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County Council wishes calm seas and bountiful catches to fishing crews preparing to head to Alaska

Summary

Council recognizes the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”

Story

Our region enjoys some of the best seafood in the world, much brought to our shores from crews preparing to go to Alaska for the summer fishing season. The Metropolitan King County Council today acknowledged those brave men and women who will spend their summer in the North Pacific by recognizing the “Blessing of the Fleet” which will occur this weekend, the start of the halibut fishing season.

“Our fishers take on tremendous risk to bring back the ocean’s bounty to the people of King County and beyond,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the sponsor of the recognition. “For nearly one hundred years, our community has come together for this ritual and sent our fleet off in a joyous and hopeful celebration. I hope you can join us this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Fisherman’s Terminal!”

This is the 91st year that families and friends of the crews preparing to leave will gather at Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard for a blessing of the fishing fleet. It’s a celebration and recognition of the crews that will spend the spring and summer fishing for the salmon, crab, halibut, herring, pollock, and cod enjoyed by people throughout the world.

Along with praying for a good season and a safe return back to their loved ones after a summer on the high seas, the blessing also remembers those who have lost their lives in this dangerous profession. Since 1988, the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial at Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal has served as a tribute to the lives of its men and women lost at sea, and also as a place for family and friends to gather, remember, and honor their loved ones.

“It’s been an honor to be a part of this important ceremony for over twenty years now,” said Pastor Erik Wilson Weiberg of Ballard First Lutheran Church, who was presented with the proclamation and will deliver the blessing of the fleet. “The men and women of our fishing fleet risk everything to provide a vital resource and help feed the families of King County, and this is our community’s way to wish them safety, prosperity, and good stewardship again this year as they prepare to head back to sea.”

The ceremony will be presided over by Pastor Elise Scot of Ballard First Lutheran Church.

 


 

 

03_13_JKW_Fleet_web
Councilmembers are joined by Pastor Erik Wilson Weiberg of Ballard
First Lutheran Church after the Council recognized the annual “Blessing of the Fleet” as it prepares for the summer fishing season

 

 RECOGNITION

 

WHEREAS, the Washington state commercial fishing fleet begins leaving in March for Pacific and Alaskan waters, and the Blessing of the Fleet will occur March 17, 2019, at Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard; and

WHEREAS, this is the 91st year that the Ballard First Lutheran Church has held the blessing, the 23rd year that Pastor Erik Wilson Weiberg has offered the blessing, and the 3rd year that Pastor Elise Scott will be presiding; and

WHEREAS, the Washington state commercial fishing fleet is one of the world’s largest distant water fleets, and the commercial fishing industry is one of the largest economic engines in King County, directly and indirectly employing thousands of people; and

WHEREAS, the life of a fisher is fraught with danger and hardship that most people will never face, braving the elements and the sea to harvest the ocean’s resources; and

WHEREAS, the men and women who work on fishing boats, at times in dangerous circumstances, deserve our admiration, thanks, and, when tragedy strikes, our remembrance; and

WHEREAS, as we prepare to send these fishers out to sea, we also extend our condolences to the families and friends of fishers who have lost their lives at sea as they pursued their livelihood; and

WHEREAS, for those who gill-net, those who seine, those who troll, and those who drag; for those who fish for salmon, crab, halibut, herring, pollock, and cod; may they be abundantly rewarded for their hard labor;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize the annual

BLESSING OF THE FLEET 


and wish the entire commercial fishing fleet a prosperous season, and express our hope that all our fishers have calm waters and fair winds before turning their boats homeward to shore, with safe passage back to their families, friends, and communities.

DATED this thirteenth day of March, 2019.

 

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov