Great Pacific Seafoods, which reportedly had hundreds of Alaskan employees at three processing plants, has ceased operations.
Great Pacific Seafoods, a Seattle company with three processing plants in Alaska, has ceased operations and will liquidate under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code.
In a statement Sunday, company President Daniel DeMatteis said, “This was a very difficult decision, but we believe we have no other choice given the financial performance we experienced last year.”
Alaska Dispatch News said the company had “hundreds of workers in Alaska” at its plants in Kenai, Whittier and Anchorage, processing salmon from the Copper River, Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet, as well as cod from the Gulf of Alaska.
Bankruptcy papers filed Sunday show Great Pacific’s revenues fell from $26.5 million in 2014 to $21.2 million last year. The filing lists assets of $12.4 million and liabilities of $12.3 million.
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The company’s statement attributed its financial difficulties to “a significant drop in the price of roe due to the Russian embargo and the combination of the Japanese yen’s valuation and Japanese demand.”
DeMatteis also said the company’s costs rose “due to the increase in the minimum wage and the elimination of the J-1 program,” a federal visa program that until recently allowed foreign students to work temporary jobs at Alaska’s fish-processing companies.
Alaskans voted in 2014 to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.75 an hour to $8.75 in 2015 and $9.75 this year.
The deteriorating finances led Great Pacific’s major lender to end its line of credit, leaving the company without money to begin the fishing season, DeMatteis’ statement said.