Fire Tears Through San Francisco Fishing Offices, Equipment

Keith Menconi
May 23, 2020 - 10:05 am
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The four-alarm fire at San Francisco's Pier 45 will put a real strain on the fish and crab industry that's an important part of Fisherman's Wharf.

Several dozen fishing businesses are located on the rear of the pier, including offices, vehicles and equipment. Hundreds of thousands of crab pots were lost at a cost of more than $300 apiece, leading to a burned plastic smell in the area.

The fishermen and crab fleet keeps most of their gear at Pier 45.

"It's a complete wipeout for the majority of the crab fleet there," California Coast Crab Association President Ben Platt told KCBS Radio. "I think there’s only six or seven boats that stored the gear in another building, so that was most of it."

Platt said he's already spoken with many of the fishermen based there. Losses are estimated to be anywhere between $80,000 to $200,000, depending on what each boat had stored in the facility.

"I was told most of the newer entrants into the crew were men that had saved up money and finally bought their own boat and, you know, they’re getting a foothold in the industry, so that was a lot of their gear that was lost this morning in that fire," Platt said.

"The main gear store, where most of the crab boats store their crab pots and all their equipment was burned completely," Platt said.

This unwelcome blow strikes an industry already struggling with the setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No word on a cause of the fire.