Firefighters douse hot spots on a still-smoldering four-alarm fire from early Saturday morning at Pier 45 near Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Firefighters douse hot spots on a still-smoldering four-alarm fire from early Saturday morning at Pier 45 near Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Fishing community gets financial help after Pier 45 fire

Crab fisherman affected by a four-alarm fire that caused significant damage to San Francisco’s Pier 45 last month will receive financial assistance, city officials announced Tuesday.

The May 23 blaze completely destroyed parts of the pier, resulting in more than 30 fishermen losing some 8,000 crab, shrimp and black cod traps and pots in the fire.

Pier 45 has long been regarded as the heart of the city’s crab and fishing industry, housing the largest concentration of commercial fish processors and distributors on the West Coast.

“Many crabbers were already struggling financially due to COVID-19, and the loss of their equipment in the fire at Pier 45 has made an already challenging situation even more difficult,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

“The crabbing and fishing industry in our city is part of what makes San Francisco so special and we want to help them recover from the loss of their equipment,” she said.

The financial assistance will come in the form of 0 percent interest loans to crab fishermen and down payment assistance grants, providing up to $40,000 for individual down payments on replacement traps for the upcoming Dungeness crab season this fall.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, whose supervisorial district includes the surrounding neighborhoods, is leading a $500,000 fundraising campaign to provide the down-payment assistance funds for the crabbers.

“The Fisherman’s Wharf crabbing and fishing community have always been essential to San Francisco’s identity and economy,” he said. “Part of that identity is a City that knows how to take care if its own. We are asking San Franciscans who refuse to let this crisis erase all our beloved iconic institutions to dig deep and support our Pier 45 Crab Relief efforts.”

The loan payment program is being developed jointly by the Port of San Francisco, the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Crab Boat Owners Association.

The Port is also working to identify new storage spaces for crab fishermen and is considering a rent relief package for the Pier’s tenants.

Once final, the Port and OEWD will present the complete relief program to the Port Commission on July 14.

In order to access the program, crab fishermen will need to document their losses and complete an application. Recipients can start receiving grant payments as early as two weeks after the commission approves the program.

“The fishing community is integral part of the port community,” Port Executive Director Elaine Forbes said. “We want to assist this vital maritime industry in its recovery, and to ensure that the process of getting ready for November’s crabbing season is as painless as possible given these very challenging and uncertain times. “We stand with our fishing community in recognition of the vital role this essential workforce plays in the Fisherman’s Wharf experience and in our economy,” Forbes said. San Francisco’s historic crabbing industry, a Bay Area mainstay since the Gold Rush era, brings in two million pounds of Dungeness crab annually.

Bay Area Newssan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

COVID restrictions have prompted a benefit or two, such as empty streets in The City. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Taking the scenic route through a pandemic

Streets of San Francisco are pleasantly free of traffic

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Most Read