On November 4, 1912, a small group of fishermen met in a modest hall in downtown Seattle and formed the Halibut Fisherman’s Union of the Pacific, the precursor to the Deep Sea Fisherman’s Union. The legacy of those old salts, many of them Norwegian immigrants, can still be felt across the United States today.
The Halibut Fishermen’s Wives Association, is one of the union’s loudest political voices, and was instrumental in convincing Congress to establish the 12-mile foreign fishing vessels exclusion zone in 1966, and pushing it to 200 miles in 1976.
Nowadays the union focuses on working for the overall health of the oceans by ensuring that large corporate voices don’t drown out all others. The union works with fisheries scientists to ensure the overall health of the catch. But at its core, the union’s mission is to advocate for the common deckhand, the fuel that keeps the industry moving.