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Fishermen’s Terminal Spawns Next Generation of Maritime Companies

October 19, 2023

By the Seattle Propeller Club

October is National Seafood Month and thanks to an innovative partnership between Washington Maritime Blue and the Port of Seattle, the next generation of fishing and maritime businesses are being nurtured at Fishermen’s Terminal.

“This exciting new incubator and accelerator program for concept and early-stage maritime, oceans and fisheries focused startups and those looking to grow in the region will help ensure the long-term vitality of our important maritime industry,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Sam Cho. “Fishermen’s Terminal, which is the home port for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, was the Port’s first property in 1914, and we continue to invest in preparing the facility for the next century of its service.”

The Port of Seattle has commissioned Washington Maritime Blue to create and execute a program focused on helping founders working on maritime and ocean-related startups by providing access to workspace, mentors, programming, and more. This one-year, free program is housed in the Blue Hub located at Fishermen’s Terminal. The program allows founders to learn how to take their concept and early-stage companies to the next level, acting as a possible feeder to the marquee Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator.

“This new, Seattle-based incubator program supports our larger hub-and-spoke Blue Ventures model. Our goal is to support founders at multiple points along their journey so that we have a complete innovation ecosystem from ideation, to commercialization, to accessing new markets,” said Joshua Berger, Maritime Blue’s President and CEO. “These five companies are the perfect example of that spectrum and we’re excited to see how they, and this program, grow.” 

Meet the five startups 

Admitting companies on a rolling basis, the Seattle Maritime Blue Incubator will accept everything from initial concept to early-stage startups as well as companies that are further along and interested in a soft landing into the region’s blue economy. The first set of startups joining this fall include:

Astraeus Ocean Systems is developing autonomous, ropeless deployment and recovery systems for marine assets, ranging from climate-monitoring sensor packages to commercial crab and lobster pots. These systems reduce the cost and complexity of deploying large fleets of assets at sea while eliminating entanglement risks for marine mammals and end-of-life waste for next-generation sensor networks at sea. 

Earthwise Sorbents flat booms.

Earthwise Sorbents, a San Diego, California-based company, offers an array of highly effective sorbent products, made from recycled and repurposed foam and fabric materials. Earthwise Sorbents repurposes polyurethane wastes into high-performance absorbent pillows and recycles plastic and polypropylene wastes from other large vendors into melt-blown pads, sweeps, and booms. This reduces the carbon footprint of manufacturing and gives foam and fabric waste a second life as environmental clean-up products. 


Oo-Nee Sea Ranch creates sustainable seafood supply chains.

Oo-Nee Sea Ranch is on a mission to build sustainable seafood supply chains and regenerate Pacific Northwest coastal communities and ecosystems by vertically integrating the harvesting, ranching, and processing of purple urchin and other symbiotic coastal species.

RMZ Marine Construction has developed SkillWind, a digital platform that connects offshore wind developers, candidates from related fields, and existing training resources. This visibility benefits everyone through workforce development and connecting qualified skilled professionals needed in the developing offshore wind industry. 

UnCruise Adventures is a responsible tour operator for small-ship expedition cruises. UnCruise has installed an award-winning prototype on the Safari Quest ship which cruises in Puget Sound and Alaska waters. The equipment detects marine mammals with acoustic sensors under and above the water to protect the wildlife.

With the Port’s final authorization in August for the development of the Maritime Innovation Center at Fishermen’s Terminal, Maritime Blue intends to relocate its activity, including the Incubator, from its existing Blue Hub co-working space to the new building that is slated to open by the end of 2025. 

A commitment to Fishermen’s Terminal

To prepare for the next century of commercial fishing and maritime industrial activity at the terminal, the Port is committing nearly $100 million in new investments as part of a long-term strategic redevelopment plan to maintain docks for commercial fishers, enhance uplands facilities for tenants and visitors, and feature Fishermen’s Terminal’s history and legacy. These improvements will ensure this important facility will continue to support and sustain the maritime industry and Seattle’s working waterfront and anchor a diverse maritime economy in Seattle and the region. 

As a part of this redevelopment plan, the Port Commission approved $32.6 million to achieve a longstanding goal of transforming the historic Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal into a new home for maritime innovation to help drive the region’s future economy. 

Watch a video introducing the Maritime Innovation Center. 

“The transformation of the Port’s oldest building into a world-class center is a reflection of the Port’s commitment to investing in innovation so that the maritime industry and marine environment will thrive for generations to come,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The Maritime Innovation Center will inspire collaboration between entrepreneurs, investors, and workers that will grow our region’s blue-green economy by drawing on our heritage to create living wage careers of the future.”

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