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Municipal piers and wharves

The NBPA manages dockside berthing along four municipal piers: Homer’s Wharf, Leonard’s Wharf, Steamship Wharf, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Dockage on these piers is available on a first come, first serve basis. Coal Pocket Pier is also municipally managed, but has assigned docking (please contact us if you are interested in being added to the waitlist)

We have made significant repairs and improvements to Coal Pocket Pier and Steamship Pier over the past year with funding from the NBPA and a grant from the Seaport Economic Council.


Linear feet of berthing space
Number of Berths
Number of Vessels
Coal Pocket

South Terminal

South Terminal is located inside the Hurricane Barrier and has over 25 acres of marine industrial land, with a 1,600-linear foot bulkhead and depths of 20 feet, for offloading fish and seafood directly into the fish processing plants that occupy most of the site. These modern buildings are where fishing boats are unloaded. Workers fillet, clean, weigh, and package the seafood. Products are then shipped by truck and air freight around the world. The terminal also provides transient berthing for commercial fishing vessels unloading catch or laying over for one or two days. Fees to maintain the bulkhead are set by the NBPA Commission and collected by the Financial Manager.

Homer’s Wharf (also called Merrill’s Wharf)

Homer’s Wharf houses some of the waterfront’s seafood processing companies and provides berthing for commercial fishing vessels.

Leonards Wharf

Leonard’s Wharf is home to fishing boats and the majority of the Port’s lobster boats. The wharf is named for Samuel Leonard, founder of a lumber company located on the site in 1840. Lumber from the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest was off-loaded and planed in an adjacent mill.

Steamship Wharf

Steamship Wharf was rebuilt and doubled in length in 1979 and today houses many fishing and lobster boats. Expansion is possible but limited by its proximity to State Pier and the large vessels there impeded maneuvering capabilities. This historic pier, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places, once served as a terminal for ferries operating between New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, and for service from Boston, New York City, and New London.

Coal Pocket Pier

Coal Pocket Pier is used for berthing fishing and lobster boats. During the golden age of whaling, this short pier was a receiving point for thousands of casks of whale oil. The pier got its name in the late 19th century when coal was stored in tall containers, or pockets, until being shipped out by wagons, and later, by trucks. Due to the Pier’s size and orientation, expansion is impossible.

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf was originally two piers – City Pier #3 and #4. The wharf provides additional berthing for the New Bedford fishing fleet and is currently overcrowded with limited space for expansion. The wharf has served a variety of vessels from the early whalers in the 1800s to modern fishing draggers and scallopers in the Port today. Also docked at Fisherman’s Wharf are the Alert (II), a passenger ferry to Cuttyhunk Island, and the Acushnet, Whaling City Tour’s vessel providing harbor tours and launch and water taxi service.

South Terminal

South Terminal Offloading Docks consists of a 1,600-linear foot bulkhead that supports the off-loading of fish product. The facility also supports eight fish processing houses.

Supporting a Unique Blend of Uses




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