Tag Archives: Trident Seafoods

Trident Seafoods’ Chuck Bundrant, a pioneer of U.S. fisheries off Alaska, dies at 79

Chuck Bundrant, an epic figure in North Pacific fisheries who started his career as a deck hand on a crabber and went on to cofound Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, died Sunday at his Edmonds home. He was 79. Bundrant was a fierce competitor who played a pivotal role in ushering in a new era in harvests off Alaska as foreign fleets were pushed out of the 200-mile zone and Americans rushed in to catch pollock, crab, black cod and other seafood. And as U.S. fleets gained control, he fought to ensure that Trident’s network of shoreside processing plants and seagoing vessels would prosper.  >click to read< 08:02

Valuable crab populations are in a ‘very scary’ decline in warming Bering Sea

The forecast for the 2022 winter snow crab season is bleak. At best, it is expected to be considerably less than 12 million pounds. That would be down from a 2021 harvest of 45 million pounds,,, The iconic Bering Sea red king crab, which can grow up to 24 pounds with a leg-span up to 5 feet, also are in trouble. In a big blow to the commercial crabbers, many of whom are based in Washington, the October harvest for these crab has been canceled, something that has only happened three times before. Overall conservation measures are expected to wipe out most of the value of the annual Bering Sea crab harvest, worth more than $160 million during the past year, according to Jamie Goen, executive director of the Seattle-based Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.  >click to read< 13:54

UPDATED: Firefighters battle huge ship fire at Port of Tacoma’s Pier 12

Tacoma firefighters battled a large ship fire in the Port of Tacoma into the early morning. The vessel on fire is the 356-foot Alaskan fish processor Aleutian Falcon, moored at Trident Seafoods on Pier 12. Engine companies on the scene were reporting two large plumes of black smoke from the ship and towering flames amidships. At midnight, the ship was reported listing heavily. >click to read< 07:32.  Crews on three fire boats battled a stubborn fire for hours overnight on a moored commercial fishing boat at the Port of Tacoma, more video, >click to read< 11:05

Coronavirus outbreak at Trident Seafoods Akutan plant grows to 135

A seafood plant in Akutan, Alaska, run by Trident Seafoods is facing a large COVID-19 outbreak with 135 of 307 tested employees testing positive for COVID-19, health care officials said on Tuesday morning. The Akutan plant has around 700 employees, and COVID-19 testing is still underway. Dr. Joe McLaughlin, an epidemiologist with the state, said the first report of COVID-19 at the facility was made on Jan. 17. >click to read< 09:19

‘Everybody’s worst nightmare’: Bering Sea fishermen on edge after Coronavirus closes second processing plant

Now, fishermen and industry leaders are anxious that they might not have places to offload their catch, and that their plants might be the next to close down, said Dan Martin, who manages a fleet of nine pollock trawlers for a company called Evening Star Fisheries. “Any hiccups like this, you really have to reshuffle the deck and try to figure out, ‘Okay, what’s the next step?’” said Martin, a retired skipper. He called the shutdowns “everybody’s worst nightmare.” >click to read< 10:32

Trident Seafoods to close Alaska plant for three weeks after COVID-19 outbreak

Seattle based Trident Seafoods is shutting down its largest Alaska seafood plant for three weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak, a difficult decision that points to a renewed assault by the coronavirus on the ranks of workers in a key part of the nation’s food-processing industry. Trident is suspending operation at its Akutan facility just at the start of major winter harvests for pollock, North America’s biggest single-species seafood harvest, as well as cod and crab. At Akutan, some 700 employees have stopped working amid a new round of testing, and a fleet of boats that would normally be delivering their catch is now tied to docks. >click to read< 16:39

Coronavirus cases detected at Alaska seafood plant

Seattle-based Trident Seafoods reports that four workers at the company’s Akutan, Alaska, seafood plant have tested positive for coronavirus, including one who had difficulty breathing and had to be evacuated by air to a hospital in Anchorage. The Akutan plant in the Aleutian Islands is a processing hub for Bering Sea harvests of pollock, crab and cod, with a workforce of 700 employees that will swell in the weeks ahead to 1,400 people. >click to read< 07:29

To the editor: Thank you, fish processors

The 2020 commercial fishing season will go down in the history books. In March and April, the prospect of executing statewide fisheries was in question amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and even communities that rely upon fisheries as their economic drivers were pressing for partial or complete closures. Cordova and the opening of the Copper River District were in the spotlight as the first Alaskan salmon fishery to come on line for the summer salmon season. by Dennis Zadra  >click to read< 19:44

Bristol Bay salmon processors are starting to post base prices. They are extremely disappointing.

Fishermen have confirmed that Trident Seafoods, Red Salmon / North Pacific Seafoods, OBI Seafoods, and Peter Pan Seafoods have posted a base price of $0.70 per pound for sockeye. That’s just over half of last year’s base price of $1.35. “Well it’s — it’s ridiculous, because it’s not worth it at all. Because I’m putting all this money in,” says Alex, a captain from Wasilla who fishes for Peter Pan Seafoods. He declined to give his last name. Alex says that coming out of a tough season, he’s extremely disappointed with the prices. >click to read< 10:21

Slow going for the Copper River opener

A 12-hour opener marking the start of the 2020 Copper River commercial salmon season proved slow going, with a catch of 1,650 Chinook and 1,500 sockeye salmon, down from 2,300 kings and 20,400 reds in the 2019 opener. Prices for the catch were also down, due to lack of demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with upscale restaurants that normally feature Copper River entrees following the start of the fishery still closed. Even with fewer fishermen on the grounds, it was tough going. One veteran harvester said his 12-hour effort produced a total of five fish. Worries over a potential low price for the prized fish, coupled with concerns that the novel coronavirus pandemic might stop the fishery lowered the competition for the fish, said Cordova Mayor Clay Koplin, who calculated that as much of one fourth of the fleet never left the harbor. >click to read< 08:34

An Alaska commercial fishing season unlike any other kicked off in Cordova on Thursday

Normally, the Copper River gillnet season, the first salmon fishery to open in the state, is known for high-priced fish and celebrity-level fanfare: One of the first fish to be caught is flown to Seattle via Alaska Airlines jet, and greeted with a red carpet photo opportunity. In this pandemic year, things are different all around: The Alaska Airlines first fish photo op will still happen, but the festivities have been tamped down and six-foot distancing and masks are now required. Instead of a cooking contest pitting Seattle chefs against each other, a salmon bake for workers at Swedish Hospital in Ballard is planned. And this year, Cordova’s first-in-the-state salmon fishery will be a high stakes test,,, >click here< 10:15

As Alaska fishing season set to begin, fearful communities and seafood industry try to prevent spread of coronavirus

Trident and other seafood-company officials hope to ensure that factory trawlers making their way through remote swaths of the Bering Sea do not replay any of the harrowing scenarios that unfolded on cruise ships this year, when waves of the virus sickened passengers. “The chance of having one hiccup — it’s going to ruin the season for everyone,” Hall said. “The boat has to be virus free.” Processors face another daunting challenge in launching salmon operations in remote Alaska communities, many of which suffered losses in the flu pandemic of more than a century ago and are fearful of thousands of seasonal workers spreading COVID-19. photos, >click to read< 11:43

Coronavirus: It’s not business as usual for fishing industry

For Alaska’s commercial fisheries industry in 2020, things will hardly be business as usual. Reports of the first case of novel coronavirus in the state prompted processors to get to work developing plant and vessel response plans in consultation with medical experts to assure the health and safety of employees, harvesters, communities they work in and the fish they will process by the ton. “Everyone is working on it on a regular basis,” said Norm Van Vactor, president and chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. in Dillingham. “It is literally a plan in progress. We are moving forward with a positive attitude (but) nobody is in La La Land.” >click to read< 18:15

Coronavirus: Seafood processors respond to COVID-19 with added precautions

Seafood industry processors say they are in ongoing discussions with local, state and federal partners,,, The seafood industry talking points including working around the clock on prevention and response, coordinating with partners that include public health officials, preventing the spread of COVID-19 within Alaska and keeping seafood safe, said Stephanie Madsen, executive director of the At-Sea Processors Association. The Seattle-based trade association represents six member companies who own and operate 16 U.S. flagged catcher/processor vessels participating principally in the Alaska Pollock fishery and West Coast Pacific whiting fishery. The group includes American Seafoods Co., Arctic Storm Management Group LLC, Coastal Villages Region Fund, Glacier Fish Company LLC, Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc. and Trident Seafoods.  >click to read< 20:56

Alaska canned pink salmon purchased for food assistance programs

Millions of pounds of Alaska’s 2019 harvest of pink salmon is now earmarked for child nutrition and related domestic food assistance programs, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture purchase of over $25 million in canned product from four processors. USDA officials announced on Sept. 20 the purchase of 442.3 million cases of one-pound tall cans of pink salmon for the federal agency’s food assistance programs,,, >click to read< 10:36

Trident Seafoods fined a third time for polluting Newport’s Yaquina Bay

Oregon environmental regulators have fined Trident Seafoods Corp. $43,200 for wastewater violations at its Newport surimi factory. It’s the third time since 2015 the state Department of Environmental Quality has fined the company for polluting Yaquina Bay. Seattle-based Trident Seafoods is the largest seafood company in the United States and among the largest in the world.
In Newport, the company holds a permit to discharge treated fish-processing wastewater into the bay from its factory, at 623 Yaquina Bay Boulevard, which processes fish into the imitation crab meat. >click to read<11:52

How much Bristol Bay processors will pay for salmon

The question on every Bristol Bay fisherman’s mind at this point in the season is base price: How much cash am I going to get for my salmon? A few Bristol Bay processors said they’re still waiting on their corporate headquarters to release prices, but here’s what we do know as of Tuesday: On Monday, Copper River Seafoods raised its price from $1.30 to $1.70 per pound for chilled, bled and separated sockeye only. Kings larger than 11 pounds bring in $3 per pound, and smaller kings go for $2 a pound. Copper River is paying 80 cents per pound on silvers, 45 cents per pound on chum and 30 cents per pound for pinks. Trident Seafoods is paying,,, >click to read<11:02

Here’s why ice was a hot commodity in the Nushagak this summer

Bristol Bay’s Nushagak fishing district pulled in more than a million sockeye on eight separate days earlier this month. Before this summer, it had only done that twice in Bristol Bay’s history.
Keeping all those fish cool proved problematic for fishermen who still rely on slush ice. Capt. Nick Sotiropoulos of the fishing vessel Flyin’ Tiger said he’d like at least 1,000 pounds of ice for every opener to keep his catch cold and earn that chilled quality bonus from his processor.,, Just over 10 percent of Bristol Bay’s fleet relies on ice to chill their fish. Another 27 percent turn over unchilled fish to processors, and the final 63 percent are drift boats with refrigerated sea water systems. >click to read<14:43

Social media post criticizes Trident Seafoods, Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet for halibut bycatch

A fisherman based out of Homer posted images on social media of halibut bycatch headed for the grinder at Kodiak’s Trident Seafoods processing plant. The post got a lot of attention online and sparked criticism of Trident, the Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet and a body that regulates the commercial fishing industry. Trident is the largest primary processor of seafood in the United States and is heavily invested in Alaska. “We’re a company built by fishermen for fishermen and we don’t just buy pollock or cod or crab or salmon or halibut, we buy everything that we can sustainably harvest and feed the world with. Halibut is a very important part of our business,” said Lumsden. Longtime fisherman Erik Velsko says if Trident really cares about halibut and sustainability some things need to change. >click to read<18:59

Halibut trash

Only in Alaska, which likes to claim title to the world’s “best-managed fisheries,” would halibut now retailing at prices in excess of $20 per pound be ground into fish meal to feed animals, shrimp and maybe even farmed salmon – the bane of Alaska commercial fishermen. Photos of halibut and other, trawl-caught bottomfish headed for the grinder emerged from Kodiak this weekend as Alaska fishermen started into a fishing season where the targeted harvest of halibut by both commercial fishermen and anglers has been seriously restricted because of conservation concerns. >click to read<18:20

Cordova receives first Tanner crab delivery in 30 years

Deckhands Robert Bernard and Danny Delozier moved energetically around the F/V Ace as it docked at Trident Seafoods. Delozier stood on top of 15 or so crab pots, holding on to a rope while waiting for the first bucket to drop on March 13 to fill with Tanner crabs, the first such delivery in Cordova since 1988. Once the cloudy water drained from the fish hold, piles of bright red, orange and brown Tanner crabs emerged.,, “We had a great crew,” said F/V Ace captain Ronald Blake, as he geared up for another trip into the Sound. “They were hootin’ and hollerin’,” >click to read<18:40

Seafood processor will pay $300,000 fine for oversized fish waste piles at two Alaska plants

Trident Seafoods has agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty and remove an underwater pile of seafood waste near Sand Point in a settlement with the federal government involving Clean Water Act violations at two Alaska plants. The infractions also involve the Seattle-based company’s seafood processing plant at Wrangell in Southeast Alaska, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. At both facilities, Trident exceeded the one-acre limit on seafood processing waste piles it can discard into the water under its permits, the agency said. >click to read< 11:40

Dangerous swells will complicate harvest this week as Crabbers go to sea

An informal Dungeness crab price strike ended this week on the Washington and Oregon coast after Newport-based crabbers decided to accept $2.75 a pound from Trident Seafoods. Columbia River-based crabbers began soaking pots at 9 a.m. Monday. Crabbers didn’t reach a formal agreement with industry giant Pacific Seafoods after days of stalemated talks in which fishermen sought a starting price of $3 a pound for wholesale deliveries to processors. Last year’s price was $2.89 a pound. >click here to read< 11:53

Snow crab landing in Bering Sea

The Bering Sea opilio snow crab fishery is slowly moving forward, with 2 percent of the quota landed. Eight vessels made nine landings for a total weight in the past week of some 471,000 pounds, from a quota of 18.5 million pounds, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. The number of snow crab per pot is down somewhat from the same period last year. The most recent count was 201 crustaceans last week, down from 238 last year, according to Fish and Game. “From talking to the fleet, it’s been a slow start for the boats that are out there opie fishing,” said state fisheries biologist Ethan Nichols. But it’s likely to pick up, >click here to read<17:53

NTSB: Lack of preparation, training a factor in death of 2 on Alaska crab boat

On December 6, 2016, the motor vessel Exito slipped below the surface of icy Dutch Harbor waters, never to be seen again. Aboard when it sank were two men, contractors for Trident Seafoods. Their bodies were never recovered. Now, over two years later, the National Transportation Safety Board has released a report detailing several factors that it says could have saved the two men. click here to read the story 16:53

Bering Sea cod conflict brewing between on and offshore buyers

“Cod Alley” is getting crowded, and some fishermen want to limit the boats in the narrow congested fishing area in the Bering Sea. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is looking at changes, including restricting flatfish factory trawlers from buying cod offshore. The Pacific Seafood Processors Association is pushing for restrictions on factory trawlers to protect its members’ shore plants in Unalaska, Akutan, King Cove and Sand Point. According to the PSPA’s Nicole Kimball, seven factory trawlers bought cod from 17 catcher boats in 2017,,, click here to read the story 21:23

Alaska tops nation in total fishing volume for 20th year

The annual report detailing national and regional economic impacts of U.S. fisheries totaled $9.6 billion in value in 2016 with Alaska as usual producing more than the rest of the nation combined. Alaska produced 58 percent of all landings and for the 20th straight year brought in the highest volume, according to the 2016 Fisheries of the United States report by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The top spot for all ports in the nation went to Dutch Harbor, which brought in 770 million pounds with Alaska pollock accounting for 89 percent of that volume. click here to read the story 16:43

Alaska fisheries thrive — yet industry is on the edge

It has been a really good year across most of Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Salmon prices are up, harvests are good, fuel costs are down, and there’s more: The world’s appetite for nutritious, wild-caught Alaska fish, caught in clean waters, is growing. Alaskans’ track record for managing fisheries in a sustainable manner, both near-shore and further at sea, reinforces our reputation for responsible stewardship. Life is good.,,, Seafood employed 56,800 workers in 2015-2016 and this industry annually contributes $5.2 billion to the state’s economic output. But as good as this sounds, the fact is that this traditional industry is actually fragile,,, click here to read the story 21:45

At Seattle-based seafood giant Trident, a new generation is at the helm

Joe Bundrant’s first Alaska summer with Trident Seafoods was back in 1979, a tense time for the Seattle-based company founded by his father Chuck Bundrant. The Bristol Bay salmon run was in full swing. But a bitter strike over low prices kept nets out the water, and shut down the regional harvest. Chuck Bundrant had piled up debt to build the Bountiful, a 165-foot processing vessel that was then only a year old. He didn’t want it to sit idle. So, he urged the fishermen to cross the picket line and allow him to freeze their sockeye catch. When the season was over, he pledged to settle with them on a fair market value “He just said, ‘Trust me.’ And those guys went fishing. It was a very powerful lesson for a young guy,” click here to read the story 12:35

Federal Judge Evokes Dr. Seuss in Upholding Seafood Regulations

Invoking Dr. Seuss, a federal judge on Monday quoted from the 1960 classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” to uphold a regulatory regime intended to cut down on seafood fraud and protect U.S. fishers from unfair competition. Despite a challenge to the rule by a slew of U.S. seafood importers, harvesters and processors, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that the traceability rule, which requires importers to document the supply chain of imports from their origin to their arrival in the U.S., was lawfully implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service. click here to read the story 18:32