In memory of fishermen lost at sea

  • Brad Alper and Gary Galeazzi wash the statue of a fisherman before it is installed at Spud Point Marina, in Bodega Bay, on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

A statue of a fisherman at work was installed at Spud Point Marina on Thursday, where it will serve as a memorial to those Bodega Bay fishermen lost at sea.

"It's something that we fought to get done for a long time," said Chuck Wise of Bodega Bay, who has been fishing since the 1960s. "It's fitting to pay our respects to the guys who didn't make it."

In the tight-knit fishing community, the statue will evoke strong emotional feelings. The dozen who have died were relatives, close friends and co-workers.

"I like it, it is fairly realistic," said John Reid, a Bodega Bay fisherman since the mid 1970s, who was at the installation. "We all know people who have died. It's just part of what goes with fishing."

"We have lost a lot over the years, more than you want to think about," said Carol Anello of the Spud Point Crab Co., whose husband Tony and son Mark are long-time fishermen. "You don't think about the danger, it would drive you crazy."

The memorial costs $30,000 and was paid for by the Fishermen's Marketing Association of Bodega Bay, which raised funds at its annual barbecue and the sales of cookbooks, and received some donations.

At some point there will be a companion monument that will have the names of the dozen or so commercial fishermen who have died at sea, Wise said.

"We are one of the few ports up and down the coast that didn't have it," Wise said. "It's due time."

The statue will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Sunday during the weekend's Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival.

The 400-pound bronze statue was sculpted by Sebastopol artist Alanna Roth and cast by the Monterey Sculpture Center.

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