San Diego, Calif.San Diego History Center (SDHC) is opening TUNA! Celebrating San Diego’s Famous Fishing Industry. This colorful exhibition highlights the story of one of San Diego’s earliest industries and gives voice to the people who made San Diego the “tuna capital of the world.”

TUNA! lets visitors experience the world through the eyes of Japanese, Italian and Portuguese fishing families and includes hands-on pole-fishing demonstrations, packing and canning activities and films documenting San Diego’s impact on the global tuna fishing industry. The exhibit also examines the impact of commercial fishing on tuna stocks, and ongoing efforts to ensure that the fisheries for tuna around the world are sustainable.

“This significant exhibition demonstrates in a highly engaging way how tuna fishing shaped San Diego’s way of life, culture, and economy,” said Charlotte Cagan, Acting Executive Director. ”Tuna fishing here eventually gave rise to a global industry for the world’s most popular food fish.”

The tuna industry sprang up in San Diego in the early 1900s and soon became San Diego’s largest, employing thousands of people as fisherman, cannery workers, and shipbuilders. Japanese, Italians, and Portuguese lived along the waterfront creating tightly-knit communities in neighborhoods like Point Loma and Little Italy.

“We thank the San Diego History Center for this effort to honor the history of the tuna industry in San Diego,” said Brian Hallman, Executive Director of the American Tunaboat Association.  “The legacy of this interesting and important history is evident today in the life of San Diego families and communities, with many individuals, businesses, and families still actively involved in the global tuna industry.”

Public and family programs and lectures will accompany this exhibition and are open to the community.

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This exhibition is generously underwritten by: The American Tunaboat Association, Bumble Bee Foods, Chicken of the Sea, StarKist Co., the Billingsley Foundation, the Heller Foundation of San Diego, and the San Diego County Community Enhancement Fund.

San Diego History Center, which also operates the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn about, and enjoy, the history of San Diego, and to appreciate how our past, present, and future are interrelated. The History Center was founded in 1928 and is one of the oldest and largest historical organizations in California. It is one of only a handful of institutions nationwide that is dedicated to celebrating the heritage of a major American city. The Junípero Serra Museum is the only museum dedicated to Spanish colonial history in California.