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Port Alberni expanding seafood business for marine cluster

The Port Alberni Port Authority(PAPA) announced thatIndependent Seafoods Canada Corporation(ISCC) has added a second freezer trawler, the Sunderoey, to home port dockside to the Raw Spirit at Port Alberni Terminals. The Sunderoey was welcomed on May 5.

Raw Spirit has made its home port in Port Alberni since 2013 and has provided over 50 direct regular local jobs to crew as well as 20 more jobs for offload activities. The Raw Spirit’s operations have also contributed to job creation for local suppliers and marine trades. It is expected that the new vessel will reflect the same total new jobs upon full deployment.

Kelly Andersen, President of ISCC, makes special note that “over 80% of the Raw Spirit’s workforce has come from Port Alberni while an additional 5-7 have moved to the community as a result.” He explains that “these are well-paying jobs that have enabled our relatively young crew to buy homes and start families in the Alberni Valley.” He expects that bringing the Sunderoey, a modern-build vessel with state of the art equipment and creature-comforts for crew, to Port Alberni will more than double the economic impact from jobs created to services and supplies required to keep both vessels operating.

PAPA President & CEO, Zoran Knezevic, stressed that the relationship forged with the Port, the community and ISCC has allowed the company to thrive and expand here. “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.”

“Additionally, attracting this vessel gives us another very strong piece of our growing marine cluster puzzle in further support of the floating dock business case,” David McCormick, Director of Public Relations and Business Development, told Maritime Magazine.

“Also,” Mr. McCormick added, “the Sunderoey will have some by-catch that we’ll be looking to have processed in our new food hub project that received provincial and regional funding in the fall of 2019.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions, renovations continue of our old fish plant to create this new facility that will include five key anchor tenant food processors, four of whom process different sea foods.”

(photo ISCC)