The Extension Marine Resources Program encourages the understanding, development, wise use, and conservation of ocean and coastal resources. Through research, education, and Extension, marine resources programs are available to solve marine related problems on the coast, Willapa Bay, and the lower Columbia River. Affiliated with the University of Washington Sea Grant Program, the marine resources program serves the community by providing technical assistance and educational activities to commercial fishermen, shellfish growers, seafood processors and retailers, recreational boaters, marine educators, students, and others who use, manage, or simply enjoy the area’s marine resources.
Activities of the program are geared to specific problems of a marine nature, and to specific audiences. Assistance may include working with an individual on a particular project, presenting a day or evening workshop for a group with a specific need, or teaching an intensive short course on a marine subject. The office provides marine related publications and materials from throughout the nation, and maintains a small reference collection. Specialist in aquaculture, commercial fishing, seafood processing, coastal resources, and port management are used for special problems.
If you would like more information about this program contact Steve Harbell, Marine Resource Agent.
Pacific County's Marine Industry
As the major shellfish production and processing center on the Washigton coast, Pacific County's economy includes a substantial marine resources component. The commercial fishing industry, based primarily in Ilwaco and Chinook, includes over 200 vessels and nearly 1300 fishermen, with annual landings exceeding 21 million pounds of fish and shellfish with an ex-vessel value of nearly $15 million. Dungeness crab, Pacific pink shrimp, albacore tuna, and bottomfish production are the major components of the commercial fishery, generating over $25 million in personal income, and over a thousand jobs to the county's economy. Many fishermen also participate in the distant water fisheries in Alaska, adding an additional $21 million in county personal income contributions.
Pacific County is also home to the largest shellfish culture industry on the west coast, with nearly 50 million pounds of oysters and clams produced each year, with a wholesale value exceeding $10 million. The industry generates over $12 million in personal income, and providesnearly 600 jobs to the local economy annually. In addition, the charter boat industry in Ilwaco includesover 30 vessels, offering sportsfishing and whalewatching trips for local residents and outside visitors. Eight seafood processing plants, and fifteen seafood retailers provide seafood products to area distributors and consumers.