FISHING: Baron of the Brine

In Seattle's sprawling Todd Drydocks, workmen this week put the finishing touches on a strange vessel. On its flush deck were a twin-motored seaplane and a radio tower. On port and starboard decks were long rows of machines connected by conveyor belts; in its hold were gleaming, white, airtight compartments.

The ship was the 8,800-ton Pacific Explorer (formerly World War I freighter Mormacrey), the first big floating fish cannery owned by the U.S. Government. It needed all this un-nautical equipment to process daily 700 cases of canned crab and 150 tons of filleted and frozen fish, store 6,100 tons all...

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