Recently there have been several articles in local publications highlighting the value of the commercial marine industry to the Puget Sound region. The most recent one was in the Seattle Times and it brought up an interesting point, there is no united voice speaking for shipbuilders, commercial fishermen, towboats, steamship companies and the service businesses that support them. The Northwest Marine Trades Association in the early 1980’s decided to focus strictly on the recreational marine industry and nobody stepped in to fill the void.
You might be asking, why should I care? If you are looking for safety equipment (and I assume if you are reading this you came from our web site which sells safety gear) the main profit center is with commercial vessels. Without them you would not find life raft service facilities or non-chain stores that offer the best pricing on this type of equipment. For those with larger boats having commercial shows like Pacific Marine Expo allows you to see electronics which is never shown at recreational shows like the Seattle Boat Show. Need to repower? All of the engine dealers are at Pacific Marine Expo. Having a commercial marine industry allows you options that would not exist otherwise.
As the article says, good paying jobs are also an important component that this industry brings to the region to say nothing about the taxes we all pay. The Puget Sound region has a wonderful history of supporting the commercial marine industry and it is not something we should give up easily.