Column: An aging North Pacific fishing fleet

The fishing fleet in the North Pacific and Bering Sea, much of which is homeported here, needs to be replaced. Leaders are pushing for Washington to get its share of that business.

Seattle’s homeowners aren’t the only ones getting grayer. The fleet that is the backbone of Washington’s fishing industry is getting older, too.

Vessels average 40 years old, although their ages vary widely. Of the 5,000 ships at work off Alaska, 414 of these federally permitted vessels are more than 58 feet in length. A total of 175 were built in the 1970s. Replacing them will be a mammoth undertaking, but the state could see big benefits if it captures some of the action.

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About the author

Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is the online editor for National Fisherman.

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