Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Processors Plan for a Complicated Season

Seafood processors preparing for robust wild Alaska salmon fisheries, which begin in May, are taking special precautions to assure the safety of people and their harvest in a season where a novel coronavirus pandemic is making life complicated.

Ocean Beauty Seafoods, for one, has advised its fleet they are taking some specific actions because of the pandemic that has sickened people worldwide and caused a number of deaths. Those precautionary steps include creation of a virus working group and a travel policy to reduce exposure.

Ocean Beauty has implemented a post travel self-quarantine, developed an enhanced sanitation program and is distributing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control to all employees and customers. Ocean Beauty is also communicating with all its customers to ensure that they understand that the processor is working to guarantee that they can provide an uninterrupted flow of product to them.

“We have been in business since 1910 and have never missed a salmon season in time of war, pandemic or for any other reason,” Ocean Beauty President Mark Palmer assured harvesters. “The salmon business is our core business and is in our DNA.” Palmer also noted that the company is currently operating at high capacity at its Kodiak facility on bottom fish and so far has been able to address any concerns as they have arisen.

“We very much look forward to providing a great salmon market for you and your crews,” Palmer wrote in a memo to the fishermen.

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