Trident Seafoods announced it has acquired a 300-foot at-sea processing vessel from Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc., along with two other vessels, for an undisclosed sum.

The largest vessel, Starbound, was originally built in 1989 as a 240-foot factory trawler fishing in the Bering Sea. Then, in 2015, it underwent a $45 million renovation that involved “slicing it down the middle and welding in a 60-foot addition,” Trident said.

Alongside the Starbound, the company also acquired the F/V Ocean Harvester and F/V Muir Milach, both Bering Sea and Pacific whiting catcher vessels. Both vessels, according to MarineTraffic, were built in the 1970s and are under 100 feet in length.

Trident CEO Joe Bundrant said the acquisition aligns “perfectly with Trident’s values and vision.”

“Modernizing our aging fleet of catcher-processors has been a priority for some time. With this investment, we improve our efficiency and environmental performance in our continuous effort to better utilize wild Alaska pollock and Pacific whiting resources, while keeping constant focus on health of fish stocks and the role we play in protecting our natural environment,” Bundrant said. “Continuing to evolve, innovate, and align product forms to market opportunities on and off-shore is fundamental to our mission and service to stakeholders, including our fishermen, employees, communities, and customers.”

The Starbound, according to Trident, can catch, process, freeze, and package its catch within hours. In addition, the vessel has the ability to produce fishmeal and fish oil – some of which is used as renewable fuel on the ship.

“As multi-generational, family companies, we both understand the importance of making meaningful, long-term investments,” Aleutian Spray president Chris Swasand said. “The Starbound represents the kind of continuous innovation that secures the health of both fish populations and fishing families well into the future.”

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Chris Chase is the Portland, Maine-based associate editor of SeafoodSource. Previously, he worked covering local issues at the Coastal Journal in Bath, Maine, where he won multiple awards from the Maine Press Association for his news coverage and food reviews. Chris is a graduate of the University of Maine, and got his start in writing by serving as a reporter and later the State Editor of The Maine Campus, an award-winning campus newspaper.

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