Keyport takes on tanner crab quota stranded by closure of Peter Pan’s King Cove, Alaska facility

An aerial view of King Cove, Alaska.

Keyport LLC has agreed to take on tanner crab quota left stranded following the closure of Peter Pan Seafood’s processing facility in King Cove, Alaska, U.S.A.

Alaska’s crab rationalization program requires 90 percent of fishing quotas be matched to qualified facilities with affiliated processing quotas, with fishermen obligated to deliver their catch to processors holding the corresponding quota. The abrupt closing of the Peter Pan facility left fishermen in the Western Bering Sea tanner crab fishery and the Eastern Bering Sea tanner crab fishery “stranded,” according to Keyport LLC CEO Mark Pedersen.

"We were eager to assist the fishermen and appreciate Peter Pan's cooperation in allowing us to assume management of the processing quota for the remainder of the season,” Pedersen said. “The last few years have been challenging for crab harvesters and, with livelihoods at stake, we are glad to be able to help the industry adapt and to find an approach that supports the stewardship of the fishery, fleet, and coastal communities.”

King Cove is located 600 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. Keyport, headquartered in Edmonds, Washington, U.S.A. is a processor and supplier of wholesale wild-caught crab and frozen seafood, including Alaska red king crab, golden king crab, and bairdi crab.

Keyport COO Kurt Pedersen said Keyport’s move to take over the quota to sends “sends a lifeline to the Alaska crab fisheries and brings a stabilizing force to an industry amid turbulence.”

“We are very committed to supporting the whole supply chain of Alaska crab from the fleet to the consumer and are pleased to be able to move quickly to bridge the gap left by the King Cove closure,” he said.

On 21 January, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded a USD 888,789 (EUR 820,792) grant to the city of King Cove, Alaska, to pay for a new mobile boat hoise, which it said was a critical infrastructure improvement for the local fishing industry. The investment will be matched dollar for dollar with local funding.

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities implement their plans to provide the vital infrastructure that businesses need to be successful,” U.S. Assistant Commerce Secretary for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo said in a press release. “This EDA investment will provide for the procurement, delivery, and assembly of the new boat hoist, providing the local fishing industry with the infrastructure that their businesses need to grow and thrive.”

The EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth, backing federal economic policy set the federal government.

“This cooperation is a prime example of Alaskans’ cooperative spirit and commitment,” U.S. Representative Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) said. “I am convinced that together, we will preserve and enhance our time-honored fishing tradition, benefiting the current generation and many more to come.”

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Photo courtesy of Aleutians East Borough Alaska


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