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Push underway to help boost San Diego's fishing industry

Posted at 1:39 PM, Oct 26, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Having spent years of his childhood in San Diego, Derik Morse knows the significance of the fishing industry in America’s Finest City. It has become the livelihood for hundreds of fishermen who try and sell to local restaurants and businesses.

This is something Morse is seeing firsthand as the general manager of the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill in Coronado.

“The fishing industry in San Diego is ginormous, it’s huge. At one point, San Diego was called the tuna capital of the United States,” said Morse. “Hundreds of fishermen head out every day from San Diego and they’re looking to get sea bass, swordfish, or lobster.”

And that’s one of the ways Blue Water Grill gets its fresh fish, by working hand in hand with local fishermen.

Bluewater also uses its own fishing boat, called the "Pilikia," to harpoon swordfish.

Morse said, “We have guys that come in at 5 or 6 in the morning and their only job is to cut as much fish as they think we’re going to need to go through in that day. So, we don’t just arbitrarily cut as much fish as we can.”

The fishing industry continues to grow in San Diego, and it’s getting help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after receiving a $300,000 grant to help boost the local fishing industry.

Morse said during the month of October, which is National Seafood Month, there’s a push across the country to incorporate seafood into American diets.

“The U.S. Dietary Association says that Americans should eat fish twice a week; less than 1 in 5 Americans do that,” according to Morse.

Morse said aside from the health benefits from the antioxidants, the Omega-3 from fish is good for your brain, heart, and eye health.

He added, “It’s something that’s fresh -- no preservatives and you’re getting that amazing product, you can taste it. You can taste that difference.”