Here is a link to the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction’s Website
It is such an efficient way to move fish that a great majority of the product that was unloaded at docks such as ours, Mortillaro’s, Old Port Seafood, John B Wright and other piers no longer unload fish at those piers.
With the consolidation in the fishing industry it is a good thing that the industry is for the most part based out of the auction so that it can prosper well into the future. The folks that run the auction say they can handle ten times the amount of fish that is currently being landed. So IF fish ever come back in greater numbers and IF the government allows boats to catch an unsustainable amount of landings in the future then the Auction will be there and able to handle those fish. A good thing.
What needs to be preserved around the harbor is places for fishermen to tie boats. The way to make sure those boats have good places to tie their boats while their fish gets unloaded at the auction is by giving waterfront property owners financially viable alternative options for the upland portions of their property that would allow them to make enough money to reinvest in their piers where they tie up commercial fishermen.
In the old days you would tie up commecial boats at your dock for reduced rents because they unloaded fish with you at your dock. Now the Auction unloads a majority of the fish that comes into Gloucester and the City and State charge below market dockage prices at places like The State Fish Pier, Saint Peter’s Park and I4-C2 (rates that wouldn’t pay our taxes never mind upkeep or a simple profit) but those public facilities are publicly subsidized. So this is the failure with the current zoning.