NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN) — The Port of Newport held a meeting Tuesday night where locals voiced their opinions about the possible return of log shipping to the area.
For years, Newport has been home, almost exclusively, to commercial fishermen. But now port commissioners want to open it back up to corporate shipping.
The port has been losing money fast, and officials hope the old export will alleviate some financial setbacks Newport has been experiencing for several years.
But local fishermen worry the potential deal between commissioners and commercial log shippers — which includes a multi-million dollar loan — doesn’t place any emphasis on the welfare of their industry.
Lifelong fisherman Mike Storey said the Port of Newport, “acts like the shipping is going to be the golden goose to save their $200,000 a year deficit.”
Heather Mann, who represents local fishermen, believes shipping could be beneficial to Newport, but she doesn’t want the fishing industry to suffer as a result.
“We’re very supportive of bringing shipping in,” Mann said. “It could bring revenue to the port, we just don’t want to be displaced in order to make that happen.”
While there was reluctance from the fishing community at Tuesday night’s meeting, commissioners had the chance to push forward and vote the deal through. But they didn’t, and instead postponed an official final vote on the project.