Boatside Seafood Sales Resume At Fisherman's Wharf

A one-year pilot program proposed by the San Francisco Port Commission to allow the sale of fish directly from fishing boats at Fisherman's Wharf kicked off over the weekend.

According to SFGate, fisherman Giuseppe Pennisi sold about 230 pounds of rockfish, petrale sole, and other items over the weekend while docked at Pier 47 near Scoma’s Restaurant (1965 Al Scoma Way).

A similar program expired nearly two decades ago. In September, the Port announced that it may make the program permanent after the pilot phase is over.

Fishers approached the Port Commission in January with their desire to earn additional income. Due to the the high cost of regulations for vessel safety, fish handling and fishing quotas, they argued that retail sales would help them maintain economic vitality. 

Pennisi then also argued for direct sales at a Commission meeting in July, citing the high overhead costs associated with being a commercial fisher.

The new rules only apply to permanent berth-holders at Fisherman's Wharf who sell whole, unprocessed fish and pay a $225 fee. Vendors must also comply with state and local laws and may not sell Dungeness crab.

Photo: Fabien CAMBI/Flickr

The pilot program was launched after some opposed direct sales from fishing boats citing health and safety concerns, while distributors also called for authorities to ensure an equal playing field for fishing boats and distributors.

"I’m not against anybody in business... but I was forced to get a facility on the pier. I’m also required to have ten licenses," said Dan Strazzullo with All Shores Seafood at July's Port Commission Meeting.

At the moment, the Pennisi family is working out a weekly schedule for when they will go fishing and be at the wharf to sell. Dates and times will be posted on their website and Facebook page.

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