Tag Archives: Icicle Seafoods

At Larsen Bay, a cannery where the tenacious rhythm of salmon season holds sway

The steam whistle exudes a pink cloud as it announces break time. A forklift loaded with cookies and hash browns zips from the mess hall across the wooden planks on which the Larsen Bay salmon cannery is built. The forklift stops in a corridor within a corrugated metal warehouse. “Form Two-Lines,” a hand-stenciled sign instructs, pointing to either side of the table. The staff places the food on the table, alongside oversized coffee thermoses. It’s time for mug-up. Icicle Seafoods employees rush past other handmade signs on their way to the cookies. Slime line workers with rubber-soled shoes and hairnets pass signs warning “Do not enter, hot cans!” at the juncture where golden tins are transferred from the cavernous pressure cookers, called retorts, into the building where the cans cool. click here to read the story 10:26

Hiring seafood workers in Bristol Bay has been tough for years. This summer, it’s worse.

Seafood processors in Alaska’s Bristol Bay this summer have had trouble finding enough workers to handle the fish that come through their plants. Those in the industry say a confluence of factors, including a lack of visas for bringing foreign workers to the industry, a hotter economy in the Lower 48, and a record-breaking salmon run in Bristol Bay, was to blame. “There was a significant lack of process workers for some companies in the bay, and it exacerbated the problems of having to deal with high levels of harvest,” said John Garner, president of Seattle-based North Pacific Seafoods, which has locations across Alaska. Some processors couldn’t keep up with the huge amount of fish coming in, which forced them to resort to whatever method was fastest to get the pounds through the plant. click here to read the story 10:03

Cooke Aquaculture of Canada will purchase Icicle Seafoods

web-fish-cooke0_1328826cl-8Cooke Aquaculture, a Canadian fisheries firm based in New Brunswick, said May 9 that the company has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Icicle Seafoods. The transaction is anticipated to close in less than 30 days once all regulatory and legal matters have been completed, the company said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Icicle, which began as Petersburg Fisheries Inc. in Southeast Alaska in 1965, is currently owned by the private equity firm Paine & Partners, with headquarters in Foster City, CA. With the acquisition, the Cooke group of companies will produce over 275,000 metric tons of seafood annually and generate $1.8 billion in annual sales, Cooke said. Glenn Cooke, president of Cooke Seafood, described the deal as “an exciting venture for us as it will add a well-respected fishery to our family businesses. Read the rest here 12:15

Bristol Bay fishermen prepare for quality mandates

The coming mandate for higher quality fish deliveries in Bristol Bay could be particularly difficult for watershed residents, but some have said it could also be good news in the long term. At least one Bristol Bay processor, Icicle Seafoods, has told fishermen that they’ll stop buying dry fish in a few years after phasing in quality requirements, and more are expected to follow. Right now, the decision to ice or not is left to individual fishermen. Incentives help encourage chilling fish, but an individual can try to catch more fish to make up the price difference, and different fishermen make different choices. A quality mandate by even one processor will shift that, although fishermen may still have a range of options, from icing with slush bags or insulated holds, Read the rest here 12:33

Trawlers banned from Unalaska Bay

Unalaska Bay was completely shut down to trawlers by state regulators last week after a long campaign by the Unalaska Native Fisheries Association representing local small boats. The Alaska Board of Fisheries approved UNFA’s request last week while meeting in Anchorage, closing all waters of Unalaska Bay year-round to groundfish fishing with pelagic trawl gear, according to UNFA member and Unalaska resident Walter Tellman. The fish board voted 6-1 to close the bay to trawlers, he said. Opposed, Tellman said, were officials of  and trawler captains. Brent Paine, the executive director of United Catcher Boats, declined to comment this week on the latest closure. Jim Paulin photo  Read the article here 16:14

Cooke looking to buy Icicle Seafoods Alaska-based wild salmon processing in Alaska and whitefish operations

Acquisitive Canadian seafood entrepreneur Glenn Cooke is said to be closing in on a deal for US farming, fishing and processing firm Icicle20150629---Icicle-Seafoods-in-Petersburg-being-sold-1-, which New York-based private equity Paine and Partners is desperately trying to offload. Cooke, who owns fish farming operations in Canada, the US, Chile, Scotland and Spain, has been linked to a move for the Icicle Washington State salmon farm ever since the start of the sale process, which got underway at the start of 2015. Now, Cooke is negotiating a deal for the salmon farm, as well as its Alaska-based wild salmon processing in Alaska and whitefish operations,,, Read the rest here 22:50

Icicle sues Alaska fisherman over $41k in unpaid credit

20150629---Icicle-Seafoods-in-Petersburg-being-sold-1-Alaska salmon processor Icicle Seafoods has sued a fisherman who it extended more than $41,000 in credit to but who allegedly never repaid the debt, the company said. The Kodiak, Alaska fisherman, Randy Blondin, used the credit provided through a “fisherman’s account” to outfit the vessel Stephanie Lynn for the 2014 fishing season, according to the company. The complaint asks a judge to order US Marshals to seize the vessel until the matter is resolved Read the rest here 16:26 

Stephen Taufen – More than just Antitrust, Lender Liability & Your Boat Loan Read it here 20:54

Icicle Seafoods sale cancelled

Icicle Seafoods owner Paine & Partners announced Sept. 4 that the sale of the company to buyers Dominion Catchers, LLC and Convergence Holdings, Inc. has been cancelled. The sale was anticipated to close in August and was announced in late June. Company representatives declined to comment further on the reasons for the cancellation. Some online industry sources have speculated that a provision in the American Fisheries Act which requires U.S. citizens to have 75 percent ownership and control of commercial fishing vessels 100 feet or greater in length may have played a role in the sale’s termination. Read the rest here 18:23

Paine & Partners Enters into Agreements to Sell Icicle Seafoods

Under the transactions, Convergence will acquire Icicle’s land-based wild seafood processing and farmed salmon activities, and Dominion will acquire the Company’s harvesting and processing vessels as well as the associated fishing rights.  Convergence and Dominion have agreed to enter into long-term contracts to continue Icicle’s diversified seafood operations following the completion of the transactions.  Financial terms of the transactions and of the agreement between Convergence and Dominion were not disclosed.    Read the rest here 17:47

Foreign bids on Icicle higher than US suitors expected, players up against American Fisheries Act

First round bids for the purchase of Icicle Seafoods — up for sale by private equity owner Paine & Partners —  are far, far higher than expected, sources involved in the sale process told Undercurrent News. Major foreign players have — so far— made “insane” offers, well beyond what US-based companies are willing to pay. If foreign players ultimately do outbid their US competitors, they will have to fenagle their way around the American Fisheries Act, which limits foreign ownership of fishing vessels. Read the rest here 16:42

Icicle Calls It Quits in Adak – cites regulatory uncertainty as the deciding factor

KUCB – Unalaska – Just two years after reopening, the seafood processing plant in Adak is shutting down.  Icicle Seafoods didn’t return calls for comment, but in a press release, CEO Amy Humphreys cites regulatory uncertainty as the deciding factor. Fishing in the western Aleutians has been restricted in recent years to protect an endangered stock of Steller sea lions, and an anticipated division of the Pacific cod harvest between the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands could also impact shore-based processors. continued