For over 150 years, the Ballard/Interbay/Lake Union area has been the home of our commercial fishing industry and the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. It’s also been a cornerstone of our regional economy - for the past, present and future!
The Port of Seattle operates major fishing facilities at Fishermen's Terminal and Terminal 91, which serve as the homeport for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet.
Today, our fishing and seafood industry have never been healthier. We continue to grow and look for new opportunities to enhance our community and economic impact. On this page, discover the strength of the industry, community organizations and the Port of Seattle.
Of the 300 commercial fishing vessels that used Port of Seattle facilities in 2017, 226 of these vessels actively fished in Alaskan waters.
Port of Seattle moorage customers harvested 1.3 metric tons of seafood in the North Pacific Fisheries, with equivalent gross earnings of between $259.1 million and $455 million, adjusted for inflation.
Fishing vessels based at Port of Seattle moorage facilities supply 13% of the total U.S. commercial fishing harvest by tonnage
Gross earnings in Alaska’s fisheries totaled $1 billion in 2017. The 226 boats moored at Port facilities account for $455 million, or 44% of that total.
Maritime support services like vessel maintenance and repair, processing, and cold storage located on Port properties also generate additional revenues. Factoring in all segments of commercial fishing at the Port of Seattle, these activities generated more than $671.2 million in business output in 2017.
In 2017, an estimated 7,200 jobs were directly associated with commercial fishing at the Port of Seattle. with a payroll of $313.4 million.
Seafood is one of the top export commodities shipped out of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, with a total value in 2016 of $637.9 million.
An estimated 72% of all commercially caught seafood biomass from the U.S. North Pacific Fisheries by tonnage and value was exported.
The top 10 seafood exports that come out of Seattle and Tacoma Harbors include: sockeye, pink, king, silver and chum salmon; halibut; Pacific cod, lingcod; rockfish, Pollock, and sablefish (black cod); crab, shrimp, clams, oysters and mussels.
Alaska is the top U.S. seafood producer, producing 5.7 billion pounds in 2017/2018, two-thirds of the nation’s wild seafood harvest in a typical year.
Click here for more fast facts about the fishing industry from the Port of Seattle.
Click here to check out the Washington State Maritime Industrial Cluster Study.
Click here to learn about The Economic Value of the Alaska Seafood Industry.
Click here to review “Alaska Seafood by the Numbers – Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.”
Click here to learn more about the “Ties That Bind” Puget Sound to Alaska.
Click here to learn about the Port of Seattle fishing operations and moorage.
To learn more about our thriving seafood industry, visit Pacific Northwest Seafood 101.
Large boats at Terminal 91, Port of Seattle
Typically owned by corporations, this fleet harvests and process pollock, pollock roe, hake, yellow-fin sole, and other flat fish. The fishing seasons for these boats at Terminal 91 are:
Mid-January through mid-April: Pollock A
Mid-May through late June: Hake
June-October: Pollock B
August-October: Pollock C and D
Smaller boats at Fishermen’s Terminal, Port of Seattle
The gillnetters, purse seiners, and halibut schooners are typically owned by individuals or small companies. And they harvest salmon, halibut, black cod, and other species. The fishing seasons for small boats based at Fishermen’s Terminal are:
Mid-April through September: salmon
October through April: Winter king season for trollers
Top Seafood Companies in North Seattle
Most people have heard of Trident Seafoods, which is the largest seafood company in the United States. Did you know that there are a dozen major seafood companies operating in our Ballard/Interbay/Lake Union area?
Top Shipyards in North Seattle
Did you know that with easy access to Puget Sound, proximity to marine services and a freshwater location, the Ballard/Lake Union area is home to 10 shipyard, repair, and maintenance companies. These businesses construct and repair ferries, tugboats, fireboats, barges, passenger vessels, recreational vessels, and fishing vessels.
Top Industry Supply Companies in North Seattle
The Ballard/Interbay/Lake Union is home to hundreds of maritime and fishing companies. including fuel providers, supply companies, and marine services. Many of these businesses have provided services for more than 100 years. This year Pacific Fisherman Shipyard celebrates its 150th year of business! Top suppliers include:
Ballard Terminal Railroad
Tug and Transportation Companies in North Seattle
Port of Seattle Facilities in North Seattle
Maritime Industrial Center
Top Industry Associations based in North Seattle
King County Maritime
King County is the home of hundreds and hundreds of maritime and fishing businesses. More than 130 of these companies exhibited at the 2019 Pacific Marine Expo. Click here to see a list of exhibitors.