Chuck Bundrant was just out of college when he used his savings to construct the 135-foot Billikin in 1973, revolutionizing the seafood industry by processing crab at sea so fishermen could deliver finished product directly to market.
Scandies Rose was lost at sea with five crew members aboard. Watch as one man attempted to rescue them all.
Early Life and Education
Chuck Bundrant hails from Indiana but relocated to Seattle in 1961 in search of employment that would fund his college studies. Luckily for him, a Bering Sea crab boat offered deckhand positions; these jobs set the course for future success and continued employment opportunities.
In 1973, Billikin was constructed at Tacoma shipyard and utilized by Trident Seafoods to become one of the first Alaska vessels capable of catching, processing, and freezing crab at sea – allowing fishermen more control over their product as well as greater profits than selling raw crab meat to processors.
In 1908, The Billikin became SLU’s mascot thanks to Missouri art teacher Florence Pretz’s patent of her image based on Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; its inspiration stemming from an ancient Persian poem which can be translated to mean “god of things as they should be.” Soon thereafter, its popularity spread nationally – appearing on dolls, postcards, plates, hatpins and many other objects across the nation.
Achievement and Honors
The Billikin is a crab fishing vessel owned by Seattle-based Trident Seafoods that became iconic following its appearance on the first season of reality TV show Deadliest Catch in April 2009. Featured during that episode were six crew members hauling in opilio crabs; since then it has become one of television history’s most watched programs and earned several awards and honors, as well as becoming Saint Louis University mascot.
Trident Seafoods’ Billikin vessel can be seen briefly during season one of KUWTK. At present, this vessel has not been active in crab fisheries.
Joe Bundrant began his seafood industry career working on his father’s crab boat. By 1961 he had moved to Alaska, quickly becoming an expert in Bering Sea king crab harvesting. Together with two partners from Tacoma shipyard’s Billikin Billikin was the first vessel ever designed specifically to catch, process and freeze king crab at sea; its name later inspired Trident Seafoods name.
Today, this company is one of the largest vertically integrated seafood businesses worldwide. Their headquarters can be found in Ballard – an historic Seattle neighborhood which has recently experienced rising homelessness and drug addiction issues.
The Billikin is the name of a commercial crab fishing boat featured on Deadliest Catch reality-TV show. Built in 1973 and measuring 132 feet long, it is owned by Trident Seafoods out of Seattle.
Joe Bundrant is currently the CEO of Trident Seafoods, one of the United States’s largest vertically integrated seafood companies with over 9,000 employees and relationships with 5,400 independent fishermen and crewmembers in Alaska. According to Deadliest Catch’s website, Bundrant reportedly oversees this operation from his headquarters located near Seattle, Washington.
Josh Harris, son of Captain Phil Harris (deceased), has taken over captaining Cornelia Marie since his father’s passing away and currently boasts an estimated net worth of $820,000. Sean Dwyer – currently Deadliest Catch’s youngest captain with an estimated net worth estimated to be around $910,000 – represents another potential rising star who may see their value grow over time as they gain experience onboard his vessel.