Two of Alaska's Community Development Quota companies have put together a deal to buy remnants of Wards Cove, once a fishing and processing powerhouse in Alaska.
The deal includes seven trawl vessels, which evidently command nearly 4 percent of the Bering Sea pollock quota, according to a press release issued today.
One crab vessel also is included.
Alas, the press release fails to say whether Wards Cove is selling its interest in Alyeska Seafoods, the smallest of the three pollock surimi plants at Dutch Harbor. Wards Cove owns the plant jointly with Japanese seafood giant Maruha Nichiro.
Naturally, the sale price was not disclosed.
The two CDQ companies partnering on the Wards Cove purchase are Coastal Villages Region Fund and Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. Both are based in Anchorage and invest in Bering Sea fisheries under a federal program to promote economic development for Western Alaska villages.
Wards Cove, you might know, is an old name in the Alaska fishing industry. The Brindle family founded the company in 1928.
Once a major Alaska salmon processor, Wards Cove fell on hard times and closed its salmon plants in 2002.
But the firm kept its Bering Sea groundfish and crab assets — until now, apparently.
"We have confidence that our legacy is in sound Alaskan hands," Alec Brindle Jr., Wards Cove president, said in the press release announcing the sale.