The Bristol Bay Native Corporation acquired two giants of the state’s Pacific cod fishery last September. It created a subsidiary, Bristol Bay Seafood Investments, to manage those harvesters. Now, that subsidiary has new leadership.
The Bristol Bay Native Corporation has hired Amy Humphreys and Everrette Anderson to lead their new subsidiary, Bristol Bay Seafood Investments. Humphreys will serve as CEO and Anderson will be the vice president.
Dave Little with Clipper and Mike and Pat Burns of Blue North, will remain in charge of day-to-day operations. Humphreys' first order of business is integrating the two companies.
“It’s the execution that is critically important," she said. "We’re going to make sure we focus on the assets in the company that we have and continue to operate strongly as they have in the past.”
Humphreys has spent 25 years in the seafood industry, mainly with American Seafoods. She was also the CEO of Icicle Seafoods. Anderson grew up in Dillingham subsistence and commercial fishing. He recently served as the senior commercial manager at the Marine Stewardship Council and on BBNC's board of directors.
The corporation announced the new leaders at the end of January, four months after its acquisition of Blue North Seafoods and Clipper Fisheries. Combined, the two companies total almost 40% of the total allowable catch of Alaska Pacific cod.
Humphreys said they also have their sights set on a bigger picture.
“Sooner rather than later, in terms of my focus and Everette’s focus, we’ll work to expand BBNC’s seafood presence," she said. "Not only the Alaskan seafood sector, but further out into the global seafood arena.”
They say it’s too early to tell what financial impacts potential investments could have on Alaska.
BBSI also has to contend with a changing environment, which has sparked concerns about the health of pacific cod. While these conditions haven’t shut down the Bering Sea cod fishery, they have already impacted others in the state.
The majority of Alaska’s cod comes from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. Pacific cod is broken up into four stocks: Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands and West Coast. In December, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska closed due to historically low numbers caused by warming ocean temperatures.
Gulf of Alaska cod also experienced a big crash when a heat wave in the Pacific Ocean hit, known as “the Blob.”
Humphreys and the operating team at BBSI are already monitoring some of these concerns.
“Quota fluctuations will always impact businesses operating in the Bering Sea," she said. "The operating team is acutely aware in navigating and planning for those fluctuations. I hope that my previous experience in the seafood industry will be beneficial as we develop plans in the future to manage through those challenges over time.”
Vice President of BBSI Everette Anderson believes that cod will bounce back.
“It’s a sustainable harvest species," Anderson said. "It’s shown it has weathered some cyclical issues in the Bering sea and Gulf of Alaska. A lot of these species are pretty resilient.”
The Bering Sea cod fishery opened last month with a 305.5-million-pound-catch quota. That number is down roughly one million pounds from 2019. Both Blue North Seafood’s and Clipper Fisheries are out at sea for the harvest under its new banner.
CORRECTION: This post originally misspelled Everrette Anderson's first name and Amy Humphreys last name.
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