Tag Archives: American Seafoods

In Jones Act dispute, judge allows backed-up Alaska seafood to move to Eastern U.S.

Companies that haul fish from Alaska to the eastern U.S. can resume shipping what they say is an estimated 26 million pounds of frozen fish that has been stranded in Canada in a battle over a federal maritime shipping law known as the Jones Act, a federal judge ruled on Sunday. The decision is a temporary victory for Kloosterboer International Forwarding and Alaska Reefer Management. The companies last month sued U.S. Customs and Border Protection, asserting that the agency has wrongfully issued more than than $350 million in penalty notices to Kloosterboer and other companies in the transport chain. >click to read< 16:39

Judge rejects Bering Sea seafood companies’ request to block penalties for alleged Jones Act violation

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason issued her 25-page decision Tuesday rejecting the request by a subsidiary of Bering Sea pollock harvesting giant American Seafoods, and a related company, Kloosterboer. The seafood companies had turned to an array of lawyers to make their case,,, They said U.S. Customs and Border Protection had threatened them and other businesses in their supply chain with penalties exceeding $300 million.,, The penalties were for using a miniature Canadian railway to satisfy a provision in a federal law called the Jones Act. It allows goods to be shipped between American ports on foreign-flagged vessels only if their route includes Canadian rail lines. >click to read< 14:39

$350M Bering Sea fish fight could hinge on a miniature Canadian railroad

The quickly escalating saga involves hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, and a miniature Canadian railway,,, American Seafoods’ shipping subsidiary and an affiliate company, Kloosterboer International Forwarding, sued U.S. Customs and Border Protection in federal court Thursday,,, The Jones Act, a century-old federal law, typically requires American-flagged ships to move cargo between American ports. But the legislation contains an exception known as the “Third Proviso,” ,,Vessels flagged in countries like Singapore and the Bahamas first pick up frozen seafood products in Dutch Harbor, then travel to the Canadian port of Bayside, New Brunswick, just across the border from Maine. From Bayside, the seafood would be trucked to a Canadian train, loaded and moved 20 miles between two stations,,, >click to read< 14:10

Seattle fishing boat outbreak suggests antibodies protect against coronavirus infection

Crew members from a Seattle-based fishing boat that experienced an explosive outbreak of the novel coronavirus have serendipitously provided what could be the first direct evidence that antibodies can protect people from reinfection. Blood samples collected before the vessel sailed in May showed that three of the 122 people aboard had robust levels of neutralizing antibodies, the type that block the virus from entering human cells, indicating they had been previously infected and recovered. All three were spared during the shipboard outbreak, which quickly spread to more than 85% of the crew. >click to read< 08:18

Pregnant crewmember medevac’d from fishing vessel near St. Paul, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrew hoisted a pregnant crewmember from a fishing vessel 200 miles northwest of St. Paul, Alaska, Saturday. Saturday morning, District 17 Command Center personnel received a medevac request from the captain of the fishing vessel Northern Jaeger for a 22-year-old female crewmember reportedly experiencing medical complications due to pregnancy. The a 308-foot factory trawler was located approximately 200 miles northwest of St. Paul. >click to read< 09:12

Coronavirus outbreaks keep sidelining vessels owned by one of Seattle’s largest fishing companies. No one’s entirely sure why.

It’s not surprising that fishing vessels would become potentially high-risk environments as the pandemic worsened. Like cruise ships, which became notorious Covid-19 hotspots in the early days of the outbreak, fishing trawlers tend to confine people in close quarters for prolonged periods of time. But several additional factors make fishing vessels susceptible to outbreaks: Living arrangements require people to cram into tight spaces together, sharing bunkrooms, dining areas, toilets, and other facilities. “These people are four to a room,” said Dr. Marisa D’Angeli,“They’re in bunk beds. They share a bathroom with the four people [in the] adjacent [room]—so eight people total. People don’t wear a mask when they sleep.” The work environment, which requires people to work closely together in wet, chaotic circumstances, is no less fraught with transmission opportunities. >click to read< 08:08

A factory fishing trawler is docked in Dutch Harbor with 85 Coronavirus cases. Now it’s headed for Seward.

More than two-thirds of the crew of a huge factory fishing vessel docked in the Aleutian fishing port of Dutch Harbor has tested positive for COVID-19, local authorities announced Sunday. The 85 cases are on board the American Triumph, owned by Seattle-based American Seafoods, one of the biggest players in the billion dollar Bering Sea pollock fishery. The American Triumph, and its crew members who tested positive, are scheduled to depart Unalaska late Sunday or early Monday with American Seafoods medical support personnel on board. They’re scheduled to sail to Seward and arrive by Wednesday,,, >click to read< 09:34

Seattle seafood company reports 6 more crew have Coronavirus in Dutch Harbor

The cases are onboard the American Triumph, which is operated by Seattle-based American Seafoods. Last month, the company announced that more than 100 crew members on three of the company’s six vessels had tested positive for the virus. At the time, experts questioned the company’s decision to mandate a five-day quarantine period, rather than the 14 days recommended by many health officials. American Seafoods subsequently said it had extended its quarantine period to two weeks. The cases announced Friday bring the total tally of positive cases on American Seafoods vessels to 117 since late May, according to spokesperson Suzanne Lagoni. >click to read< 10:18

Crew of American Seafoods vessel tests negative for Coronavirus in Unalaska

The crew of the F/V Ocean Rover, an American Seafoods vessel that arrived in Unalaska late Sunday afternoon for summer pollock season, have tested negative for COVID-19. The arrival of the 255-foot boat had generated concern among Alaskans after more than 100 asymptomatic crew members aboard three of the company’s other factory trawlers tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. “Sixteen crew members were found to have possible symptoms of COVID-19 and were quarantined pending test results. Three of its six-vessel fleet have now had positive cases of COVID-19, including 92 people on the American Dynasty, four on the American Triumph, and 21 on the Northern Jaeger. >click to read< 19:40

Crew of Alaska bound factory fishing trawler worries after company rejects more Coronavirus screening

American Seafoods will forgo additional COVID-19 screening of the Ocean Rover factory trawler, a move that has some crew worried and wanting more assurances the disease has not found its way onto the Alaska-bound vessel. American Seafoods has been buffeted in the past two weeks by test results from crews of three other vessels unloading frozen fish in Bellingham. Testing positive: 94 crew on the American Dynasty, four on the American Triumph and 21 on the Northern Jaeger, findings that rattled the North Pacific seafood industry, which is struggling to keep the virus off boats and shore-based plants as the busy summer harvest season approaches. >click to read< 18:48

UPDATED: 86 crew members of F/V American Dynasty test positive for Coronavirus

Eighty-six crew members of the American Dynasty trawler that docked in Bellingham last week have tested positive for COVID-19, according to operator American Seafoods in a press release Sunday evening, May 31. Nine tests are still outstanding. The Seattle-based crew are not showing symptoms of the disease and stayed on the ship when it was in Bellingham, according to American Seafoods. The American Dynasty has returned to the Port of Seattle and is under quarantine, the press release said. >click to read< 07:22

Trawler docked in Bellingham testing 100-plus crew for Coronavirus after 1 hospitalized

More than 100 crew members of the American Dynasty trawler docked in Bellingham are being tested for COVID-19, a ship spokesperson said Saturday, May 30. One crew member from the American Seafoods fishing vessel tested positive for the new coronavirus and was admitted to St. Joseph hospital Friday, May 29, for treatment, according to a Friday evening news release from Whatcom Unified Command. The ship docked in Bellingham Thursday, May 26, according to unified command, the multi-governmental agency that’s directing local new coronavirus pandemic response. >click to read< 17:18

Profiles in Training: American Seafoods Company

Lance Camarena recognized from a young age that he wanted to work in the learning and development arena.,, Today, Camarena is Director of Training & Organizational Development for American Seafoods Company, a fishing company which runs six factory trawlers ranging from 256 to 341 feet. The company employs approximately 1,300 seafarers from 52 countries, with about a 7% turnover in our key officer positions and a 25% turnover in our entry level processor positions. American Seafoods has also implemented a Marine Learning Systems learning management system (LMS) e-learning solution and created the American Seafoods Knowledge Academy (ASKA), which can be accessed from almost any device to complete mandated training. >click to read< 11:04

Thornton Edward “Ed” Luttrell II

Thornton Edward “Ed” Luttrell, II of Marysville, Washington, passed away on September 2, 2019 while visiting his beloved family ranch in Roseburg, Oregon. He was 67 years old.,, Following his graduation, Ed accepted a position with Peter Pan Seafoods in Alaska. Though friends predicted he wouldn’t last two weeks on a fishing trawler, Ed quickly worked his up to Superintendent on the 296-foot M/V Royal Sea.This experience, combined with his education, tenacity, and work ethic, led Ed to prominent executive positions in the fishing and marine industries, including American Seafoods and Arctic King. .,, Ed is preceded in death by his parents and son, Thornton Edward Luttrell, III, “Teddy”. His daughters Erin Joy Leigh, Elizabeth Luttrell Fellars, and son-in-law Shreve Fellars survive him, as well as many beloved friends and business associates. >click to read< 18:08

American Seafoods restructures debt, attracts new backers

After reeling in new capital, the company that calls itself “the largest harvester of wild-caught fish for human consumption in the U.S.” has reduced its debts from a previously estimated $900 million-plus to $740 million. CEO Bernt Bodal said the deal gives American Seafoods stability and adds as investors some experienced industry people with whom he’s had a “very, very long-term connection.” Those include Chris Lischewski, CEO of Bumble Bee Foods in San Diego; Amy Humphreys, former CEO of Seattle-based Icicle Seafoods; and Frank Dulcich, CEO of Mukilteo-based Pacific Seafood Group. Read the rest here 11:03

Financially troubled American Seafoods debt deal underway amid Rokke return talk

The majority of payment-in-kind (PIK) noteholders in troubled US fishing company American Seafoods Group has agreed a restructuring agreement with an unnamed investor, according to a note from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P). American Seafoods’ highly leveraged capital structure, with debts of over $900 million, includes over $125m of 15% PIK notes, “which continue to accrue interest and represents a growing liability on the company’s balance sheet”, wrote S&P in a note from January. Read the rest here 10:33  Financially troubled American Seafoods nears deal on debts Read the rest here 12:00

American Seafoods Settles Over Scale Tampering

A Seattle-based seafood company accused of stealing groundfish from the Bering Sea has agreed to pay up. American Seafoods will pay $1.75 million to settle violations on three of its catcher-processors. The American Dynasty, the Ocean Rover, and the Northern Eagle were all accused of tampering with their scales for weighing fish at sea over a five-year period. Read the rest here 06:58

American Seafoods settles inaccurate scales spat with NOAA for $1.75M

NOAA had charged that that the flow scales were sometimes inaccurate during specific seasons on three of American Seafoods’ vessels. The resolution means a hearing scheduled for later this month on the charges of scales won’t be held. Read the rest here 10:06

NMFS publishes at-sea scale changes

The changes would affect catcher processors and motherships that fish for pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands as part of the American Fisheries Act fleet, groundfish trawlers that are part of the Amendment 80 program, the Gulf of Alaska rockfish trawl fleet, longliners targeting Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific cod, and CDQ catcher processors fishing in the bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. <Read more here> Federal Register Background story 21:19

Nets Mended, Boots Packed. Fish Boats Head For Alaska

Big factory ships are heading out to sea, and in coming weeks, 10,000 people from Washington state will head north to the Alaska fishing grounds. Half of all the seafood caught in the U.S. comes from the Alaska fishery. Seattle is its base, and the biggest players are the companies that own catcher-processor ships. They include Trident Seafoods, Glacier Fish Company and American Seafoods Group. Crews have spent the last few weeks getting the ships ready. At Interbay’s Pier 91 on Monday, the Northern Eagle, a ship owned by American Seafoods, prepared for its journey. Read more here 19:53:34

Moody’s downgrades American Seafoods as American Pride sale barely makes impression on debt

The downgrade is largely the result of the company – the subject of much speculation over how it will refinance it’s massive debt – under-performing relative to Moody’s expectations, as already high leverage remains under pressure despite healthy fishing conditions. Last week, American Seafoods denied it was trying to sell quotas. Read more here  14:22

Alaska’s white hat turns a little grey – Editorial comment, by John Sackton, publisher of Seafoodnews.com

 Ouch. The allegations that American Seafoods used flow scales that understated the weight of its pollock catch on multiple vessels in 2011 is a black-eye for the Alaska pollock fishery. It is unfortunate that it comes at the same time the American industry is raising questions about the capability of the Russian pollock fleet to monitor and control catches. Some European buyers have flown into a panic, with one saying to ,,,continued @ Undercurrent News:

American Seafoods slapped with big fine over claims that crews misreported their catch by many tons;

The Seattle Times – Something is fishy when the scales on a factory trawler read from 6 percent to nearly 70 percent less than what the catch really weighs. For such discrepancies, allegedly extending over many years, the federal government seeks penalties of more than $2.7 million from Seattle-based American Seafoods, which operates factory trawlers that catch and process pollock off Alaska. continued

Shannyn Moore: Prosecution of Native fishermen is just wrong

ADN.com – If I got the means to do it, I will do it,” Phillip said. “Even if you are breaking the law?” asked his lawyer, James Davis Jr. “Well, if it comes down to feeding my family, yes,” Phillip answered. This was Les Misérables, Alaskanized… Now, don’t get me wrong, there are real fish pirates in Alaska. We’ve even caught one or two….fish rustler Arne Fuglvog….NMFS OLE charged American Seafoods with fixing the scales,,,,,,,,,,continued