Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Steady followers of Deckboss know we pay a good bit of attention to the federal Community Development Quota program, which allocates shares of Bering Sea fish and crab to six companies for harvest on behalf of Western Alaska villages.
Since the program started in 1992, the companies have acquired numerous fishing vessels.
Many are based in Seattle, long the traditional home port for the bigger boats working in Alaska.
Now one of the CDQ companies, Coastal Villages Region Fund, is seriously looking to move its fleet to Alaska, including its 341-foot flagship, the Northern Hawk.
Coastal is working with the city of Seward, which is stoked at the prospect of landing a new fleet to support jobs and local businesses.
The company and Seward say they have a "historic opportunity" to base Alaska's fishing fleet here, where it belongs.
Naturally, Seward officials are now doing what people do when pursuing big dreams in Alaska — hit up the state Legislature for money.
The city envisions a major port project at its Seward Marine Industrial Center, on the eastern shore of Resurrection Bay, and is asking legislators for $400,000 to conduct preliminary engineering and other studies.
In a rousing letter to Seward's mayor, Coastal touts its "quarter of a billion dollar balance sheet" and supposes that the other five CDQ companies just might follow Coastal's lead in relocating their fleets to Alaska.
The letter and other interesting documents are in this packet of papers obtained from the city of Seward.