Massport is committed to retaining the Fish Pier as a maritime property in support of the fishing industry and its vessels. Massport's policy is to encourage the use of the Fish Pier by commercial fishing vessels and their support industries such as ice manufacturing, net storage, net repair, fueling, and machine shops for light repairs.
Unlike fishing, fish processing does not require being on the water or access to a berth. But in the interest of serving the entire industry, Massport, in conjunction with the City of Boston, has allocated a minimum of 8 acres on the Massport Marine Terminal (North Jetty) for fish processing facilities. In 2000, Massport approved lease terms (with minimal income to Massport) and provided a $10 million guaranty necessary to finance the private development of a 65,000 sq. ft. fish processing facility on the Massport Marine Terminal. In 2001, Massport approved lease terms for Legal Sea Foods to relocate its headquarters and central fish processing facility to the Massport Marine Terminal.
Since 1972, Massport has operated the fish processing portion of the Fish Pier at a net operating budget loss, without considering depreciation or indirect, allocated costs such as insurance; in fiscal 2001 that net loss exceeded $100,000. Over the last 30 years, the accumulated loss has grown to several million dollars.
Since the late 1970's, Massport has expended $29.5 million on improvements and repairs to the pier itself, the buildings (East and West Fish Pier) and the fish processing areas within the East and West buildings. Of this amount, $8.5 million was reimbursed by the U.S Economic Development Agency.