A new and
much heralded addition to the freezer longline fleet working in Alaskan waters
has been delivered to Alaskan Leader Fisheries LLC in Seattle, and is expected
to be on duty in the Bering Sea by August.
the vessel’s christening in Seattle today, all of the Northern Leader’s Alaskan
cod is already earmarked for distribution through a marketing partnership
announced by Alaskan Leader Fisheries and Copper River Seafoods.
completion of the Northern Leader project represents the culmination of over
three years of hard work and the commitment of many people,” said Robin
Samuelsen, board chairman of Alaskan Leader Fisheries and Bristol Bay Economic
managing director of Alaskan Leader Fisheries, called the alliance, announced
July 29, “a win for both companies. Copper River Seafoods gains access to the
highest-quality hook-and-line caught Alaskan cod supply they need to meet
customer demand and our company benefits from their strong customer
relationships and domestic marketing expertise,” he said.
said Scott Blake, president and chief executive officer of Copper River
Seafoods, will allow Copper River Seafoods to offer its customers the highest
quality whitefish along with world-famous salmon on a year-round basis, in
quantities that will support high-volume programs.
longliners owned by Alaskan Leader Fisheries are a major source of sustainably
harvested, frozen-at-sea, hook-and-line caught wild Alaskan cod, and the firm’s
newest vessel, the Northern Leader, is the largest, most eco-friendly vessel in
the North Pacific fishing fleet. Rob
Wurm, chief executive officer of Alaskan Leader Fisheries, said the company is
dedicating 100 percent of the Northern Leader’s cod to the
marketing partnership with Copper River Seafoods, giving customers “total
traceability and the benefits of the most modern and innovative quality
controlled processing line.”
Bay Economic Development Corp., with offices in Dillingham and Anchorage, owns
50 percent of Alaskan Leader Fisheries.
Leader, to be home ported in Kodiak, is designed for service in
longline fisheries of the North Pacific, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands,
targeting Alaskan cod, sablefish and other groundfish species. The vessel was
delivered to Seattle in late June.
Northwest and international marine service providers were involved in the
planning and construction of the vessel. From the builder, J.M. Martinac
Shipbuilding, one of the oldest and most venerable West Coast shipyards, to
Jensen Maritime Consultants, a Crowley owned leading naval architectural firm
in Seattle, the building of the Northern Leader involved
participation of over 100 companies and provided the job equivalency of over
200 employee-years to complete the vessel in Tacoma, Washington.