Recognition and Comfort
In 1988, the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial dedicated this magnificent bronze and stone aggregate monument at Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal. The celebration culminated years of effort and generous contribution by Seattle's commercial fishing community. This towering sculpture and the bronze name plaques at its base have become a place of reverence, recognition and healing for the families of more than 675 local commercial fishermen and women who have lost their lives pursuing their livelihood since the turn of the century.
More than a tribute to an industry and the lives of its men and women, the monument fills a special need for commercial fishing families. In many instances, those who are lost at sea simply vanish, leaving their loved ones without a word or a trace. The construction of this monument has provided their memory a residence, a site for family and friends to visit, to place flowers, to reflect and to heal.
The Board of Directors
As a charitable non-profit organization, the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial Board of Directors (the Board) is devoted to promoting safety in the fishing fleets and easing the emotional and financial burden of the surviving family members of fishermen lost at sea.
Established in 1985 the Board is directed by 15 industry volunteers. Since the completion of the monument, the mission has expanded to address: grief support, safety training and the fostering of community around those in need. The Board holds monthly meetings to ensure advancement of the mission through the year.
Maintaining these important activities requires broad community support from business and personal donations. Each year the Board’s budget depends on two primary fund raising events: The Fishermen's Fall Festival in September, sponsored by the Fishermen's Terminal Tenant's Association; and the annual Auction Banquet in November. In 1996 the Board instituted a corporate donation program, asking local marine-related businesses to pledge support for a three-year period in order to assure a sustained budget. Since then, industry contributors have stepped up donations through their own events such as golf tournaments and banquets.
Each Spring, on the first Sunday of May, the Memorial hosts a service to honor all of those who have died at sea and to place additional names on the plaques. Sadly, commercial fishing remains the country's most dangerous profession, and new names have been added each year.
Additional Memorial funding comes from the spontaneous generosity of individuals who respect our commercial fishing community, value its men and women and who support the Memorial's work.