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Trident Seafoods subsidiary takes over Captains Bay lease

Theo Greenly
LFS, a subsidiary of Trident Seafoods, is taking over a 75-year lease in Captains Bay. Bering Shai Marine, a gravel mining company, previously held the lease. While LFS sells commercial and sport marine supplies, Trident representatives say they haven’t decided exactly what they’ll do with the land, but say they will begin constructing a dock this year.

Trident Seafoods is set to expand its reach in Unalaska.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the transfer of a tidelands lease in Captains Bay to one of Trident’s subsidiaries, LFS, which already operates a retail shop on the island.

Jarred Brand oversees site development for LFS. While LFS sells commercial and sport marine supplies, Brand says they haven’t decided exactly what they’ll do with the land, but they’ll explore options and begin construction in the coming year.

“At this time, only plans to build a dock and transition the property away from services of sand and gravel operation are envisioned for 2022,” Brand said at the Feb. 22 council meeting.

Trident has recently expanded its fleet, including purchasing the 300-foot trawl catcher/processor Starbound in December. It is the third-largest vessel in their fleet of more than 40 boats.

The previous tenant of the lot down Captains Bay Road — a gravel mining company, Bering Shai Marine — held a 75-year lease from the city. Now, LFS will take over for the remaining 66 years.

City policy recommends tideland leases of 30 years, but allows longer terms if the council thinks it would benefit the public.

Shari Coleman is the only council member who opposed granting the extended lease on Tuesday.

“30 years is a significant, and, I think, prudent number to use for the amount of expansion and development that could possibly happen over there,” Coleman said. “I would be inclined to stay with what is outlined in code and in policy.”

The rent will be set at 10% of the land’s value, which city officials said they expect will be assessed in May. The property covers around 14.5 acres, and was last appraised in 2013 for a total value of $227,000.

Trident is the largest seafood company in the United States, and operates its largest fish processing plant in neighboring Akutan.

Vice Mayor Dennis Robinson said bringing a company as prominent as Trident into Unalaska will bring jobs and revenue to the community.

The city resolution said the arrangement will provide “longterm, substantial, durable and desirable investment” by allowing an “existing business to expand in our community.”

The lease is set to run through 2088, and requires LFS to invest $5 million in the tidelands within 25 years.

Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.
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