Atka Pride Seafoods Plant Will Open Early in Aleutians

The Atka Pride Seafoods
processing facility, a joint venture of APICDA Joint Ventures, Inc. and the
Atka Fishermen’s Association, will open April 27, closely paralleling the
anticipated seasonal closure date of Icicle Seafood’s Adak facility.

Ventures, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of the Aleutian Pribilof Island
Community Development Association, made the announcement March 6.

Icicle Seafoods
did not respond to repeated requests for information about whether its Adak
plant would operate this summer, but industry sources said that the company’s
plant manager told the Adak City Council earlier that the plant would not
operate this summer because generating power is too expensive during the slower
fishing months.

Atka Pride
Seafoods is a joint venture between APICDA Joint Ventures Inc., and the Atka
Fishermen’s Association, a non-profit local fishermen’s association.

John Sevier,
APICDA’s chief operating officer, said the community development association is
pleased to have the Atka plant open early this year.

“This will allow
us to get an earlier than usual jump on the season, particularly for
sablefish,” Sevier said. “And it will provide continued local markets for
fishermen currently delivering to Adak so they don’t have to make the long run
to Dutch Harbor.”

Larry Cotter,
chief executive officer of APICDA, said he did not know what the impact of
Icicle’s Adak plant closure would be on the Atka Pride Seafoods facility.

“It will be
interesting to see,” Cotter said. “We are interested in getting as much seafood
as we can.”
The Atka Pride
Seafoods’ facilities is at Atka, some 100 miles east of Adak and 360 miles west
of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. The Atka plant employs about 20 to 25 people, mostly

Sevier is urging
fishermen who wish to deliver to Atka Pride Seafoods to call him or Ken Smith
at 907-771-4200. It will be important for fishermen interested in delivering to
Atka to work with the company to ensure their needs are addressed in advance,
Sevier said.

Atka Pride
Seafoods was formed in 1994. Initially a small plant focused on processing the
local halibut CDQ quota held by Atka residents, the plant has expanded over the
past few decades and now buys and processes halibut and sablefish CDQ and
individual fishing quota and Pacific cod.

Two years ago a
$4 million plant expansion was completed, and last year a new $1.5 million dock
to deep water was constructed. Plans are being developed now to construct a new
bunkhouse and substantially expand the processing and storage capacity of the
plant in 2014. When the expansion project is complete, the plant will operate
on a year round basis.

Both APICDA Joint
Ventures and the Atxam Corp, the local Alaska Native village corporation, own
golden king crab processor quota shares, and plan to process that crab in the
facility when the expansion project is completed.

Icicle Seafoods,
a large, diversified seafood company, has a core business in processing wild
salmon, pollock, crab, halibut, cod, sablefish and herring in fisheries
throughout Alaska.

Headquartered in
Seattle, Icicle is owned by investment funds managed by Paine & Partners
LLC, a New York, Chicago and San Francisco based private equity fund.

Paine &
Partners focuses on the food and agribusiness industry globally, and its
principals, through a predecessor fund. While Icicle has declined to speak
about the decision not to operate the Adak plant this summer, industry insiders
are speculating that investors in Paine & Partners’ private equity fund
have been less than satisfied with their financial gain from Icicle’s efforts.