A Bowdoin graduate-turned-seafood entrepreneur says the opening of a fish processing plant in Bali, Indonesia, is a major milestone for his business and for the region. Jerry Knecht ’76, president of Portland-based North Atlantic, Inc., set up the subsidiary Bali Seafood International nine years ago to source wild-caught Indonesian fish for US consumers.
The plant, which is between Bali and Timor on the island of Sumbawa, has a production capacity of ten metric tons per day, according to SeafoodSource, employs around seventy local people, and has a storage capacity of two hundred metric tons. It’s the first of four planned fish processing centers on Sumbawa. The company says it’s targeting export production of over one hundred tons of seafood per year.
“This represents a major milestone for not only our company but also for the region,” said Knecht, who was a government major at Bowdoin College. Speaking at the opening ceremony for the new plant, he continued: “Together we will bring prosperity to up to 1,000 fisher families and positively impact more than 6,000 citizens of Sumbawa.”
According to a company statement, BSI’s business is based on driving sustainable fisheries management in its operating areas, and this includes providing local communities with education and finance programs. Watch a promotional video of the new plant’s opening ceremony.