Fishing, the port and gentrification
at 4:06pm by Joe Copeland
Fishermen’s News sponsored today’s Bering Sea Fisheries Conference in Seattle, a major home to the nation’s Bering Sea Fleet. Crosscut Publisher Greg Shaw reports:
Mixing his metaphors a bit, Seattle Port Commission President Tom Albro told a gathering of commercial fishermen today in Seattle that “our barn is on fire.”
Albro, who comes from a farming family and admitted to never having sailed on a commercial fishing vessel, told the fishermen, ship-builders and maritime industry leaders that when your barn — or in this case a home dock and port — is on fire, you stop everything you’re doing to put it out. The fire in this case is what he described as encroachment of residential and retail space on maritime industrial land — gentrification.
While the fishing industry must tend to national and international environmental and safety regulations, he said, it’s also the home port the industry needs to be minding. He encouraged leaders to create a big tent movement, and to get involved in local politics.
While Albro cited condo associations as one example of those who are starting the fires, Seattle mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck fingered the proposed public arena. Steinbrueck said he’s all for the return of the Sonics, but he’s not for taking away important maritime industrial lands to build it. “The Sodo arena will take away industrial land,” and we need to protest that, he said.