Museum to unveil new Golden Fisherman

After four decades, the monument that was designed to commemorate the Biloxi’s and the Coast’s seafood heritage and pay tribute to generations of commercial fisherman will once again rise in honor of the iconic Gulf Coast fisherman.

The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum will unveil the new Golden Fisherman statue on Thursday as part of the city’s monthlong Preservation in May series and the ceremony will lead right into the Blessing of the Fleet weekend.

The Preservation in May program begins Thursday with a 6 p.m. Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church, followed by a reception from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the museum, where as part of Preservation in May, Blessing of the Fleet past queens will talk about their years as royalty. The Golden Fisherman will be unveiled at 7:15 p.m.

The Golden Fisherman will serve as a landmark on the front lawn of the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, and as a beacon to welcome visitors to Biloxi.

The statue is an original seven-foot bronze sculpture that was crafted at the Caggiati Foundry in Parma, Italy, in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy. Just as many of the immigrants of the seafood industry made that voyage across the Atlantic to their new home in America, so did the new Golden Fisherman.

The Fisherman will be positioned on a six-foot granite base that dispays plaques bearing the names of more than 800 seafood industry families, as well as the names of all of the kings and queens of the Biloxi Shrimp Festival & Blessing of the Fleet.

The original Golden Fisherman statue was damaged in Hurricane Katrina and it was later chopped into pieces by a thief who stole it post-Katrina. It was deemed impossible to restore the original statue, but museum leaders plan to use its remnants for ornamental work, such as oyster shells, mullet, and crabs in the fountain that is planned for Phase II of the project.

This project was awarded by bid to Riemann Monument Company and was made possible in part by grants from the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, a Tidelands grant through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation, and other donations. The museum has also established a GoFundMe page on its website at to help with future costs.
Learn more about Preservation in May
Video: Your preview of the 2018 Blessing of the Fleet
See the former Golden Fisherman and a pre-Katrina restoration initiative