75 Years of Service
January 1, 2020
In January of 1945, John Wedin founded the Fishermen’s News with a total capitalization of a $40 fish check.
The first issue, published in Aberdeen, Washington, was four pages, supported by advertising, and announced the appointment of former fisherman Milo Moore to the position of Director of Fisheries. Also addressed were concerns about healthcare for fishermen, the effects of pollution and the opening of a new tavern at Westport, Washington.
The new paper also ran a recap of the country’s fisheries landings the previous year. The Port of San Pedro, California was the top US fishing port in weight of fish landed, followed by Monterey and San Francisco, all high-volume producers of pilchards and mackerel.
The February issue doubled in size to eight pages, and in August grew to twelve.
“The beginning was to fill a need which I perceived, the lack of a fishermen’s journal,” Wedin said later. “There were several [journals] dealing with canners and processors, and many very good ones, but none that, I felt, dealt directly and specifically with the myriad of problems which faced fishermen.”
Wedin would go on to chair the Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission and prove instrumental in the development of the 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
Originally published as “the voice of the Grays Harbor fishing industry,” by July, Mr. Wedin had heard from fishermen up and down the coast welcoming the new publication, whose tagline was changed to “the voice of the Pacific Northwest fishing industry.”
Much has changed since that first issue, but more has remained the same.
Published continuously, and locally, since that first issue, Fishermen’s News remains the voice and advocate of the West Coast commercial fisherman. Arguably the best-managed fishery in the US, and possibly the world, the West Coast remains a commercial fishing powerhouse, landing two-thirds of the fish in the US by volume and almost half by value.
The four-page newspaper launched in Aberdeen, Washington in 1945 has grown to a 48-page four-color glossy magazine, but our mission hasn’t changed. Over the next year we’ll be celebrating many of the milestones in the west coast fishing fleet over the past 75 years, including safer boats, better stewardship of the resource and more involvement in the management of the fishery.
Join us as we celebrate our 75 years of service to the US West Coast commercial fishing industry.
Chris Philips can be reached at: 206-284-8285 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org