A Weekend at the 2013 Fisher Poets Gathering

Saltwater is the best catalyst for tall tales. Every year in Astoria, OR fishermen and women gather to share their briny stories at the Fisher Poets gathering. We had to see it for ourselves.

"You wouldn't think that fishermen wouldn't have that many lies to tell. But we keep making up new ones," says Dave Densmore, one of the original Fisher Poets. Photo: Motoya Nakamura for the Oregonian.

The gathering is full of humor, and the stories range from the irreverent to the sacred. All contain a deep love and respect for the ocean and the livelihoods gained from it.

The tradition began over 15 years ago by fisherfolk who craved the times spent anchored alongside each other, sharing stories over radios and across tables in town.

The event started in a local pub in Astoria, and has since grown to include over five venues, including the Voodoo Lounge, seen above. Photo: Stuart Isett for the NY Times.

It’s difficult to summarize Fisher Poets. Stories, poetry, and songs are strung together like the salty lines between crab pots. Or perhaps they resemble more of a fishing net, woven and wrapped around each other to form a greater impression than a single story.

For those who fish for a living, it's not just a job. It encompasses passion, determination, and awareness of the dangers when working at the mercies of weather, operating heavy machinery while swaying with the waves.

Martin, Rocky, and Danielle of i love blue sea traveled to Astoria, OR to attend this gathering. We even visited the Goonies House!

On Saturday night, we heard Toby Sullivan weave together his experiences as a soldier in Iraq with his life on the Bering Sea, nightmares and dreams blended into one. Jen Pickett shared limeracs and poetry with a dry humor and sly smile.

The roar of the crowd quieted for each speaker, listeners engaged with every story. Photo: Alex Pajunas from Coast Weekend.

Our trip was a reminder of why we are on this journey to connect seafood producers directly to their customers, using innovative solutions to protect their livelihoods. Like us, they take pride in the quality and freshness of their seafood. ‘Who’ and ‘how’ it is caught matters just as much as what they are catching.

In the spirit of passing along stories, we use the medium we know best—our online marketplace. In this way, we too are one more knot in the net.


Posted Mar 4th by Danielle