Port O’Brien, Uganik Bay

Port O’Brien, Uganik Bay

by | Jul 10, 2019

Port O’Brien is a fish cannery built in 1926 by San Juan Fishing and Packing Company, located on the east shore of Northeast Arm Uganik Bay, on the northwest coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The local name was first published in 1943 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Port O’Brien is named after Bertram O’Brien, a long-time employee of the company.

San Juan Fishing and Packing Company started in Seattle in 1899, and soon expanded to Alaska with a cold storage facility at Taku Harbor, and a cannery in Seward that was moved in 1924 to Sawmill Bay in Prince William Sound. In 1926, the company built the cannery in Uganik Bay, with fish supplied by a fish trap, 5 beach seines, and 14 gillnets. By 1944, the company had 7 fish traps that provided 51% of the fish and a fleet of purse seiners that provided the remainder.

The cannery was sold to New England Fish Company in 1967 and operated until they went bankrupt in 1978. The facility was leased to Ocean Beauty Seafoods from 1980 to 1982, and then sold to Kodiak Alaska Seafoods, a fisherman’s cooperative that packed salmon in 1984 and then closed. Read more here and here. Explore more of Port O’Brien here:

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