Wards Cove fishery has new owners

Posted: Monday, February 07, 2011

There’s been a change of hands for one of the oldest commercial seafood businesses around these parts.

The Seattle-based seafood company Wards Cove was sold to BSAI Partners, LLC, a joint venture between Siu Alaska Corporation and Coastal Villages Pollock, wholly owned subsidiaries of the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) and Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), respectively. Wards Cove is a private business that has done business in Alaska for several decades.

BSAI called the acquisition a win-win for Alaska’s commercial fishing industry.

“As Alaskans, we have a vested interest in our fishing resource. Acquiring Wards Cove means bringing that resource-ownership home to Western Alaska communities and providing additional opportunities to the region,” Siu Alaska Corporation President John Eckels said in a press release.

The acquisition includes seven trawl and one crab vessels, as well as ownership in nearly 4 percent of the pollock quota.

Wards Cove was founded by the Brindle family in Ketchikan more than 80 years ago. It currently fishes and processes pollock, cod and crab in the Bering Sea and has other fishery-related interests across Alaska.

“We have confidence that our legacy is in sound Alaskan hands. We are certain the buyer’s share in our family’s commitment to the sustainability and responsible harvest of Alaska’s great seafood resource,” said Alec Brindle Jr., president of Wards Cove.

NSEDC and CVRF are two of the six Community Development Quota groups. The CDQ program is a federal fisheries management program that promotes fisheries-related economic development in Western Alaska.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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