Trident’s Wrangell plant to stay closed for third year due to poor chum salmon runs

Trident’s Wrangell facility in central southeast Alaska will remain closed for a third year in a row, as poor chum salmon runs continue to hamper the region’s seafood industry.

Wrangell described the shutdown of the facility as an economic disaster in 2020, having seen in cause a 27% fall in seafood processing jobs within the local community.

According to officials in the region, Trident Seafood has expressed interest in reopening the plant at some point in the future but hasn’t formally announced a date for operation to recommence.

A preliminary forecast for the area this year has predicted a northern Southeast chum return of between one and three million fish. While that’s higher than recent years, it’s around a million fish lower than the average. In the southern southeast, the regional association is predicting a return of around 2 million chum salmon in summer.

On the company’s website. Trident Seafoods states that the Wrangell facility was capable of handling up to 750,000 pounds of raw fish per day, employing as many as 250 workers during the peak summer season. The plant ships fresh fish and produces frozen H&G product, servicing a fleet of independent purse seine and gillnet vessels fishing wild Alaska salmon.

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