The restructuring and exit of Known seafood supply company ‘Trident Seafoods’ from the National Fisheries Association

Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant

The comprehensive restructuring plan of Trident Seafoods, a renowned seafood supply company in America, and its recent strategic withdrawal from the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has drawn significant attention in the Alaska fishing industry and the wider community economy.

This prominent seafood supply company recently unveiled a “comprehensive restructuring plan,” encompassing the sale of four of its Alaska-based factories and a 10% reduction in its workforce. With a storied history in Kodiak, Trident Seafoods’ decision has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the local community. The Kodiak factory, processing a variety of seafood including cod, salmon, real cod, and crabs, operates nearly year-round. Further, the South Naknek Diamond NN canning factory and the Chignik facility are on the lookout for buyers or contemplating closure. Concurrently, the Seattle headquarters of this seafood supply company is set to reduce its workforce by 10%.

In 2022, the Alaskan seafood industry, a cornerstone of the state’s economy, employed over 46,000 workers, generating a total revenue of $1.6 billion and contributing $161 million in taxes and fees to the government. However, this year has seen a downturn in the industry, with an increase in the production of wild salmon and cod, but a dramatic drop in wholesale prices to record lows. Thus, the withdrawal of this key seafood supply company from the region may gravely impact Kodiak City’s financial health, affecting fishing, property, and sales tax revenues.

Alaska Senator Gary Stevens has highlighted the significant role of fishing in Alaska, noting the current challenges of rising loan interest rates and banks imposing more stringent lending terms on processing companies.

Adding to its internal changes, Trident Seafoods has also decided to exit the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) due to a misalignment in views regarding the ban on Russian seafood trade. As a major player in the U.S. seafood supply sector and a key member of the NFI, Trident’s decision marks a pivotal moment. Following the U.S. President’s executive order on December 22, 2023, to prohibit the import of Russian seafood processed in third-party countries, Trident backed the decision, contrary to NFI’s preference for tariff increases as a more effective measure.

In the wake of challenges like inflation, reduced demand, supply surpluses, and international competition, Trident Seafoods’ restructuring and NFI exit signify a major shift for both the company and the seafood supply industry at large. Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson expressed his shock at the developments, underscoring the profound impact on the entire community.

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