Iceberg Harvesting

It's not quite selling ice to eskimos, but iceberg harvesting is the latest in improbable yet successful business ventures.

| January/February 1989

  • iceberg harvesting
    The great thing about iceberg harvesting is that you never seem to run out of inventory, because 7/8th of it is below the water line.
    ILLUSTRATION: SAMKAR/FOTOLIA

  • iceberg harvesting

Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources is issuing permits for iceberg harvesting so businesses can sell ice as a cash crop. Tim Dimond, of Juneau, Alaska, pulls bergs from the sea with a crane mounted on a barge, then breaks the ice into chunks and ships it by freezer van to the AK-Pacific Company in Seattle, Washington. AK-Pacific, in turn, packages the ice in sacks and markets it in Japan as gourmet ice cubes. Glacial ice has become a hot item in the Land of the Rising Sun, not only because of its novelty but because of its staying power: Iceberg ice takes twice as long to melt as "ordinary" ice. A spokesman for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council calls the iceberg harvesting "a new, incompatible, conflicting use of areas set aside for their natural features, their solitude, their pristine nature."






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