"It started with one boat," says Trident Seafoods' Chairman Chuck Bundrant, glancing at the etching of the 135-foot Billikin that hangs above his desk. "We asked why we couldn't catch crab and process crab on the same vessel. They said it wasn't going to work."
That was in 1970. Chuck Bundrant was an Alaska king crab fisherman, so were Kaare Ness and Mike Jacobson, who would soon become his partners. Harvesting crab was profitable in the '70s. Nevertheless, the three fishermen understood that the key to their future lay beyond the docks where the boats simply unloaded the catch. Together they built the Billikin, adding crab cookers and freezing equipment necessary to process their own finished product. They embarked on a new course for themselves and ultimately the Alaska seafood industry - the fishermen were now in the seafood business.