Glacier Fish founder Erik Breivik, one of the pioneers in the Alaska groundfish sectors, died early Wednesday.

Breivik co-founded Glacier Fish, today the third-largest at-sea harvester of Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea, in 1982, when he commissioned the catcher-processor Northern Glacier.

Breivik, who moved to the United States from Norway, used experience from his home country and applied harvesting and processing techniques to the burgeoning Bering Sea fisheries.

The company operates three vessels: the Alaska Ocean, the Pacific Glacier and the Northern Glacier.

Mike Breivik took over the role of CEO from his father in 2011.

"It is with great sadness in our hearts that we inform you that the world has lost one of the great fishermen of all ages," the company wrote in a statement announcing Breivik's death.

"Always directed by his strength of character, being honest at any cost and following his gut and intellect, Erik contributed greatly to the development of the Alaskan and West coast fisheries. Supported by his loving family, who are also leaders in the business, his trusted Partners and his devoted crew members, Erik built a great and lasting company in Glacier Fish."

The Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. (NSEDC) today owns 50 percent of the company, along with Nippon Suisan Kaisha, the Breivik family and other investors.