Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alaska Commercial Fishing Vessel Christened

The Arctic Prowler, the first large commercial fishing vessel built in Alaska, was christened Oct. 5 during an afternoon ceremony at Alaska Ship & Drydock in Ketchikan. The ship is the first vessel to be constructed in the Ketchikan Shipyard’s new 70,000-square foot assembly and production hall.

“Not only is the Arctic Prowler the first vessel to be built in the new Ship Assembly Hall, it is also the first factory longliner made in Alaska,” Adam Beck, President of Alaska Ship & Drydock, said.

The new vessel has 16,300 cubic feet of freezer space and the ability to both catch and process at sea, and the capability of fishing 56,000 hooks per day. It was designed and built with an emphasis on economic use of space, allowing room for fishing and factory equipment.

“As an Alaska-based company with significant Alaskan ownership, it is fitting that this vessel was built in Alaska, by Alaskans,” Larry Cotter, President of Alaska Longline and Chief Executive Officer of Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, said.

The sponsor for the christening of Arctic Prowler was Stella LeeAnne Asplund, granddaughter of John Winther, a leader in the Alaska fishing industry who spearheaded the planning and commitment to construct the Arctic Prowler in Alaska at the Ketchikan Shipyard, and was present during the start of the vessel's construction just prior to his passing in October, 2012.

“John would have been proud of his decision to build the Arctic Prowler in Alaska,” Bert Winther, John Winther’s widow, said. “He loved Alaska, Alaskans, and fishing boats, now he has the first ‘made in Alaska’ fishing boat.”