Could San Diego end up with its own Pike Place of sorts at Tuna Harbor Pier? Photo credit:
Could San Diego end up with its own Pike Place at Tuna Harbor Pier? Photo credit:

In other cities, like San Francisco and Seattle, a great, outdoor fish market has become not just a service for local fresh-fish lovers, but a big tourist draw too.

Could the same thing happen in San Diego at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market?

It may not be Fisherman’s Wharf or Pike Place, but an open-air fish market of sorts is coming here next month and local officials are trying to find a way to boost the business.

The plan calls for fishing boats to tie-up at the Tuna Harbor Pier, near Seaport Village, on Saturdays beginning Aug. 2 to sell fresh fish.

One-year permits have been issued for the market. The county Board of Supervisors plans to address how to help promote the new venture at its July 29 meeting.

“Seattle is famous for its Pike Place Fish Market,” Supervisor Greg Cox said. “There’s no reason San Diego, with its vibrant waterfront, busy fishing fleets and great year-round weather, can’t have our own open air fish market.”

Cox told reporters the fish would be as “fresh as you’d ever get it.”

That’s great for residents, but fish markets can be a boon for tourism too.

The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle was founded in 1930 and nearly had failed, 50 years later when a new owner took over and his workers started the tradition of being theatrical, throwing fish and engaging customers while doing so. Soon the market attracted national attention and now attracts up to 10,000 visitors a day.

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, founded by Italian immigrants, includes a nearly 70-year-old merchants association and a memorial chapel for wayfarers. The wharf is known for its Dungeness crab and is among the more popular attractions in the city.

– City News Service contributed to this report.

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