Fishermen’s Market Launches Free, Convenient Cutting Service & Restaurant Partnership

May 21, 2015

Responding to customer demand, San Diego's popular weekly fishermen's market, Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, is now offering a free, convenient cutting service and a partnership with a local restaurant, Sally's Seafood on the Water, to make it easier and faster for people to enjoy their fresh-off-the-boat seafood. The new service allows customers to buy a whole fish and then have it fileted, cut into steaks or "gilled and gutted" on the spot - making it ready for the oven, pan or grill.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market launched in August 2014 and operates on Saturday mornings from 8am to 1pm on Fish Harbor Pier, between Ruocco Park and Seaport Village. The market features freshly caught, sustainable seafood caught by local fishermen in local waters. The offerings vary by season and week. In addition to fish such as yellowtail and Bluefin tuna, the market features crab, lobster and sea urchins.

Until now, the fishermen have mainly sold whole fish. Many customers requested a service to help them prepare the fish for cooking.  Customers don't have to get their hands dirty or figure out where to dispose of the waste, which the fishermen are able to "recycle" as bait. The service is currently free, although customers are encouraged to tip the cutter.

"We've listened to our customers, and they've demanded ease and convenience. That's why our cutting booth is open for business," said Peter Halmay, Tuna Harbor Dockside Market Board Member and fisherman. "Buy a fish and have it butchered. No more mess at home!"

In addition, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market announced a partnership with Sally's Seafood on the Water restaurant, which is located behind the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, a short walking distance from the market. Sally's allows customers to select certain fresh fish from the market and have it prepared by the restaurant - grilled, steamed, sautéed or deep fried, with a choice of sauces and sides.

The opening of Tuna Harbor Dockside Market in August 2014 was the result of a team effort by local commercial fishermen, the Port of San Diego and San Diego County to find policy solutions and identify an appropriate location on the waterfront of San Diego Bay. Since the opening, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has averaged 1.1 tons of fish sold per week. The market has become an attraction for locals and tourists, and the number of fishermen participating has tripled.

"In less than one year, this seafood market has become a must-visit destination on our waterfront for locals and visitors alike and that success showcases the hard work of our commercial fishermen," said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm. "This market is a unique institution in San Diego. It's run by people who make a living in a time-honored way – by harvesting the ocean's bounty. By shopping here, we support local jobs."

County Supervisor Greg Cox has sought statewide legislation that could allow for more permanent, outdoor fishermen's markets and promote locally caught seafood.

"The booming success of the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has shown consumers want fresh fish caught in our local waters," said Supervisor Cox. "Fresh fish is nutritious and part of a healthy diet and with this new cutting service, San Diegans can eat well and live well."

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