Saturday, April 4, 2020

Virus cited as factor in assault aboard trawler

Federal prosecutors have charged a crewman aboard the Bering Sea factory trawler Seafreeze America with assault.

United States Seafoods posted this statement on its website:

United States Seafoods (USS) is disappointed by the assault that took place on board our vessel, the SEAFREEZE AMERICA, on March 23rd. Fishing on the Bering Sea is a challenging and fast paced profession and our boats house diverse crew members from all walks of life. Conflict can and does arise on occasion, but we at USS take safety and non-violent conflict resolution seriously.

While we know that the authorities are doing their part, we want to do our part in addressing some misinformation regarding this incident. It is our understanding that the crewmembers involved had conflicts prior to the COVID-19 health crisis and that the conflict resulting in charges did not have its roots in COVID-19 prevention protocols. We know that COVID-19 is at the top of everyone’s mind now and there is understandably a lot of uncertainty and worry about what happens next. Rest assured that at USS, the health and safety of our crew and of Alaska communities are our number one priority. We do not have all the answers, but we are agile and making changes every day to our operations to follow the recommendations of the CDC, WHO, and the State of Alaska.

We know that someday we will all be on the other side of this crisis. Until then, Alaska seafood will continue to be an essential need of people all over the world. We are here and prepared to put on our Xtratufs and Grundens — and now our face masks and gloves — to ensure that need continues to be met.