New North Pacific fleet would cost $11.6B

Rejuvenating Alaska’s large vessel fishing fleet could be nearly an $11 billion boon for Outside shipyards, according to a new McDowell Group report. The Alaska-based research firm pegged $11.3 billion as the cost to completely replace the 414 fishing and processing vessels longer than 58 feet that participate in North Pacific fisheries off the coast of Alaska in a study commissioned by the Port of Seattle and the Washington Maritime Federation. Regulations require boats in Alaska’s salmon fisheries to be less than 58 feet, which makes that length the general delineator between smaller boats focused on near shore fisheries and larger vessels that fish and process catch in federal waters at least three miles offshore. Additionally, most of the more than 5,000 smaller commercial fishing boats that operate in Alaska homeport in the state and nearly all of the larger vessels in federal fisheries have Puget Sound addresses for a host of reasons. While the $11.3 billion baseline figure includes the cost to eventually replace a dozen vessels among the 414 built since they year 2000, according to McDowell Group the fleet averages 40 years old and 87 percent of the vessels were built before 1990. Read the article here 09:14