Monday, September 28, 2009

Fishermen's Festival

Fishermen’s Terminal, Seattle

Fishing has supported human life for thousands of years.

Primitive fishing in streams and lakes was a placid activity, but large scale commercial fishing, such as is done by the fishing fleet based here at Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle is very arduous and very dangerous. The daily floral tributes at the base of this monument in memory of fishermen lost at sea attest to the heavy price the crews of the fishing vessels sometimes pay to bring us our sustenance from the sea.

The names of some of the more recently lost fishermen are written on this survival suit.

You may have watched a very dramatic documentary “The Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel. This is the ship featured in that tv show. It is open to visitors so I’ll take you on board later on in this narrative.

Every year on the last weekend of September the Fishermen’s Terminal hosts the Fall Fishermen’s Festival to honor those hardworking, courageous men and women who sail out from here into the Gulf of Alaska, some as far as the Bering Sea and to give the public an opportunity to visit their boats, see the nets and gear they use and enjoy some of their catch.

This is the Ballard Bridge which I often drive across,

or where I sometimes sit in my car with varying degrees of impatience when it is raised to let a ship through. At those times I get a glimpse of the vast fishing fleet down below.

Today I am down here at the Festival getting a close-up view of the boats.

Imagine, as the fishing vessels set out down this ship canal to Puget Sound and out to the Pacific, at certain months of the year there are mature salmon swimming below them in the opposite direction on their way to the streams where they were born three years or so earlier to spawn a new generation. At times, the hatchlings will be swimming in the same direction as the boats out to sea to become their catch later on.

Let’s go to the Fishermen’s Festival: (Click on picture for slideshow)



hello louis,

Thanks for sharing the info. "Deadliest Catch" is one of my favorite tv show.

Waht about Pike Fish Market it near the festival area ?

louis said...

Hi Rizal,

I guess you have seen the workers throwing the salmon to each other at Pike Place Fish Market on tv. That is one of the tourist attractions in Seattle.

Pike Place Market is just 8 km or so to the south of Fishermen's Terminal. In fact the road over Ballard Bridge (the bridge in the picture) leads almost directly to it, about a twelve minute drive if traffic is light.

Anonymous said...

Now I know a bit more about Seattle. The video is very good. What was that eel-like fish about 1:03 minutes into the video? It looked more like a stout rope than an eel.

Lovely pictures (and music)! Thanks

louis said...


Thanks for your positive comments.

The handler in the picture told me it was a "Wide-mouthed (I have forgotten the rest of the name)". It looked a lot like a fish that was thought to have been extinct, the coelacanth.

Seattle is a very pleasant city, with great views of mountains and the sea. Lots of cultural activities.

Pat said...

Thanks for pointing me here, Louis.

But, more fish? Sigh. Hahahah!

I'll send the link to you-know-who, who'll love the slide show, and probably help with the name of the fish. I have yet to point out a fish, and have him say, "Hmmm, I don't know."!!!

louis said...

I hope your resident fishing expert will teach me the name of that strange-looking fish. I am preparing myself for a long name that defies pronunciation.

Pat said...

You-know-who says it's a Conger Eel.

And I've actually tasted them - they're delicious :)

louis said...


Thanks a lot to your resident expert.

You ate, and actually like Conger eels? Eeek!

At one place where my family used to vacation there was a Conger who would periodically poke his head out of the cavity in the concrete jetty where he lived. Would scare the daylights out of us

Pat said...

Yes, they are scary-looking devils of the deep, aren't they? Hahahah!!!

B-U-T, they are a fish, and taste like fish, and have the texture of fish. White fish, at that. My favourite kind.

Forget about its face, and give it a cuba-try*, lah!

*pronounced, chu-ba, it means 'to try', and is how we say it here when we ask someone to 'have a go' at something ;)

louis said...

No matter how much a "white fish" it may be I don't want conger eel with my fish and chips.

Thanks for another lesson in BM, Pat

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