Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Norton Sound CDQ Extends Crab Holdings

Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. in Nome has acquired KDS Inc., a Seattle-based fishing company that primarily harvests golden king crab in the Aleutian Islands.

KDS Inc., formerly owned by Dick Powell of Kodiak, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of NSEDC, the community development quota entity announced on Nov. 15. The acquisition includes nearly 1.2 million pounds of Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab quota, smaller quota holdings of Bering Sea opilio crab, St. Matthew Island blue king crab and a significant portion of the total allowable catch of Western Aleutian Islands red king crab, a fishery that is currently closed.

The deal also includes the fishing vessel Patricia Lee, a catcher-processor, which KDS Inc. sold to NSEDC’s for profit subsidiary, Siu Alaska Corp.

The golden king crab quota, however, was the primary target and component of the acquisition. For well over a decade this fishery has proven itself exceptionally stable in terms of commercial harvest levels, NSEDC officials said.

NSEDC also came into the deal with extensive experience in the fishery through SIU Alaska Corp. and its ownership stake in the crab vessel Aleutian No. 1. Captains and crew of the Aleutian No. 1 have successfully fished the remote Western Aleutian Island golden king crab fishery for years and will now be contracted to fish quota for KDS Inc.

Dan Harrelson of White Mountain, Alaska, board chairman of NSEDC, said bringing KDS into the NSEDC family is a significant and positive move for both NSEDC and the 15 member communities it represents. “When NSEDC expands into different fisheries, our corporation becomes more stable,” Harrelson said. “The less dependent we are on any one fishery, the more we are able to assure that NSEDC can continue to provide benefits and economic development well into the future.”

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