Council recognizes the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”
StoryWashington is known for having 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 recognized 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.
“This is a meaningful event that honors the efforts and commemorates the lives of those who risk everything working at an industry that is so central to our region’s history, culture, and cuisine,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the sponsor of the recognition.
For the 88th year, families and friends of the crews preparing to leave will gather at Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard for a blessing of the fishing fleet, and 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.
The blessing will be conducted by the pastors of Ballard’s First Lutheran Church, Erik Wilson Weiberg and Laurie Jones, who joined the Councilmembers for today’s recognition.
“We are honored to be part of this long-standing fishing tradition,” said Weiberg. “Leading the community in the Seattle area each year as we send off the fleet with our best thoughts, wishes, and prayers.”
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.
|Councilmembers join Ballard First Lutheran Church
Pastors Laurie Jones (holding proclamation) and Erik Wilson Weiberg
after the Council recognized the 2016 ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ at the
start of the Alaskan fishing season.
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 6, 2016, at Fisherman's Terminal in Ballard; and
WHEREAS, this is the 88th year that the Ballard First Lutheran Church has held the blessing, the 20th year that Pastor Erik Wilson Weiberg has offered the blessing, and the 16th year that Pastor Laurie Jones has offered the blessing; 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 twenty-ninth day of February, 2016.