John Douglas “Doug” Dixon, the general manager of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard in Seattle, has been honored by the Norwegian Commercial Club for his life-long contributions to the North Pacific fishing industry with the King Neptune award.
The King Neptune Award honors individuals and organizations whose long-term and breakthrough contributions have furthered the economic growth, well-being and recognition of the North Pacific fishing industry.
The latest presentation came during the Seattle-based club’s 70th annual Fishermen’s Night in December.
Dixon now joins the ranks of industry leaders who have received the honor, including Trident Seafoods’ Chuck Bundrant, Kaare Ness and Bart Eaton, MARCO’s Peter Schmidt, Sam LeClercq, Wally Pereyra, and U.S. senators Ted Stevens, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.
The award has been presented annually since 1977. Dixon has been actively engaged in the maritime industry for nearly 50 years.
Dixon earned a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineers from the University of Michigan, then began his career in 1974 at Global Marine in California. He performed design work on drill ships, a Norwegian Aker H-3 oil drilling platform and supported work of the CIA with the Hughes Glomar Explorer, recovering a sunken Russian nuclear submarine off the coast of Hawaii.
In 1977, when king crab biomass and value rose dramatically, Dixon went north to MARCO Shipyard in Seattle to begin designing and building crab boats.
He worked with Norwegian-American fishing pioneers of the day, including highliners and their vessels like the f/v Northwestern of Deadliest Catch fame, plus sales of a variety of hydraulic machinery MARCO invented.
He left MARCO in 1991 to work certifying vessels for Det Norske Veritas (DNV), then subsequently Lunde Electric and Guido Perla Naval Architects.
Since 2001, Dixon has served as general manager of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric, concurrently with independent consulting through Dixon Marine Surveys to the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department and vessel owners on shipboard design operational and tort matters.
Dixon also assisted in passage of the 1987 Commercial Fishing Industry U.S. Vessel Anti-Reflagging and Foreign Reconstruction Act and the US Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988.
His training in Norway as a ship surveyor by Classification Society DNV included conducting compliance surveys for US Fishing Vessel Safety Act, International Loadline SOLAS Safety of Life at Seas, United Nation’s MARPOL Marine Pollution Convention for international commercial vessels, and OSHA for the US fishing fleet.
Dixon has also been involved in the Ballard High School Maritime Program, helping to keep the Norwegian maritime tradition active in the Seattle area.
In 2020, Dixon was awarded the Propeller Club Maritime Achievement Award for significant contributions to the maritime community.
The mission of the Norwegian Commercial Club is to promote and encourage civic and commercial activity that benefits the State of Washington, the City of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. For more information go to norwegiancommercialclub.org