North Pacific Fishing Fleet Plans USD 1.6 Billion Upgrade by 2026

USD 1.6 billion is expected to be spent on modernization of the North Pacific fishing fleet in the next decade, with a possibility to bring more contracts to Puget Sound, a new report released by the Port of Seattle and the Washington Maritime Federation shows.

Published on November 17, 2016, the report predicts that shipbuilding will reach a relatively high point in the next ten years, averaging three to five vessels per year, compared to just one vessel per year for the last 15 years. Current vessel replacement costs vary widely by fishery, ranging between USD 15 and USD 118 million.

“Modern ships are safer, more sustainable and more profitable, but also require more capital,” Ted Fick, Port of Seattle CEO, said.

Furthermore, the report says that shipyard competition, economic conditions, and public policy will determine how much of the vessel construction will be done in Puget Sound.

The North Pacific fleet includes vessels of a wide range of size and value. The average vessel length ranges from 96 feet for smaller trawlers, to over 400 feet for floating processors, or ‘motherships.’

The average 2014 gross revenues for these vessels ranged from USD 2 million for trawl vessels to USD 16 million for American Fisheries Act (AFA) catcher/processors.

“The fishing industry has provided generations of Washingtonians with good paying jobs and sustainably harvested seafood. With the right investment we can keep—and grow—jobs here in our maritime industry.” Mark Gleason, Director of the Washington Maritime Federation, said.

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