“The situation is rapidly changing and as it evolves, we will maintain open lines of communication with the community” said Rick Isaacson, regional manager for Trident Seafoods. “For us, it will only be a successful season if we are able to maintain and protect the health and safety of our community.”
Isaacson said that Trident is proactively monitoring key reports, updates and notifications from international, federal and state health officials and government authorities to ensure they quickly adapt to evolving circumstances, including best practices and testing technologies.
The city of Cordova itself is planning well in advance of the anticipated mid-May opener of the famed Copper River salmon run to keep the virus out of their community. City officials noted that statewide mandates already required all people arriving in Alaska, whether resident, worker or visitor, to self-quarantine for 14 days when reaching their destination in the state.
Having incoming crews self-quarantine on their vessels is a perfectly acceptable plan, in fact probably preferred, Cordova officials said in a lengthy document outlining their plan.
City officials also noted that companies traveling to Alaska for the fishery may put them to work immediately, provided that they have an approved community/workforce protective plan and they have enacted protective measures into the plan to safeguard the community.
Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) also sent a letter to Cordova to assure the community that their member companies have been participating in a seafood industry work group formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group worked with a medical risk management company that specializes in commercial maritime and remote worksites to develop guidance protocols specifically for the industry, said Chris Barrows, president of PSPA.
“PSPA will continue to closely monitor the situation, share information and support measures that protect the health and safety of Alaska communities,” Barrows said.