Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders, Otherwise, Gulf Coast Builders May Have A Competitive Edge

The Seattle-based North Pacific fishing fleet is expected to get $1.6 billion in upgrades or rebuilding over the next decade, but in-state ship builders have been capturing only about a third of such business so far, and cheaper Gulf Coast competitors could eat their lunch as the stakes grow. Washington maritime industry leaders say bipartisan HB 1154 could help provide a net big enough for the state to harvest more of that economic growth. “We can’t miss this opportunity,” Keith Whittemore said. “The boats have to be built in the U.S…but they don’t have to be built in Washington.” Whittemore is the executive vice president of business development for Vigor Industrial Shipyards, a shipbuilding and repair company with 12 locations and 2,500 employees in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Read the story here 11:31