400-foot “Hannah” salmon processing barge heads to Bristol Bay

The processing barge provides an "all-in-one solution" for buying, freezing, shipping, storing, and distributing AK salmon. Another will operate at Southeast.

by | May 31, 2024

Filed Under Uncategorized

Hannah has capacity of processing/holding 14 million pounds of frozen salmon 

Bellingham, Wash. — Northline Seafoods proudly announces the successful completion of the “Hannah,” a state-of-the-art seafood platform that will start operating in Bristol Bay, Alaska during the 2024 salmon fishing season.

The vessel’s departure from Bellingham’s Fairhaven Shipyard on Saturday, May 25th, marks the successful completion of this more than 3-year project including 15-months of construction.

The “Hannah,” a 400′ x 100′ barge, is a vertically integrated, all-in-one solution for buying, freezing, shipping, storing, and distributing wild Alaskan salmon. This innovative supply chain platform improves quality, increases efficiency, and preserves the value of wild salmon at the source.

The vessel’s ultra-low-temperature refrigeration system creates a new production model for wild Alaskan salmon. Whole, round fish are frozen quickly to a core temperature of -30°F directly on the fishing grounds, preserving salmon in a fresh-like state.

“This is a dream come true. Seeing our vessel leave the Fairhaven Shipyard is a critical milestone for the Bristol Bay salmon industry and for Northline Seafoods. I am proud of our team and appreciative of all the people who helped us get here,” said Ben Blakey, CEO of Northline Seafoods. “Our success is shared with many partners, including the Port of Bellingham and the more than 250 local vendors who contributed to the construction of the “Hannah.” This is an important moment for us all.”

At a Glance: Northline Seafoods’ “Hannah”
• Freezing Capacity: Freezes up to 1 million pounds of salmon per day with a production crew of 20.
• Freeze Time: Freezes salmon to -30°F core temperature in under 2 hours.
• Ice Production: Produces over 1 million pounds of slurry ice per day.
• Hold Capacity (fresh): Holds 2.3 million pounds of fresh fish.
• Freezer Hold Capacity: Onboard cold storage holds over 10 million pounds of frozen salmon.
• Personnel: Total crew capacity of 95 berths, with 75 personnel for seasonal operations.
• Location: The “Hannah” will be located at Clarks Point in the Nushagak district and will buy fish from all Bristol Bay fishing districts.
• Partners: 250+ Washington-based vendors contributed to the “Hannah.”

At the end of the 2024 fishing season, the “Hannah” will return to Bellingham where it will continue to operate as a cold storage facility for the 2024 season catch. The whole, round, frozen salmon will be stored on the vessel, thawed and processed on-demand, to buyers’ specifications. In the spring of 2025, the vessel will once again make the journey to Bristol Bay, creating a cyclical, flexible, adaptable, and efficient supply chain.

In 2022, Northline Seafoods received a $40 million Food Supply Chain loan backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the “Build Back Better” initiative.

This financing was secured through Greater Commercial Lending, a Reno, Nevada-based subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union, which provides loans to businesses and organizations in underserved and rural communities. Seattle, Washington-based investment bank Zachary Scott assisted Northline Seafoods in the financing of construction and operations.

For more information about the “Hannah” and Northline Seafoods’ ongoing projects, please visit www.northlineseafoods.com.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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