Jump to content

Tuna boats go to war!

Bob Hudson

Recommended Posts

Here in San Diego we had a very large tuna boat fleet up until about the late 1980's when changing fishing and economic conditions led to them being based elsewhere.


Our local weekly newspaper has an article about the Navy's use of San Diego's tuna fleet in WWII:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's one of the boats that was converted and later lost at sea during a storm near Okinawa:




Here's one after conversion. Most had wooden hulls. The boats traveled thousands of miles in their hunt for tuna and boat and crew were generally well-suited for Pacific Ocean service despite their small size.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor

Note the M1 helmets


1940s tuna boat.

Photo from the American Tuna Boat Association, Zolezzi Photographic Collection, MMSD

1940s Tuna Boat.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites





That reminds me of this old thread: http://www.usmilitar...oing-m1-helmet/


Visited the San Diego Maritime Museum last weekend and was surprised to see this in a display case in the area devoted to San Diego's now-departed tuna fishing industry:




So why the helmet? Well, in the old days, before purse seiners came along with their huge nets, the tuna fisherman tossed bait into the tuna schools and then with two or three men each holding a pole attached to one hook, they did a frenzied fishing routine that involved quickly tossing the hooked fish into the boat and no doubt someone got whacked upside the head once in a while. I couldn't find any photos of actual fishing with the M-1 helmets, but here's one taken probably after OSHA or some other government agency decreed that they'd wear industrial work helmets instead of war surplus:




Here's the sign that is with the museum exhibit:




So if you someday run across a wildly-painted steel pot that smells like tuna, you'll know the reason why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

That technique is known as 'Jack-Poling'. The fishermen stand at the rear of the boat and with unbaited hooks on rods, snatch tuna out of the water and toss them into the catch area (don't know the technical term). I once saw an episode of Modern Marvels (or some such) showing some modern fisherman doing it. It is gaining popularity because it is reputed to be a dolphin safe way to catch tuna.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...