The Value of Bellingham’s Waterfront
At the end of September and Start of October, our staff had the distinct pleasure of attending the inaugural Bellingham Seafest, a celebration of our “legacy maritime heritage, bustling working waterfront, internationally-renowned fishing & seafood industries and unsurpassed culinary bounty.”
Needless to say, we owe a great deal of our own success to the largess of the local waters, and we are very supportive of our local fishermen. We thought it would be a great opportunity to draw some attention to the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County.
With a mission of promoting the “vitality and economic benefits of our working waterfronts for the people of Whatcom County”, the coalition aims to support the continued vitality of the maritime sector, and to conserve the cultural history and economic prosperity the industry creates.
Our region has always had a close relationship to the sea. At one point, in the 1940’s, Bellingham was home to the largest salmon cannery in the world, the Pacific American Fisheries Plant—which, at its peak employed over 5,000 people.
The Port of Bellingham has some great resources for learning about the history of Bellingham and Whatcom County’s waterfronts, and when you look out over Samish Bay from our restaurant, you can see some of Taylor Shellfish Farm’s oyster beds.
Here’s a snapshot of the economic benefits commercial fishing brings to our community (c/o the port of Bellingham):
- 1,781 direct jobs with an additional 870 induced jobs generated through spending by the direct job holders with other businesses
- $13.3 million of local purchases by the firms located at the Port’s marinas contributing an additional 165 indirect jobs, for products and services used by the commercial fishing industry.
- The 1,781 direct job holders earned $94.5 million in wages & salaries.
- $320 million in revenue from the purchases by the fishing fleet at the Port’s marinas (this does not include the landed value of the fish catch).
- State and local governments received nearly $16 million of tax revenue from the activity generated by the commercial fishing fleet.
Of course, as a patron of our humble restaurant, you’re also a part of this economic equation. We love supporting our local working waterfront and we thank you for both supporting us, and the brave Fishermen who bring us the bounty of the sea!