Issue: April 2024

Trident Seafoods Nearing Sales of Alaska Shoreside Plants

Trident Seafoods Nearing Sales of Alaska Shoreside Plants

Trident Seafoods officials said March 8 that they’re in the final stages of closing deals on the sales of Alaska shoreside plants in Petersburg, Ketchikan and False Pass, with multiple parties interested in a fourth plant. Trident announced in December that it was seeking buyers for all four plants as part of a strategic restructuring initiative. At the same time, the company revealed its plans to reduce the workforce at its Seattle headquarters by 10%. Trident CEO Joe Bundrant said that his company has been intentional about finding buyers “who will take great care of the fleet and employees and who will integrate themselves into the communities.” As of mid-March, the potential buyers for the plants have not been publicly identified. Trident Senior Vice President of Alaska Operation...
Highland Farms, SK Foods Win Big at Seafood Expo

Highland Farms, SK Foods Win Big at Seafood Expo

Highland Farms won the “Best New Retail Product” award for its salmon salami dish, and Social Kitchens Professional/SK Foods Brands won the “Best New Foodservice Product” award for its premium shrimp sliders during the annual Seafood Expo North America held March 10-12 in Boston. The 2024 winners were selected March 10 from a group of 11 finalists during live judging by a panel of seafood buyers and industry experts from the retail and foodservice industries. The products were judged based on several criteria, including uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, market potential, convenience, nutritional value and originality. This year’s judges included HEB Vice President of Seafood Jason Driskill, Ivar’s Restaurants President Bob Donegan and HF Foods Group Director...

USCG Launches New Merchant Mariner Credential Format

On March 1, the U.S. Coast Guard began issuing merchant mariner credentials in a new format that replaces the red passport-style book with related endorsement labels, according to the National Maritime Center. “The complexity and degraded reliability of the custom printers used to print the (credential) books necessitated a change to the credential printing process,” according to USCG, adding that the new credentials are going to be “printed on readily available commercial desktop laser jet printers and will vastly improve print services and availability.” The new format is expected to be on 8.5-inch by 11-inch “waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper” and feature micro-printing, foiling, intricate patterns and other security measures.  Mariners won’t receive separate endorsement ...
Enhancing Wild Red King Crab Populations  Through Hatchery-Rearing Programs

Enhancing Wild Red King Crab Populations Through Hatchery-Rearing Programs

Scientists examine effects of release timing and size at release on survival of hatchery-reared red king crab. A new study found that releasing red king crab as early as possible after they are reared in a hatchery may improve young crab survival and save operational costs. Scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center observed that the best time to release hatchery-reared red king crab is right after they transition from free-swimming planktonic larvae to bottom dwelling juveniles. Red king crab is an important commercial and subsistence fishery species in Alaska. It was commercially important around Kodiak, Alaska in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Kodiak stock crashed in the late 1970s. The causes of the population crash are still not fully understood. It was likely due to a co...
NOAA Fisheries Gathers Experts to Combat  Forced Labor in Seafood Sector

NOAA Fisheries Gathers Experts to Combat Forced Labor in Seafood Sector

The summit marked the conclusion of a 15-month initiative to address forced labor. On Feb. 28, NOAA Fisheries brought together more than 100 officials representing government agencies, labor and environmental advocacy organizations, and the seafood industry to reflect on progress and identify next steps in their efforts to address labor issues within the seafood supply chain. The Seafood Labor Summit was the final step in a 15-month initiative known as the Collaborative Accelerator for Lawful Maritime Conditions in Seafood, or CALM-CS. NOAA developed the initiative to promote legal and safe working conditions throughout the fishing and seafood industry by combating forced labor and advocating for lawful and secure working conditions within the seafood sector. Its goals included ident...
$20.6M in Chinook Disaster Funds Goes to California

$20.6M in Chinook Disaster Funds Goes to California

An allocation of $20.6 million in federal fishery disaster funds is now earmarked to help California communities impacted by 2023 events in the Sacramento River Fall Chinook and Klamath River Fall Chinook ocean and inland salmon fisheries. Congress provided the funds, which were announced Feb. 1 by Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo, in the 2022 and 2023 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Acts. A positive determination means the fisheries are eligible for appropriations to improve the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of impacted fisheries. Funds may be used to assist impacted fishing communities, including commercial and recreational harvesters, charter businesses and subsistence users, the Commerce Department said. Activities for which these funds can be ...
Pet Food Salmon Chips Win  Alaska Symphony of Seafoods Grand Prize

Pet Food Salmon Chips Win Alaska Symphony of Seafoods Grand Prize

Polkadog Alaskan Salmon Chips, handcrafted in Boston, took the grand prize at the 2024 Alaska Symphony of Seafood, along with honors for best packaging and first place in the event’s “Beyond the Plate” competition. Other top honors in the annual Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) event, announced on Feb. 21 in Juneau, included first, second and third place winners in retail, foodservice and the “Around the Plate” and “Beyond the Plate” categories, plus awards for salmon choice, whitefish choice, best packaging, best grab-n-go, Bristol Bay Choice and the Seattle and Juneau People’s Choice, with participants in those areas voting for their favorites. Echo Falls Smoked Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Nuggets by Ocean Beauty Seafoods took first prize in retail competition, with sec...
Wild Alaska Pollock Options Added to New York Sports Arena’s Menu

Wild Alaska Pollock Options Added to New York Sports Arena’s Menu

Wild Alaska pollock dishes are now menu options for a second major sports venue, New York’s UBS Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, in a partnership negotiated by the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP). The deal was announced on Feb. 14 by GAPP CEO Craig Morris, who said there’s a massive opportunity for seafood at sports and events venues, something the association has been invested in capitalizing on. “The Wild Alaska Pollock menu items at Climate Pledge Arena’s Fork & Fin marketplace (in Seattle) have been incredibly successful, and we have no doubt that wild Alaska pollock will perform just as well in New York at UBS Arena,” Morris said. The partnership, funded by GAPP and Trident Seafoods, is expected to continue for the next se...
‘Big Squeeze:’ Government Purchases of Canned Salmon Help, But Processors Still Cutting Back

‘Big Squeeze:’ Government Purchases of Canned Salmon Help, But Processors Still Cutting Back

Federal government solicitations for canned salmon bids are boosting spirits a bit in Alaska’s commercial fisheries industry, but, overall, gloom prevails due to the selloff of some processing facilities and announced cutbacks on 2024 fishing season processing. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture purchased over $200 million in Alaska seafood and the current solicitation for canned pink and sockeye salmon is expected to help clean up inventory of the sockeyes, Bruce Schactler, food aid program and development director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said. “It will pretty much put a big dent in inventory,” he remarked. Meanwhile, three major processors—Trident Seafoods, OBI Seafoods and Peter Pan Seafoods—have announced plans for selling off some facilities, along ...
What’s New at NIOSH:  A Look at Current Research on Fishing Safety

What’s New at NIOSH: A Look at Current Research on Fishing Safety

By Devin Lucas, Samantha Case and Richie Evoy – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Introduction Commercial fishing is a dangerous job with many challenges and competing priorities. With limited time and resources, managing the various hazards to vessel and crew can be demanding. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been helping fishermen identify and solve safety problems for over 30 years. This article gives a brief overview of current NIOSH research efforts aimed at helping the fishing industry protect its workforce and vessels from harm.  Testing the Integrity of Immersion Suits to Determine Service Life Immersion suits with leaking seams can allow cold water to enter, diminishing the buoyancy and thermal protection needed in an ...