Tag Archives: Fishing Company of Alaska

Fishing Company of Alaska is sold, ending a turbulent run in North Pacific harvests

Renton-based Fishing Company of Alaska has sold its three factory trawlers and catch quotas to two other seafood companies, a move that will end more than three decades of its sometimes turbulent operations in the North Pacific seafood industry. The sales agreement to Ocean Peace and O’Hara Corporation was announced Friday in an email by a Fishing Company of Alaska executive to other industry officials that was obtained by The Seattle Times. A sale price was not disclosed. Mike Faris, chief executive of Seattle-based Ocean Peace, confirmed that his company will acquire two Fishing Company of Alaska vessels. Frank O’Hara Jr., executive vice president of O’Hara Corporation, said his company will acquire the other vessel and half of the fishing quotas to harvests. He said these quotas will give his company a more diverse harvest that includes more higher-priced species. Fishing Company of Alaska, which once had a fleet of more than six vessels, was an important player in the trawl harvests that unfold in the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and off the Aleutian Islands. But Fishing Company of Alaska’s fleet has shrunk over time, in part due to high-seas disasters. Those include the 2007 sinking of the Alaska Ranger that killed five crew and the 2016 demise of the Alaska Juris, which did not result in loss of life but is the focus of a Coast Guard investigation. Read the story here 19:21

A leaking pipe may have started Alaska Juris demise

Flashlight in hand, a stunned Chief Engineer Eddie Hernandez peered into the darkness to survey the swamped engine room of the Alaska Juris. The cold seawater was waist-deep, and more was bubbling up from a leak, possibly from a busted pipe on the starboard side of the factory trawler. “I wasn’t afraid or anything. I just felt helpless,”  Hernandez was a key witness for Coast Guard officials seeking to unravel the mystery of the Alaska Juris’ demise on a calm, summer day. Officials also are investigating the tangled operations of the vessel’s owner, Fishing Company of Alaska, which teams with a Japanese fish buyer and still operates three factory trawlers whose large crews in remote North Pacific locations net, process and freeze the catch. The hearings offered a gritty look at conditions aboard the vessel, which had benefitted from millions of dollars in investments in maintenance — yet still appeared so unsafe, one engineer said, that he quit this year after spending just a day at port. “The biggest thing that was bugging me was that if I take this job, I’m going to have to lie to my wife and kids about the condition of this boat,” said Carl Lee Jones Read the story here 22:34

Accusations fly at hearing into Alaska Juris sinking

alaskajurisuscgA Coast Guard hearing into the July sinking of the Alaska Juris took a volatile turn on Thursday as a marine contractor once charged with shore repairs alleged that misconduct by some Japanese crew contributed to safety problems. Herb Roeser, owner of Seattle-based Trans-Marine Propulsion Systems, alleged in his testimony that Masashi Yamada, a Japanese entrepreneur with wide-ranging business holdings, wielded behind-the-scenes control of the factory ship’s owner, Renton-based Fishing Company of Alaska. Roeser said Japanese crews working for one of Yamada’s businesses, Anyo Fisheries, “basically ran” the Alaska Juris. Over the years, Roeser said, the Alaska Juris had been weakened by not only age but also improper modifications ordered by Japanese crew and their rough fishing tactics that slammed metal trawl gear — known as doors — against the stern of the vessel and contributed to cracks. Roeser testified that when he stopped working for the company in 2011, he told the U.S. owner, the late Karena Adler, that “you need to put that ship in the scrap yard because nothing good is going to come of it.” Read the rest here 16:11

Officials are calling off the search for the fishing vessel Alaska Juris.

360x255_q75The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement Saturday saying it’s believed that the ship sank in approximately 5,400 feet of water. A problem in the engine room Tuesday led to flooding on board the Alaska Juris, forcing the crew to abandon ship. All 46 crew members were rescued by good Samaritan ships, and there were no injuries. The Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Fishing Company of Alaska coordinated a search of the area northwest of Adak, Alaska, where the fishing vessel Alaska Juris was last seen. There was no sign of the ship. Unrecoverable diesel sheen was located in the search area believed to be from the Alaska Juris. The cause of the fishing vessel Alaska Juris sinking is under investigation. Link 03:15

Karena Adler, 62, pioneer for women in the fishing industry, dies

forget me notKarena Adler, who charted a pioneering path for women in the ownership ranks of the North Pacific fishing industry, died Jan. 1 after a protracted illness. She was 62. Ms. Adler’s death was confirmed this week by an official of Fishing Company of Alaska, the company that she founded and currently operates four factory trawlers that work in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Ms. Adler was recalled by a former associate as an energetic owner who in her earlier years in the industry was outgoing and relished spending time with the crew that worked aboard the factory ships. Read the rest here 09:10

Seattle company has worst rate of halibut dumping and a lousy track record

There are big differences within the bottom-trawl fleet that works the Bering Sea in how much halibut is caught and discarded, a Seattle Times analysis found. For the past four years, Fishing Company of Alaska, a Seattle firm, has had the fleet’s highest rate of dumping halibut, which federal rules say must be discarded if caught by trawlers. Through the years, the company has come under scrutiny for the use of Japanese fishmasters who help conduct the harvest. Read the rest here  The struggle for power on doomed Alaska Ranger Satoshi Konno was a tall man with ramrod posture and a volcanic temper. Read the rest here  11:54