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Garapan Dock

“An important maritime landmark”

N15 ̊12’8.822” E145 ̊42’58.296

The Garapan Dock was originally constructed in 1900 by the German administration to serve as the government landing spot. By 1905, it had a small boat harbor and was a popular swimming area for children. The Japanese continued to use this dock during the 1920s and added a small concrete lighthouse on the reef to help mark the narrow channel through which small boats entered the lagoon (lighthouse is still visible). Local residents, however, continued to refer to this dock as Pantalan Aleman, or the “German Pier.” It was significantly expanded by the Japanese administration in the 1930s and used until being damaged during the World War II battle for the island. Following the American capture of Saipan during World War II, the Garapan Dock was refurbished and utilized for off-loading military supplies. In the early post-war years the dock was utilized as a base of operations for the Saipan Fishing Company, a locally-owned fishing cooperative that used reconditioned Japanese tuna fishing boats. A second dock, made of coral rubble, was built by the U.S. military for use by the small tuna fishing fleet. Remnants of this dock are visible just to the south of the main Garapan Dock. From this use, the area gained its current name “Fishing Base” as it is called by many local residents. Today, the main dock is used by local fishermen and water sports companies.