Scene on the Sound: Fish factory heads north

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Independence photo by Jan Hansen

Research and photo by Jan Hansen

Headed to Alaska Thursday morning, January 6, 2022 is Trident Seafood’s 356 ft long fish factory vessel, the Independence. 

Trident is a local company owned by the Bundrant family. Marine Traffic gives a destination of Akutan. Akutan is located 750 miles SW of Anchorage in Alaska’s Aleutian Chain; Trident’s Akutan shore plant is remote and entirely self-reliant. 

Nevertheless, its proximity to the Bering Sea fishing grounds has helped it become the largest seafood production facility in North America. With more than 1,400 company-housed employees during peak seasons, Akutan sustains a year-round, multi-species frozen seafood operation capable of processing more than 3 million pounds of raw fish per day. 

Wild Alaska pollock -- the Bering Sea’s most abundant whitefish — is the primary focus of the Akutan operation, and the plant also processes significant volumes of Pacific cod, Alaska king and snow crab, halibut and other important species.

The primary focus for Trident’s specialized processing vessel is herring and salmon. Typically the ship will follow the herring seasons northward from Southeast Alaska to Bristol Bay in the springtime and early summer, returning southward to support various Alaska salmon seasons from late June through August.

The Independence can also process Pacific cod as necessary. Crew size depends upon the species and the season. The Independence accommodates up to 235 workers.

Sources: Marine Traffic and Trident's website


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