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By Breeana Greenberg

Jon’s Fish Market founder Jon Carlton Mansur died on March 11 at the age of 77, his family announced last week. He is survived by his wife Sheree, son and daughter, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Mansur began his career in commercial fishing and sportfishing as a deckhand for San Clemente Sportfishing off the San Clemente Pier. The company later moved to Dana Point, where it was renamed Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching.

By 1972, Mansur was one of the first captains for Dana Wharf.

In 1980, Mansur and his then-wife Sharon founded Jon’s Fish Market. The market supported local fisheries and offered the Dana Point community fresh seafood from boat to table.

“This started out as an old school boat to table fish market,” Jon’s daughter Shala Mansur said. “We’ve been, for the last 42 years, keeping up with that tradition. He left my brother and I, the next generation, with a very good, coastal relationship with the commercial fishermen to make sure that that continues to happen.”

Shala is following in her father’s footsteps after growing up in the harbor, shucking oysters and dreaming of fishing alongside him and her brother. When her brothers went out catching swordfish, Shala fished off the back of the bait boat.

Jon’s Fish Market founder Jon Carlton Mansur died on March 11 at the age of 77. Photo: Courtesy of the Mansur Family

In 2010, Shala picked up odd jobs in the Dana Point Harbor to be around her dad more. 

“It just dawned on me that this is where my world is,” Shala said.

In 2013, she got her captain’s license and went to Alaska to fish. After a few years of fishing in Alaska, Shala came back to the fish market to help out at her family’s business.

Shala began to slowly take over the day-to-day operations of Jon’s Fish Market in 2018 with the guidance of Sharon and Jon.

“They both have been here to support me, to show me what they know and help back me when I make mistakes and growing pains and everything,” Shala said.

It’s been four years since Shala took over her late father’s business, and the last thing Jon said to her was “Kiddo, you’ve got it.”

“It used to be, back in the day, this place where everybody gathered,” Shala said. “So, I came in here with the intent to bring the family back in. This is our family legacy right here.”

More and more of the Mansur family has begun to help out with Jon’s Fish Market. Shala’s brother, Todd Mansur, checks in and helps to “spot manage.” Shala’s daughter and two of her nieces are also picking up work at the fish market.

The “second generation” plans to carry on Jon’s legacy at the fish market.

Jon’s life will be honored on April 10 in the courtyard at Jon’s Fish Market. Island style music will be played from noon-3 p.m. and will be followed by a Luau and Celebration of Life from 4-7 p.m.

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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