- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A community fishing association from Western Alaska has turned a former beer distribution center in Washington into a fish processing plant.

The Aleutians Pribilof Islands Community Development Association will use the plant to add more value to seafood than it can in its plants in Atka and False Pass, such as packaging and labeling. The plant will also help expand market share in Cannon Fish Co., a company it acquired last year, according to the Alaska Dispatch News (http://bit.ly/1HJR58z).

The new plant, located on a railroad spur hallway between Seattle and Tacoma, cost about $3 million to build and equip and is large enough to process seafood from other sources as well, said CEO Larry Cotter.

While the Alaska plants can do basic processing such as removing heads and guts and churning out filets, the Washington location will be able to skin, debone and cut products into smaller servings, then package, label and send it to customers.

“What this does is eliminate the need for other people to process for us,” Cotter said in an interview Tuesday. “With our own facility we have control over costs, quality and timing.”

APICDA harvests and processes pollock, Pacific cod, halibut, sablefish, salmon and crab, among other species.

APICDA is one of six such organizations in Western Alaska. They were set up in the early 1990s to enable smaller communities to fish on a commercial level. It has a social responsibility under federal law to combat poverty and promote economic growth in its member communities through investments.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com

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