Fish sold right from the boat: The old ways resurface

By Tara DugganApril 24, 2017

Third-generation fisherman Giuseppe “Joe” Pennisi is trying something that goes against the status quo at Fisherman’s Wharf: to get more fresh, local fish into San Francisco — and, at the same time, to divert more of the profit to local fishers like himself.

He has turned his boat into a floating fish market on Pier 47 to sell his catch to restaurants and fish companies. In a way, he’s evoking the spirit of the wharf his grandfather knew from working there in the early 1900s.

“It was an early part of San Francisco culture to have fresh, local fish,” Pennisi said recently, wearing boots crusted with salt from two days of fishing far off Pillar Point and the Farallon Islands.

Pennisi, 52, began selling his fish directly a weeks ago, after obtaining a fish receiver’s license from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and is one of two local fishermen to do so. He said the move keeps him in business and could eventually enable him, and perhaps others, to sell directly to the public — if the port and the city allow it.

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