Experience Westport’s Seafaring Culture with Fresh Catch

As one of Washington’s busiest commercial fishing ports, Westport — like many of our state’s towns that dot the coast — arguably celebrates Seafood Month all year long.

Located at the mouth of Grays Harbor on Point Chehalis, Westport has long been a hub for commercial fishing, shellfish harvesting, and seafood processing. The Westport Lighthouse, one of Westport’s earliest structures dedicated in 1898, was built to guide such seafarers home.

Commercial seafood continues to be a stronghold of the community and supports markets for Washington rockfish, Dungeness crab, Albacore tuna, halibut, coastal salmon, pink shrimp and prawns, and oysters — all of which are sustainably harvested.

“The Fresh Catch campaign has been a great way to highlight Westport’s Seafood Industry and promote fresh seafood availability,” said Mayor Rob Bearden. “Partnering with the Port of Grays Harbor has allowed us to engage with a broad base of people looking for fresh seafood. Our local fishermen, residents and guests all benefit, which is positive for the entire community and economy.”

“Westport community has long been a leader in commercial fishing in Washington and it is exciting to see the innovative ways that Westport markets seafood to consumers,” said Sarah Fisken, seafood specialist with Washington Sea Grant.

Recently, the Port of Grays Harbor and the City of Westport teamed up to support and promote local seafood sourced directly from the fishermen. The Westport’s Fresh Catch Project is designed to help fishermen reach consumers through the City’s new marketing efforts and the Port’s new signage at the marina.

Visitors and locals want quality WA seafood- and the Westport’s Fresh Catch Project is a great way to help them find it!” said Molly Bold, Westport Business Manager for the Port of Grays Harbor. “Thousands of folks visit the marina each year to experience our dynamic waterfront — finding new ways to connect these visitors with local Washington seafood is a win-win for our guests and our fishermen.”

A video Westport’s Fresh Catch launched last fall features Dungeness crab, which you can find at dockside markets or directly from commercial fishers 10 months of the year.

WDFW works with Westport and other commercial fisherman to oversee the management of fish and shellfish harvested in Washington waters that make their way to markets locally and around the world. This stringent science-based monitoring helps to ensure Pacific Northwest seafood will continue to make its way to restaurant menus and families’ tables year after year.

WDFW uses extensive monitoring to ensure sustainable, ecologically resilient Dungeness crab populations. Pre-season and post-season testing includes measuring crab shell size, hardness, and other data points to help get a better understanding of the health and abundance of the Dungeness crab population. Visit our Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery web page to learn more.

For more information about Westport’s Fresh Catch, Westport markets, and commercial fishers, visit experiencewestport.com/fresh-catch.

Teresa Reeves, left, and Libie Cain, right, of Sassy Seafood, based in Westport. Photo by Cortney Kelley Photography.

Learn more about Westport’s community of folks helping to bring local Washington seafood to consumers, restaurants, and markets with this blog post from our friends at Washington Sea Grant. WSG interviewed commercial fisher Libie Cain to learn more about her experiences Dungeness crab and albacore fishing out of Westport.

Celebrate #LifeOutdoorsWA this Seafood Month!

With all the local Washington seafood in season right now, what better time is there to fire up your grill, enjoy Life Outdoors and celebrate Seafood Month! Whether you prefer to reel it in yourself or pick it up from your local market, enjoying local Washington seafood is a choice you can feel good about.

The state uses stringent science-based monitoring and oversight to keep sustainable seafood on the menu — and your table — for years to come. And, when you enjoy local Washington seafood, you help to support the Pacific Northwest’s commercial seafood industry, which puts 102, 476 to work in living-wage jobs and provides a $11.2 million boost in sales to the economy.

Share your photos

If you send us your best photos grilling up seafood this month, you can be entered for a chance to win outdoor gear! Your photos may be featured on WDFW’s Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the variety of ways people enjoy outdoor lifestyles and to inspire others to spend time in nature.

Enter our monthly photo contest August-December 2021 for a chance to win a Cabela’s gift card! Each month has a new theme and a new winner.

Participating is simple

  • Visit WDFW’s Life Outdoors webpage from now through December 2021 to find out the outdoor recreation theme for the current month.
  • Submit pictures of you, your friends, or family participating in the month’s featured outdoor recreation theme on WDFW’s website.
  • When submitting your photo, select #LifeOutdoorsWA in the category section. In the description area, tell us a little about your experience!

On the last Friday of the month, a winner will be selected and featured on WDFW’s Facebook and Instagram. Winners will also be contacted via email to receive their prize.

Visit wdfw.wa.gov/LocalWASeafood to learn more about in-season sustainable seafood and how the state and its partners are working to keep it on families’ tables, in the market, and on the menu.

Photos and video courtesy of Capture.Share.Repeat.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.