The huge fire that tore through a warehouse at Fisherman’s Wharf has destroyed fishing gear used to deliver about two-thirds of the city’s fresh seafood, threatening to disrupt the upcoming Dungeness crab season, local fishermen said Sunday.
The fire erupted before dawn Saturday and wiped out a warehouse the size of a football field near the north end of Pier 45.
Larry Collins, who runs the San Francisco Community Fishing Association, estimates that thousands of crab, shrimp and black cod traps worth up to $5 million were lost in the blaze. He told the San Francisco Chronicle the numbers could be far higher since port officials changed the warehouse’s function into a storage facility in February because it lacked proper fire sprinklers.
“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 come from but that’s where: It’s Pier 45.”