Fishermen’s Terminal - 1914 to 2014
Ready for the Next 100 Years
The Puget Sound Purse Seine Fishermen’s Association approached the Port of Seattle in 1912 asking for a homeport for the local fishing fleet. Fishermen’s Terminal, the Port’s first operational facility, was officially dedicated on January 10, 1914.
Today, Fishermen’s Terminal is home of the North Pacific fishing fleet, providing moorage for 400 commercial fishing vessels and work boats. It is also a hub of vessel maintenance and repair activity that brings vendors and suppliers together with a network of banking, insurance and other fishing and seafood related businesses that give our region economic diversity and resilience.
Boats based at the terminal fish for a wide range of species including salmon, halibut, cod, crab, shrimp, pollock and tuna. Vessel types include crabbers, gillnetters, longliners, purse seiners, trawlers and trollers.
The fleet based at Fishermen’s Terminal and throughout the Puget Sound region account for about 40 percent of the landed U.S. fish catch every year.
Shore Side Support Businesses:
Where can you find artisans who know how to fashion a two- to three-inch-thick, 30-foot long, air-dried plank of Douglas-fir, bend it onto the curved hull of a hundred-year-old halibut schooner, fasten it with brass screws, pound hemp oakum and cotton into the gaps with a caulking iron and mallet, then seal it with putty and cement? Fishermen’s Terminal, that’s where.
You’ll also find craftspeople who know how to maintain and repair fiberglass, brass bright work, aluminum and stainless steel, as well as technicians who can install and service blast freezers, hydraulic equipment, diesel engines and marine electronics. Fishermen’s Terminal and nearby environs along the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Interbay and Ballard house one of the highest concentrations of maritime support businesses in the country.
For everything Fishermen’s Terminal means to the fishing industry, it’s more than just a place to moor, repair and maintain boats. The terminal gives the community a sense of its authentic identity. It’s a place where people work with their hands in one of the industries that defines the region. Whether dining at one of the terminal’s restaurants, buying fresh, local seafood or strolling and taking in the view, it’s a place to experience enduring, iconic Seattle.
At the center of the terminal, six hundred and seventy five names are engraved in bronze beneath a towering sculpture. The Fishermen’s Memorial is a place to remember those who have lost their lives in pursuit of the bounty of the sea.
While the terminal is always open to the public, every September it welcomes thousands of people who participate in Fishermen’s Fall Festival.
For 25 years the festival has celebrated the return the fishing fleet and offered live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, a salmon barbecue and other seafood delicacies, as well activities for kids. Funds raised by the festival support the Fishermen’s Memorial Association.
Skirting the edges of the terminal are restaurants, shops, and businesses supporting the community and those in the fishing industry. Whether you are seeking upscale dining, a corner café, or just want to purchase some fresh fish or seafood, you can find it there.