Doug Dixon, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Receives King Neptune Award

Honors his life-long contribution to support the North Pacific Fishing Industry

Dixon Pacific Fishermen Shipyard

Published Jan 2, 2023 10:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By Norwegian Commercial Club]

To recognize his life-long contribution to the North Pacific Fishing Industry and his countless hours of community service, the Norwegian Commercial Club (NCC) presented John Douglas Dixon, Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, with its highest honor, the King Neptune Award, during the 70th Annual Fishermen’s Night in December. He joins the ranks of Industry leaders Trident Seafoods Chuck Bundrant, Kaare Ness and Bart Eaton, MARCO’s Peter Schmidt, Sam LeClercq, Dr. Wally Pereyra and Senators Ted Stevens, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for this prestigious award.

The NCC King Neptune Award was initiated to honor individuals or organizations whose contributions have furthered the economic growth, well-being and recognition of the North Pacific fishing industry. The award is intended to honor long-term commitments and contributions to the industry as well as breakthrough contributions. The Award has been presented annually since 1977. Dixon has been actively involved in the maritime industry for nearly 50 years.

Following graduation from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, he started his career in 1974 in California at Global Marine, with design work on drill ships, a Norwegian Aker H-3 oil drilling platform and supporting the work of the CIA with the HUGHES GLOMAR EXPLORER, recovering a sunken Russian nuclear submarine off the coast of Hawaii.

In 1977, when the king crab biomass and value rose dramatically, Dixon headed north to MARCO Shipyard to Seattle to design and build crab boats. He was able to guide fishermen on what they wanted in their new boats. Mr. Dixon worked with Norwegian-American fishing pioneers of the day, including highliners and their vessels like the F/V NORTHWESTERN of Deadliest Catch fame, together with sales of the multitude of different types of hydraulic machinery MARCO invented. After his departure from MARCO in 1991, Dixon worked for Det Norske Veritas (DNV) certifying all types of vessels, then subsequently Lunde Electric and Guido Perla Naval Architects.

Since 2001, he has served as General Manager of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric, concurrently with independent consulting through Dixon Marine Surveys to the USCG, USN, NOAA, EPA, DOJ, and vessel owners on shipboard design, operational, and tort matters.

Dixon assisted in the passage of the 1987 Commercial Fishing Industry US 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 spent countless hours providing smoked fish to different events around the Nordic Community, including 2,000 pounds a year at Ballard Seafood Fest and the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce Annual BBQ, where he was named 34th Person of the Year in 2014, in spite of his Scotch Irish heritage!

Dixon has been actively involved in the Ballard High School Maritime Program helping to keep the Norwegian maritime tradition continuing in Seattle. He has also served as President of the Norwegian Commercial Club and is a member of its Fisheries Committee, in addition to driving the shipyard’s “Deadliest Sweeper” in the Norwegian 17th of May parade. Dixon’s connection to the Norwegian community is not only that he works with many Norwegian fishermen and companies. His wife Maryanne is of Norwegian descent, and his son Jacob Steffen owns Work Wear Inc., a company that supplies the North Pacific fishing fleet with Norwegian and Swedish workwear.

In 2020, Mr. Dixon was awarded the Propeller Club Maritime Achievement Award, joining the ranks with Senator Warren G. Magnuson and Governor Dixy Lee Ray for significant contributions to the maritime community.

Dixon and his wife, Maryanne, raised their three children Jake, Rosie, and Chloe, in Ballard. They have recently retired to Enetai Beach on the Kitsap Peninsula, where they enjoy watching the fast ferries, tugs, and fishing boats go by that he has worked on throughout his career, along with beachcombing, kite flying, crabbing, and fishing with their three grandchildren Julia, Jonah, and Claire. 

Past King Neptune Award Winners
Dr. Ole A. Mathiesen 1995
Harold Lokken 1996
Peter G. Schmidt 1997
Robert M. (Bob) Thorstenson, Sr. 1998
Bart Eaton 1999
Dr. Dayton Lee Alvorsen 2000
Tink Mosness 2001
Dave LeClercq 2002
Wally Pereyra 2003
Robert Alvorsen 2004
Kaare Ness 2005
Anne Mosness 2006
Chuck Bundrant 2007
James Cole 2008
Senator Ted Stevens 2009
John Bruce 2010
Gary Stauffer 2011
Capt. Ivar Reiten 2012
Warren Aakervik, Jr. 2013
Magne Nes 2014
Cary (Kåre) Swasand 2015
Dennis Petersen 2016
Erik Breivik, Konrad Uri, John Sjong 2017
Tor Henry Tollessen 2018
Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell 2019
John Douglas Dixon 2022

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