The Pacific Marine Expo opens this Sunday, Nov. 18, in Seattle, the West Coast’s big annual meet-up for mariners, commercial fishermen and the suppliers that help their businesses thrive.

Hundreds of exhibitors are headed to the CenturyLink Field Even Center for three days of activities and events through Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Experts will give insight into how to grow and manage business using big data and social media. Need a new boat? The considerations for newbuild vs. conversion is another topic.

Safety and survival in Pacific Northwest waters is paramount, and fatigue management will be discussed by longtime Alaska safety trainer Jerry Dzugan with fellow panelists Aaron Barrett and Michael Lynch.

“This is What Will Sink Your Boat Next Season!” is the inviting title of a talk that naval architect John Myers of Hockema Whalen Myers Associates will present. It’s all about specific maintenance, operational and design issues that can weaken a vessel’s stability, increase chances of flooding, draw away the operator’s attention at critical moments and generally put the crew at risk.

Author Laura Hartema will talk about her memoir, “Bering Sea Strong: How I Found Solid Ground on Open Ocean,” the story of how she experienced adventure and self-discovery as the only female on a 25-man fishing crew.

In Alaska Hall is the center stage for panel discussions, and the annual Fisherman of the Year Competition, where mariners compete in three heats of rope splicing, net mending and blindfolded knot tying. Each heat winner takes away $100 cash, and will move on to compete in the final round – the survival suit challenge. The final round champion takes home the coveted Fisherman of the Year title, $100 cash and a custom National Fisherman jacket.

We will be reporting from the show for WorkBoat and National Fisherman. As my colleague Jessica Hathaway writes, “Pacific Marine Expo draws thousands of fishermen, fleet owners, processors and other stakeholders to a show floor packed with more than 500 exhibitors. Each one is vying for your attention with innovation at great prices.”

There is still time to register online here. See you there.


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.