The history of Altona has always been closely linked to fishing. The earliest settlers were fishers and to this very day fish trade and processing is decisively influencing the banks of the River Elbe in Altona. For over 80 years, Fischmarkt Hamburg-Altona GmbH’s activities have played a crucial role not only in carefully accompanying changes which the traditional location has been undergoing but also in the supply of fresh fish and delicacy throughout the entire metropolitan region of Hamburg.

Old Cold Storage House

History of the fishing harbour of Hamburg-Altona

Around 1536 The name Altona was coined by the first fisher who settled in this region west of Hamburg at this time.
1703 Altona established its own fish market.
1887 Fish auctions were held in Altona and St. Pauli for the first time.
1896 The fish auction hall was built in Altona.
1919–1922 The Altona fish harbour moved from its location on the border to Hamburg to its present site.
1934 A company known as Vereinigte Fischmärkte Altona und Hamburg G.m.b.H. was established.
1938 Vereinigte Fischmärkte Altona und Hamburg G.m.b.H. was renamed Fischmarkt Hamburg-Altona GmbH (FMH).
1949–1952 The first construction phase of the fishing harbour marked the initial step in post-war reconstruction.
1965 FMH built its first deep-freeze store, Hall III. It was followed in the ensuing years by Halls IV and V.
1989 Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft HHLA became the sole shareholder of FMH.
1994 FMH extended its production and fish-processing operations.
1998–1999 Deep-freeze store III was converted into use as office space and renamed “Elbkaihaus”.
2006 The fishing harbour premises were removed from the scope of the Port Development Act.
2007 The state government of Hamburg reaffirmed its commitment to preserving the fishing industry at this traditional location.
2009 An urban architecture competition was initiated as a basis for the further development of an area between Elbkaihaus and Columbia Twins (Areal West).
2013 New head of the district authority of Altona. Continuation of talks with a view to developing the “Areal West“.
2017 Public plan discussion organized by the district authority of Altona to set up an official development plan necessary for realizing "Areal West".