A second freezer trawler will now call Port Alberni Terminals home, joining the Raw Spirit on the industrial waterfront.
Independent Seafoods Canada Corporation (ISCC) owns the 56-metre (184-foot) Sunderoey, and says it will almost double employment by the time the new trawler is at full deployment.
Independent Seafoods has moored the Raw Spirit at the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) property since 2013, and has provided more than 50 direct local jobs to crew as well as 20 more onshore when the ship comes back from its offshore fishing grounds to offload.
Zoran Knezevic, PAPA president and CEO, said the relationship the port authority has with the seafood company has allowed Independent Seafoods to thrive and expand. “Perhaps more importantly than proximity to fishing grounds, is that the port and community have been able to provide facilities and services and a strong, hard-working labour force,” he said.
Kelly Andersen, president of ISCC, notes that 80 percent of the Raw Spirit’s workforce has come from Port Alberni, and attracted others to move to the community. He expects bringing the Sunderoey to Port Alberni will draw more local employees.
The ISCC selected Port Alberni as its home port due to its proximity to fishing grounds off the west coast of Vancouver Island as well as the community’s work force.
“The deployment of the company’s second vessel is a welcome addition to our diverse marine cluster that includes marinas, vessel build and repair facilities, along with the upcoming oil spill response base, and sea and land food processing hub,” Knezevic added.