Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CDQ partnership buys up Wards Cove assets

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.


Deckboss said...

A spokesperson for the joint venture, BSAI Partners LLC, got back to me today with more information.

Wards Cove is indeed selling its stake in Alyeska Seafoods.

As for the vessels involved, they include the trawlers Arctic Rose, Bering Rose, Destination, Great Pacific, Messiah, Ms Amy and Sea Wolf.

The crabber is the Bulldog.

Anonymous said...

Alaska Rose not Arctic Rose

Deckboss said...

Correct, the Alaska Rose.

The list provided to Deckboss erroneously included the Arctic Rose. I was surprised to see it listed, as the only Arctic Rose I know of tragically remains on the bottom of the Bering Sea!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Brindle family.

For 75 years, they bought salmon all over the state.
For over 80 years they were in business here.

Decade after decade they provided banking, wintertime fuel and grocery acconts and opportunity for commercial fishermen and shoreside workers in the great state of Alaska.

I know of at least a hundred fishermen who got their start with Ward Cove Packing. Many of these hard-working Alaskans are now millionaires.

Were it not for the Brindle family and their long-term, undying committment as the longest running seafood company that ever has bought fish in Alaska, we'd be a very different place.

While it is sad to see them go, life goes on.
New companies spring up to fill the void and take their chances at the big roulette wheel of the Alaska seafood industry table.

Cheers and good luck to the family in the post fishing world.


Anonymous said...

booby t. they didn't buy fish from you. but you are still gonna kiss their a**, shows your position. what pollution.

Anonymous said...

What bobbyt said about Wards Cove was true for my family. They treated my dad very well; they loaned him the money (when he was only 26 yrs old) to initially get a permit and boat and my dad fished for them for almost 20 yrs. While my dad never became a millionaire, he did pay their loan back very quickly and he definitely ended up better off financially because of money lent to him from Wards Cove Packing.


Anonymous said...

Wards Cove is the last Co. that you didn't have to put it in writing. If they gave you their word, that was all that was needed! They will be missed!

Anonymous said...

I heard that those Brindles ran a tight professional ship. They probably saw the writing on the wall for the fisheries in Alaska and bailed out just in time. Smart people.

They probably didn't want any part of destroying the Alaskan Native lifestyle of depending on the Salmon. Salmon ByCatch, big, big Black Eye. Now the CDQs are jumping into the Sea with the Peoples Money without the permission of the People. Lots at stake here.