SAN FRANCISCO—Early Saturday morning, on May 23 2020, a four-alarm fire devastated a fish storage and processing warehouse on Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf. More than 150 firefighters battled the blaze that destroyed a quarter of the pier at Fisherman’s wharf. By afternoon the blaze was contained, but the seafood warehouse located on the pier could not be saved, and was destroyed. The warehouse stored San Francisco’s fresh seafood supply, fishing gear for local fleets, and also contained a large fish processing center for Northern California’s crab fleet.
The loss of the warehouse is expected to have lingering effects on Northern California’s fishing and seafood industry, due to the loss of thousands of shrimp, cod and crab traps. The loss of the traps will greatly affect the operation of local fishing fleets, as well as the upcoming Dungeness crab season. The seafood supply chain to San Francisco, and even to the rest of the country, is also expected to be disrupted as a result.
Larry Collins, who is in charge of the San Francisco Community Fishing association, gave an estimate that approximately $5 million worth of crab, shrimp and cod traps were lost in the fire. “Pier 45 is the heart and soul of commercial fishing out of the Bay Area,” Collins said, “To take a hit like this, it’s a bad one. Most people don’t think about where their salmon, crab or black cod comes from, but that’s where: It’s Pier 45.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, and the Port of San Francisco said that the pier will be inspected to determine the state of its structural integrity. “Findings will be reported to the public. Port tenants impacted by the fire will be kept informed and notified when safe to return, ” the Port of SF stated on social media on Sunday, May 24.
“We are grateful to the #SFFD swift action and all city partners who have come together at this time to support the recovery of Pier 45 and the Fisherman’s Wharf Community”, says another tweet from the Port of SF.
The Port also announced that businesses and tenants who were directly affected by the fire have been connected to the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, which will provide them with disaster relief resources.