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Trident Seafoods Selling Two Southeast, Two Gulf Plants

Dec 13, 2023 | Fisheries, News

Boxes of fish move quickly down the line on a processor.

Trident Seafoods

Trident Seafoods is seeking potential buyers for four of its Alaska shoreside plants as part of a comprehensive restructuring initiative. Facilities in Kodiak, False Pass, Ketchikan, and Petersburg are up for sale.

Repositioning in a Global Market

“These are all well-maintained operations that align better with other operators’ strategies,” says said Jeff Welbourn, senior vice president of Alaska operations. “We are optimistic the combination of new ownership and our continued service to the fleet through our other locations will mean little to no disruption for regional salmon fleets.”

To round out the Alaska restructuring, Trident is retiring or seeking buyers for other assets, such as the historic South Naknek Diamond NN cannery facility and the support facilities in Chignik. The company is also assessing its company-owned vessel business model.

That leaves Trident with shoreside plants in Wrangell, Cordova, Sand Point, St. Paul, Dutch Harbor, and Akutan. However, that last site is already targeted as part of an overall modernization strategy.

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Alaska Business June 2024 Cover

June 2024

The company is building a new, state-of-the-art processing plant in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor to replace the aging plant in Akutan, its largest in Alaska. “We are modernizing and retooling the remaining Alaska plants to be more efficient, effective, and sustainable operations,” says Welbourn. “This will allow us to continue supporting as many fleets and communities as possible across Alaska for the long term.”

Construction at the Unalaska project is likely to resume once the organizational restructuring is complete. The company announced a delay in August, citing disruptions in the global seafood market.

The company says a combination of declining demand, excess supply, and foreign competition has driven prices down, squeezed margins, and displaced US producers.

“We are competing against producers in other countries that do not share our commitment to or investments in environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and product quality,” says Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant. “Many of our foreign competitors operate with minimal regulatory costs and oversight, inexpensive infrastructure, and exploitive labor practices.”

The restructuring effort is not confined to Alaska alone. Trident is also streamlining and optimizing its head office support functions, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in headcount.

“Bold action today is necessary to deliver fair value to fleet, communities, and all stakeholders into the future,” Bundrant says.

Welbourn recognizes that the Trident Seafoods operation in Kodiak has been integral to Gulf of Alaska fisheries. “They are highly efficient, multispecies plants, and we are working diligently to find a new owner to support the fleet and the Kodiak community,” he says.

In a global business environment, Trident is betting that it can remain competitive by attracting customers who value the sustainability, quality, and integrity of wild Alaska seafood.

“Overall, I remain confident in the Alaska seafood industry and our role in it,” says Bundrant, whose father founded the privately held company fifty years ago. “These are significant changes, and we are focused on treating our impacted employees and communities with the respect and compassion they deserve.”

Alaska Business June 2024 cover
In This Issue
Delivering Anchorage's Promise
June 2024
Welcome to the June 2024 issue, which features our annual Transportation Special Section. We've paired it this year with a focus on the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, as Alaska has close ties to both that reach far beyond lines of transportation. Even further out past our Pacific Ocean compatriots and our Canadian neighbors to the east, Alaska's reach extends to India and Singapore. Enjoy this issue that explores many of Alaska's far-flung business dealings.
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