Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Throughout Key West's colorful history the Historic Key West Bight, where the Conch Republic Seafood Company® now resides, has had a tradition of bringing the bounty of the seas ashore. Sponges, giant sea turtles, shrimp and fish are just a few of the types of cargo that would pass through the Bight weekly. The location where the Conch Republic Seafood Company® is now located has it's own interesting history. In the 1890's "sponging" had grown to employ hundreds in Key West, both with the fleet and at jobs ashore. Our present day docks have long ago replaced the large, wide sponge market docks of the era. This dock was just one of many constructed to allow the quality of the sponges to be inspected by wholesale buyers prior to sale at auction. Large "mother ships" would dock after a few weeks of harvesting and unload their cargos. The thousands of sponges bought, sold & traded were shipped all over the United States.