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Before it was Fisherman’s Wharf it was Meigg’s Wharf, here depicted circa 1880. No tourists in sight. Photo by Alessandro Baccari

So thanks to the hard work of a lot of folks who served on the Pier 45 Advisory Committee (which became the Fisherman’s Wharf Advisory Committee), a new harbor has been built and will officially open on June 9. It’s ready now. Lots of people would like to get at these berths, but they’re only available to the commercial fishermen. And I might add that these are beautiful facilities for the fishermen – lockers, showers, parking facilities. And, for the first time, all of the berths and slips are handicapped accessible.

Like the rest of society, fishermen have had to be more sensitive to the environment and this is reflected in the design of the new pier, which has state of the art provisions to pump out bilges of vessels at the fuel dock and a mobile unit available to all vessels in the berthing structure. A boom has been provided on the west side of the berthing structure to collect debris and oil, ensuring cleaner water for swimmers in Aquatic Park. There is a mobile pump out boat and an oil skimmer boat which has a 750 foot oil skimming boom.

All this exciting progress opens the door now to rebuild "Fish Alley", which, because of problems with the pilings, has been condemned. The Port is reviewing concepts and ideas to rebuild that entire structure. Once that takes place, and the final answers will be available in June, we’re talking there about 15,000 square feet of pier facility for loading and unloading fish, to accommodate the two fishing operations that are there.

Sidewalk Superintendents oversee construction of new Hyde Street Fishing Harbor. Photo by Alessandro Baccari

I’d like to single one name out for credit due, and that’s Tom Creedon. He’s President of Scoma’s Restaurant (one of the leading restaurants on the Wharf), which is owned by his father-in-law, Al Scoma. Tom serves as Chairman of the Environmental Quality Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Fisherman’s Wharf Waterfront Advisory Committee and President of the Fisherman’s Wharf Merchants’ Association. He has worked tirelessly to preserve the fishing industry and promote the economic, social and cultural vitality of the area.

The new Hyde Street Fishing Harbor means a lot to me personally. I’ve worked at Fishermen’s Wharf for many years. One of the things I am proudest of is the Fisherman’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel. We have services taking place there — Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant — in space provided by the Port, in a beautiful building we built. Within the chapel walls are the names of all those who have perished at sea. We have at least 200 names there. Each year, unfortunately, one or two get added to that list. It’s a very dramatic place and story.