Industry

Stories from the KUCB Newsroom on the topic of business and industry. Also includes volunteer Frank Kelty's weekly fisheries update, the Unalaska Fisheries Report.

Courtesy of American Seafoods

86 crew members of an American Seafoods trawler have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from the seafood company Sunday night. Nine tests are still outstanding.

The American Dynasty — a 272-foot trawler whose home port is Seattle, WA — had previously reported one crew member tested positive and was admitted to the hospital on Friday, May 29, for treatment. As a result, the company decided to test the entire crew, and on May 30 an additional 85 crew members were confirmed positive. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Unalaska's onshore processing plants have chosen to keep seasonal employees on-island in between fishing seasons.

In a rural Alaskan town of 4500 year-round residents, an influx of approximately one thousand international workers—looking for ways to keep busy—is quite a change.

UniSea is keeping plant security tight. In order to enter, everyone must pass through a checkpoint and show a company ID or be placed on a list of expected visitors. 

Hope McKenney/KUCB

Alaska health officials have allowed fishing companies' workers to wait out a two-week post-travel quarantine in close quarters on their fishing boats, even after authorities denied a similar proposal by a North Slope oil company. 

Caroline Lester / KUCB

In Unalaska, fish processors have joined forces with the city to create an isolation and quarantine facility, designed partly to serve the transient fishermen who pass through the town. According to the organizers, this model—a partnership between a city and a private company—might be unique in the country. 

 

The facility is in a two-story building at the edge of town, right behind the local Safeway. It's long, and grey, and looks, from the outside, like a standard company bunkhouse.  

Seafood Industry Letter To Unalaska Regarding COVID-19

Apr 4, 2020

Dear Unalaska Community:

Along with the rest of the nation and the world, the seafood industry of Unalaska has been coping with the fast-paced turn of events in the face of the national health pandemic created by the exponential spread of the coronavirus.  Like you, we are very concerned about what the coronavirus pandemic means to our families, neighbors, and livelihoods in Unalaska and other Alaskan coastal communities, and the Alaska seafood system overall, both in the short and long term.

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