Inside a colossal assembly and production hall in Ketchikan, with the newly built commercial fishing vessel Arctic Prowler towering over a patriotic stage, Governor Sean Parnell spoke to a special achievement for Alaska.
“This is no ordinary vessel, this Arctic Prowler, because it actually is symbolic of so much,” Parnell said. “It’s proof that Alaskans can and will build Alaska-tough boats and ships to handle these stormy seas.”
The boat has been undergoing final outfitting since the October 5, 2013, christening ceremony at the Ketchikan Shipyard and is expected to start fishing soon.
The Arctic Prowler is one in a wave of new fishing vessels being built to modernize one of Alaska’s main industrial fleets. The boats, known as freezer longliners, target predominantly Pacific cod, among the state’s most valuable fish species.
These new boats are fearsome fish killers—the Arctic Prowler will have the capability of fishing fifty-six thousand hooks per day.
The building boom reflects, on several levels, the continuing evolution of the Alaska fishing industry.