Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fisherman's Terminal - Seattle

The Start of my Self guided Walking tour of Fisherman's Terminal and surrounding area started on Ballard Bridge.

I knew the Alaska Fishing Fleet would soon be departing for the upcoming season to the Bering Sea

All of these vessels seemed to be here for maintenance, restoration or repair

106 years old

These guys must do it all!

Hope to get across before the bridge has to go up.

I was on the John N. Cobb at The Center for Wooden Boats, I think it is here for Engine repair.

If the bridge goes up you have three choices from here.

Looking East toward Lake Union

Are YOU thinking what I'm thinking?

Shortcut to the South bound walkway.

You can see all the way to the Ballard Locks and the last bridge on the way to South Puget Sound.

Everybody has to have a boat!

There are at Least Four different Authorities along this water way, King County, Seattle, Port Authority, and the Coast Guard

This Little Tug Said ?

Just My guess but I think this Crabbing vessel is just working Puget Sound

But the guy behind him is on his way to the Bering Sea.

I am sure these guys are really good at what they do but a fire in this Harbor would  need every fireman in the county.

The first 4-5 boats are Long Line fisherman, Saw all of them recently at the Center for Wooden Boats on Display some a 100+ years old and still fishing the Bering Sea.

Loading the Nets.

I had to find out why some of these vessels carried such a large tender.

For your Un-Cruise Adventure types:

A couple of dry dock for those last minute needs before heading out to the Bering Sea for the next 6-10 months!

The Main row along the Fisherman's Terminal docks allowing easy access to load and offload.

Kirstan getting spruced up with new paint before departing.

Lots of Nets ready to load.

Trains Offload supplies for all the ships.

Just rying to capture how big this is!

Short Cut to the North bound side so I can retrieve the family truckster and drive down to the Teminal

Just as I come up a big truck loaded with huge crab traps on his way to the docks.

If you want fresh fish in Seattle the Locals tell you to buy it here, right off the boat.

Whole lot of net on each giant Pallet

I guess everyone has their own Net Shed, several building like this.

I inturrupted two skippers talking to get a bit of information. The huge tender on the stern of a lot of these vessels takes the end of the net and tows it to create a huge semi circle behind the mother ship and when the fish are all in then it brings the end back to the stern to have it all hauled in.

I am not sure of the reason but these Reel Nets are not allowed in the Bearing Sea, they fish the local waters of Puget Sound.

A memorial to all the Fisherman who have lost their lives at Sea.

A lot of names on these two walls.

Just have to wonder what it is like to be the crew on the net towing vessel in big seas?

Here is a close up at the long liners fishing gear, they catch Halibut and Black Cod.

It's like a giant mechanized trout line.

John Crowley, the Skipper of the Kristiana, was putting on a fresh coat of paint before departing for the Season, they expected to depart within the next two weeks or so. They only have a crew of 4 since they have a new automatic baiting machine that baits all the hooks as the line pays out, it used to take two crew to do that job.

The empty slips are boats who have already departed, most of the rest will be gone in the next two-three weeks and then follow the crabbing fleet. 3-4 weeks later.

This is supposed to be the best restaurant in town for seafood including Breakfast.

Fisherman's Terminal - Seattle

I took a lot of notes as I talked to several fisherman on the docks on my Iphone Notes App. For some reason they have disappeared to some cloud drive or cyberspace I guess, I just do not know how to retrieve them? So I will try my best to remember what these guys told me about fishing on these boats. This Terminal is the Majority of the entire Alaskan fishing Fleet. They are here instead of Alaska due to more than one reason. One guy told me it is a lot nicer to raise a family in Seattle than anywhere Alaska. Primarily it is the major jumping off point for all things from the USA to Alaska. All the infrastructure is here that is required to outfit, and service the fleet. There are some fish processing plants located throughout Alaska so the boats can offload their catch and head right back out to the Bering Sea without having to come all the way back to Seattle. There are a lot of huge fishing ships that have processing plants on Board and 24/7 catch, process and freeze bringing it all back to Seattle The processing ships catch  Alaska pollock, Pacific hake (whiting), yellowfin sole and Pacific cod.  “Our local commercial fishing industry anchored at Fishermen’s Terminal, pours about $5 billion dollars into our economy every year through its fish catch and the thousands of jobs it sustains both on land and at sea,” said Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman. 

Ships are Specialized in the types of fish they catch and they all have limits or caps set by the Indian council and other Alaskan fishery authorities. The longer you have been fishing a vessel the larger the Quota  for that vessel is up to a certain point. The Skipper, John Crowley, of the Long Liner "Kristiana" told me his vessel has been in his family for Three generations and he has fished his whole life. They have been at the cap for some time. If the fishing is good they will reach their quota in 4 months if not so good it may take 6 months. There is a 10 month time limit for the long liners so if you do not reach your quota in ten months you have to go home. The families make enough money in those 4-6 months for the year so all that time they are out of see gets repaid to the family when they get back.
 Since I did this self guided tour I have met two friends who work in the Alaskan fishing fleets. Christine is a Marine Biologist and I learned from her that every vessel has a Biologist on board to monitor the catch and collect data. The longest Assignment she had was 3 months long but she was able to touch land when the ships offload in Alaska. Chris, her boyfriend she met in Alaska, got his Masters in Aqua Culture and is paying off college debt working aboard the bigger fishing vessels.He has been at Sea 26 days straight and he said that length of time can get to you as you start to get disoriented. Remember the super long daylight hours up there? Chris said they celebrate the Summer solstice in Alaska by holding a baseball game at Midnight since they have plenty of light to finish the game, about 2 hours of Night before sunrise again!.
Fisherman's Terminal is a huge part of Seattle's History and it is still living and thriving as you can tell by the Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch" and yes those vessels are here also.

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