Northline Seafoods announced the successful funding and launch of a new project to build the world’s most sustainable and efficient mobile commercial salmon processing platform, with construction planned to begin at the Port of Bellingham in Washington State in January 2023. The “Hannah” is a one-of-a-kind vertically integrated vessel that will operate in Bristol Bay during the commercial fishing season.
“We developed the Hannah to produce higher quality fish through a more efficient process that benefits both fishermen and customers,” said Northline CEO Ben Blakey. “This project is a continuation of Northline’s commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability in the fishing industry.”
The “Hannah” will revolutionize salmon processing by deep freezing fish whole at the fishing grounds in Bristol Bay, AK and hauling them back to its base of Pacific Northwest operations in Bellingham, WA where the fish will be stored, reprocessed and distributed year-round all from one vessel.
The final product will be delivered to the market at a higher quality and with a more sustainable environmental footprint:
- 217,000 gallons for diesel fuel will be saved compared with typical fish processing and transportation methods.
- Every piece of the fish is used, meaning less waste.
- Flash freezing means the salmon’s skin is its protection, minimizing the need for plastic packaging.
- Significantly reducing carbon emissions with fewer steps between fisherman and customer.
“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,” added Blakey.
The vessel will be built out of an existing barge hull that will be towed from the Gulf of Mexico to Washington State. Following construction, the finished vessel will make its way to Alaska’s Bristol Bay where state-of-the-art technology will improve the salmon’s path from fishermen to customer by consolidating freezing, shipping, storing, and reprocessing operations.
Northline Seafoods recently closed on a $40M USDA backed guarantee Food Supply Chain loan for the Hannah project that was made possible by the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” initiative, and financed by Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), which provides loans to businesses and organizations in under-served and rural communities. Northline also teamed with Zachary Scott, a Seattle-based investment banking firm with deep ties to the seafood industry, to raise $62.5M of capital to support the company in its development.
How it Works
The Hannah soon be able to buy, process, ship and store their own fish on a single vertically integrated platform. This eliminates the number of third-party hands Bristol Bay salmon passes through before reaching the customer, leading to more transparency and better quality. The “Hannah’s” on-board refrigeration system allows the fish to be flash frozen whole, so when it moves to Bellingham at the end of the season, processing can be spread out over time, creating year-round jobs for processors, engineers, maintenance staff, sales and logistics personnel, and corporate management staff.
About Northline Seafoods
Northline Seafoods is a seafood processing company Headquartered in Sitka, Alaska that freezes wild salmon at the source, starting in Bristol Bay. Northline’s value-retention processing model creates a high-quality product, provides increased economic opportunities for fishermen, and responsibly utilizes a valuable natural resource.