Fish Radio

Northern Leader stars on Mighty Ships

June 8, 2016                   FV Northern Leader

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A Kodiak boat stars on Mighty Ships. More on the Northern Leader after this –

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Alaskan fishermen have raised the bar for big fishing boats with the Northern Leader of Kodiak, and   producers of the popular “Mighty Ships” programs have taken notice.

They were looking for something unique and we are the only electric powered hybrid vessel that’s been built so they called us.

Keith Singleton is vice president of marketing for Alaskan Leader Seafoods, a company started by Kodiak fishermen in 1991. Mighty Ships, produced by Discovery Canada, searches for unique ships around the world and its seven year run has featured a wide range of vessels including cruise ships, aircraft carriers, cargo ships, dredgers and more.

Like ours- it runs on electric propulsion system – it’s run by five diesel generators, and instead of having a conventional rudder and shaft, it’s run on electricity. So it’s very eco-friendly – lower emissions footprint, and it’s got great horsepower.

The 184 foot Northern Leader is the largest freezer longliner that fishes primarily for cod in the Bering Sea. It’s the first U.S. fishing vessel that runs on electricity. It’s also notable for its head to tail use of the fish.

They traveled several times to Iceland to selected the right processing equipment early on when they were designing the boat so we can use as much of the cod fish as possible.

It includes a chilled bleeding tank –  

 Every fish coming over the rail gets bled through this temperature controlled bleeding tank so when the fish comes out at the other end the fillet is snow white, it’s truly amazing.

A stainless grinding system uses the fish heads and other parts for sale to the pet food industry.  

The head is like 25-27 percent of the entire animal, so that’s a big number. And is you can monetize that it really helps the bottom line and for us, it pays the crew better, they are happy, they’ve got shorter fishing trips, it fills up the holds quicker when you can put that in there, it saves on fuel. So we’re really proud of that.

All the livers go to the cod liver oil market; they also sell all of the skins.

The Alaskan Leader group owns four big fishing boats in partnership with the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation. Singleton says it’s one of the company’s proudest moments to be invited on Mighty Ships which is viewed in 169 countries.

More than anything it’s really going to give the Alaska seafood industry some great press and that’s really the big picture   item that we want to impress upon the general public – it isn’t about us, it’s about all of us. That’s really important to this company. 

A premiere showing of the Northern Leader on Mighty Ships is set for June 10 at the Afognak Center in Kodiak, along with a catered codfish dinner. The public is invited free of charge.  RSVP at  –

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.