Ocean Beauty’s Plant at Petersburg Closed for Season

Damage caused by an Alaska
state ferry hitting processor facilities at Petersburg has prompted Ocean Beauty
Seafoods to close its processing facilities at Petersburg for the season, although
harvesters will find access to ice, administrative services and fishing tenders
available as usual. Ocean Beauty’s vice president of Alaska operations, Jon Black,
said June 5 that Ocean Beauty has a pretty good idea of the extent of damage caused
when the ferry Matanuska hit the processing plant on May 7, but that a comprehensive
assessment will take some time.
“Until we can absolutely guarantee
that the working environment is safe, and that we are not at risk with any regulatory
issues, there’s no way we can operate fish processing here,” he said.
Due to an anticipated lower
run of pink salmon this season, Ocean Beauty had planned to have
more 200 workers at the Petersburg plant to process mainly pink
and chum salmon. 
The company has made arrangements
to process at its Excursion Inlet facility the fish that would have been processed
at Petersburg. In addition, arrangements have been made for custom processing at
other Southeast Alaska processing facilities.
Ocean Beauty has six shoreside
plants in Alaska, as well as two value-added plants in Washington State, eight distribution
facilities in the western United States, and sales offices in Seattle and Tokyo.
The company said the state
of Alaska has done everything in its power to help Ocean Beauty get operational
at Petersburg as soon as practically possible, and that the city of Petersburg had
also been helpful in facilitating resources.