National Fisherman

Samson Tug & Barge, a long time Sitka, Alaska-based marine freight transportation company, will expand its current service in Southeast Alaska pending a planned purchase of Northland Services Inc. by Lynden Inc.

Samson's existing service will not be affected at this time, the company says. The expanded service has been announced in reaction to Lynden's notice that they are in the process of purchasing Northland, leaving only one carrier operating in most of Southeast Alaska.

Samson currently provides scheduled intermodal marine cargo transportation service to and from Seattle, Sitka, Cordova, Valdez, Seward, Kodiak, King Cove and Dutch Harbor. Carriage to the rail‐belt market, including Anchorage, Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay, is provided via Seward and Valdez. Samson says it plans to provide service to Ketchikan, Prince of Wales, Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau once the sale is completed.

"We are excited to offer service to Southeast Alaska. This is a great opportunity for Samson to expand our coverage throughout the State," says Jerry Morgan, Samson's director of marketing and sales, in a company news release.

Samson's entry into the Southeast market is dependent on the purchase of Northland by Lynden, the company says.

"A long process stands in the way of completion of the sale, however Samson is preparing to step in and fill the gap for the communities of Southeast Alaska." explains Jim Scholz, Samson's director of port operations. "We will be meeting with potential customers over the following weeks to determine their needs and to prepare for a smooth transition."

Samson is a family owned business operated from Sitka, Alaska. The original company, Baggen Transfer, started as a horse and cart operation in Juneau, Alaska in the early 1900s. The company began providing marine transportation in 1937, and was incorporated in the state in 1959. Founded by George Baggen Sr. and continued by George Baggen Jr., Samson remains a family owned business. George E. Baggen has been the Company's president since 1972, and his daughter Cory Baggen serves as the company's vice president.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to return to Southeast Alaska," says Cory Baggen. "To live in Sitka and now to be able to provide a more frequent service to our customers in Sitka is something we have been looking forward to doing for a long time. To be able to do that all over Southeast is especially rewarding."

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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