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Fishing Industry Memorial

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San Pedro In Photos

Chang Moo Kwan Events

San Pedro In Photos


A Memorial to the Brave Men and Women Who challenged the Sea...


The fishing Industry Memorial located at the John S. Gibson Park between 5th and 6th Street in San Pedro pays tribute to an industry which was crucial to development of the West Coast.  It is fitting this awesome memorial to those who bravely harvested the Pacific be set in a park which also pays respects to a key defender of the working man "Harry Bridges" and those who have protected it, the courageous Merchant Marines. 


Few know over 100 years ago the first cannery appeared in the Los Angeles harbor and eventually it supplied fish to all of America.  It was an industry which was largely begun by European and Asian fishermen who carried with them time tested fishing traditions from their homelands.  Personally, I consider this wonderful tribute to fishermen to be one of the more significant tributes in Southern California.  Simple, but it commemorates brave seafaring men who risked everything to feed our nation:   evident by the plaques, here, which note the names and the boats of fisherman lost.  What struck me lastingly,  was the multi-national and diverse ethnic backgrounds honored.  The sea did not discriminate between race, creed, or color when it swallowed up these heroes. 


The memorial was the result of efforts by descendants and family of those who worked the sea.  The bronze statue of man hold a really big tuna an look outward, upward, and inward is really a very moving statue and one which I think aptly portrays the courage and resolve and dedication of those who played such an important role in San Pedro's primary industry for several decades.  The colorful and often playful tiles which animate the shrine are really works of art.  They say a picture tells a story, these mostly tile-painted mosaics are worth a very close look. 


One tile piece contains illustrations of the original ferry "The Islander" which prior to the building on the Vincent Thomas Bridge was the key mode of transportation between Mainland San Pedro and the canneries on Terminal Island.  The Islander and the Vincent Thomas in the background tell of the old making way for the new, progress.  Another very colorful piece illustrates the plight of those hard working generally women who toiled in the canneries themselves, again immune to who and where each other came from.


My favorite panel, is the one where the colorful "San Pedro Rivera" is superimposed by a fishing boat churning by Angel's Gate Lighthouse.  I swear I can see my house in the background.  Even more importantly is "Charlie Tuna" smugly as ever holding out his hand, the fish that no one wanted to catch and a icon who graced the commercials to all my favorite youthful TV shows.  I think Charlie inevitably avoiding being caught and canned was to his benefit.   The tribute to St Peter the Patriot of the Sea is really cool too.


Along with the other commutative memorials in John S. Gibson Park, the Memorial to the Fishing Industry is really of Fisherman's Memorial is uplifting as it pay tribute to our "Other Heroes."  I had to stop and think where San Pedro, Los Angeles, and our nation would be without the sacrifice of our fisherman.   

All photos and narrative are by Jon Wiedenman, MA Ed:
Get Directions To:
510 S Harbor
San Pedro CA 90731