trident seafoods

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 Trident Seafoods has restricted access between its Akutan plant and the local town in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Akutan, a small city of about a hundred people, lies 35 miles east of Unalaska. It also boasts the largest seafood processing plant in North America. The plant, which is operated by Trident Seafoods, hosts an additional 1,400 employees, and is just a half-mile walk from the rest of the town. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Trident Seafoods is investigating an ammonia leak at its processing plant in Akutan.

About 5,000 pounds of the gas spilled in late January, according to Crystal Smith of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

She said the plant was conducting a purge of its refrigeration system when company officials noticed the coolant was gone.

Sarah Hansen/KUCB

This winter, Unalaska's seafood plants could host a handful of prison inmates — if the community joins a work release program run by the state Department of Corrections.

DOC Commissioner Dean Williams proposed the idea to the City Council this week, citing interest from at least one local processor that he declined to name.

Williams said he'd like to start with four or five inmates, who would go through a thorough vetting and selection process. They'd work at plants and live at bunkhouses under strict rules and electronic surveillance.

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

 

Trident Seafoods will pay $297,000 in a settlement with the federal government for Clean Water Act violations at plants in Sand Point and Wrangell.

In both locations, the fines are the result of Trident discharging more fish waste than they were legally allowed to.

Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Bill Dunbar says in Sand Point, Trident will remove nearly 3.5 acres of waste from the seafloor near their plant.