Northline Seafoods to build floating salmon processor for Bristol Bay

A rendering of Northline Seafoods' planned floating processor.

Sitka, Alaska, U.S.A.-based Northline Seafoods has announced its intention to build a floating salmon-processing platform to operate in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

The vessel, named "Hannah," will buy, process, ship, and store salmon caught in Bristol Bay on a single vertically integrated platform, Northline Seafoods CEO Ben Blakey said in a 30 November press release. Construction on the vessel is slated to commence in January 2023 in Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.

“We developed the Hannah to produce higher-quality fish through a more-efficient process that benefits both fishermen and customers,” Blakey said. “This project is a continuation of Northline’s commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability in the fishing industry.”

The USD 62.5 million (EUR 60 million) project has received a USD 40 million (EUR 38.4 million) loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed guarantee Food Supply Chain, initiated by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden's “Build Back Better” initiative. The project has received financing from Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.-based Greater Commercial Lending, a subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union designed to provides loans to businesses and organizations in underserved and rural communities. Additionally, the company has been aided by fundraising from investment banking firm Zachary Scott, a Seattle, Washington-based investment banking firm.

The Hannah will perform deep-freezing on whole salmon on site in Bristol Bay, then haul the fish back to its base in Bellingham at the end of the season. The fish will then be reprocessed and distributed onboard the Hannah in the port of Bellingham.

The vessel will be constructed from an existing barge hull to be towed from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Washington for construction, Blakey said. He said his company's goal is to enable a more-sustainable environmental footprint for the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

“We have a long history with and great respect for the Bristol Bay region. Everyone at Northline is excited about this next chapter for our company and our industry,” Blakey said.

Photo courtesy of Northline Seafoods 


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