Seattle-based American Seafoods announced Wednesday it acquired a major processing vessel as part of plans to bolster its whitefish harvesting fleet.

The group acquired the Phoenix, a processing vessel operating in the Pacific hake fishery (also known as whiting) off the Pacific Northwest coast, from Seattle-based Phoenix Processor Limited Partnership.

American will rename the vessel the American Empress II. The original American Empress, a catcher-processor vessel primarily targeting Alaska pollock, was the first building block for the group's fleet when it was founded in 1988 by Norwegian magnate Kjell Inge Rokke.