A new floating processor vessel, Hannah, departed Bellingham’s Fairhaven Shipyard at the end of May and has left some salmon fishermen searching for buyers as the peak of salmon season creeps nearer. On Monday, the vessel owner, Northline Seafoods, notified fishermen that the vessel experienced an electrical fire under one of its three spiral freezers onboard on Sunday, June 30.

Northline Seafoods is a processing company dedicated to high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood. It focuses on technology and transparency through groundbreaking innovations such as Hannah. Northline is pushing to continue modernizing the supply chain of wild Alaskan salmon.

Ben Blakely, CEO of Northline Seafoods, had stated in a release when Hannah finally left the shipyard that, “it is a critical milestone for the Bristol Bay salmon industry” and that their “success is shared with many partners, including the Port of Bellingham.”

The vessel, a new crucial link in the salmon supply chain as a buyer and processor, offers a comprehensive solution for buying, freezing, shipping, storing, and distributing Alaskan salmon. It provides a one-stop processing option, ensuring next-level quality. The vessel, measuring 400’ in length by 100’ wide, is equipped with an ultra-low-temperature refrigeration system, maintaining a core temperature of -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to the fire, Northline will operate and freeze fish at a reduced capacity. The repairs are underway; however, the repair timeline is still unknown at this time. The fleet has been notified, and the company wrote in a release that they “will continue to provide services and support the fleet and fishermen throughout the rest of the season while continuing to buy and freeze fish at a reduced capacity.”

“This incident was certainly a setback, but thankfully, the damage was limited, no one was injured, and our freezing operations will continue throughout the salmon season,” Blakely stated. “We appreciate the understanding and support of our fishing fleet, and we look forward to getting our freezer fixed and back to full capacity.”

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Carli is a Content Specialist for National Fisherman. She comes from a fourth-generation fishing family off the coast of Maine. Her background consists of growing her own business within the marine community. She resides on one of the islands off the coast of Maine while also supporting the lobster community she grew up in.

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