how to actually purchase the fish- how to look for a vessel that sells off their boat, what questions to ask, what to look for in a good, fresh fish. And if we’re lucky, one of the fishermen will come out and answer questions, which brings out a more personal side of the industry. During this specific tour, I learned that one of the vessels was used to transport criminals to Alcatraz, including Al Capone.


Vessels, like Ocean Lady ‘M’, will often post signs or banners to let people know they are selling seafood.

The Comment of the Week comes from a survey questions asking if there was anything else participants would hope to learn more about. One respondent answered “fleet perceptions of direction of their industry”. I think this comment was particularly striking to me because it examines the livelihood of the whole industry and touches on a more personal side of the future of fishermen. There seems to be a real interest and concern for the fishermen. In fact, many participants have expressed the desire to know more about the fishermen themselves and the history of their boats, which is really great.

There are three Shop at the Dock events left for the summer and I’m excited to see what else lies ahead. Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Smooth Sailing

  1. That is a thought provoking and clearly engaging comment that a survey respondent had regarding the fishermen. It’s great that this event is bringing together the public and fishermen and causing the public to really consider the human aspect of seafood.

  2. I wonder what you are learning about the fishing industry that you didn’t expect to discover?

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