Shining the Light on Washington’s Robust Commercial Fishing Industry During National Seafood Month

Average annual wage is almost $68,000, about $6,000 more than the state average
Updated: Wed, 09/11/2019 - 14:45
 
 
  • Average annual wage is almost $68,000, about $6,000 more than the state average

Washington state’s robust commercial fishing and seafood industry accounts for 15,900 jobs at an average annual wage of $67,600, according to a report from Seattle-based Community Attributes Inc.

October is National Seafood Month, and Washington’s robust commercial fishing industry is among the nation’s strongest. The study pegged overall revenues at state commercial fishing and seafood processing companies at $9.4 billion in 2015 (the study was released in 2017). The jobs are heavily concentrated in the Puget Sound region.

In 2015, fishing vessels brought 153 million pounds of finfish and shellfish with a value of $300 million to Washington ports. Vessels brought in 15 million pounds of Dungeness Crab worth a total of almost $73 million, followed by Pacific Geoduck and Pacific Oysters.

Top export markets are Canada, where more than $300 million in seafood products were exported, and Japan and China.

Sixty percent of all wild seafood harvested in the United States comes from Alaska, according to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, but the Community Attributes report notes that a good portion of that winds up in Washington state.

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