The American Seafoods Group (ASG) announced on July 19 that additional crew members of the American Triumph fish catching, processing and freezer trawler tested positive for Covid-19 last week at Unalaska’s Dutch Harbor. The Seattle, Washington-headquartered company screened the entire 119-person crew after six persons reported symptoms of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection that proved positive. In total, there are 79 newly positive crew members.
“We will relocate the crew to Anchorage to isolate and quarantine,” said American Seafoods CEO Mikel Durham. “We will support the crew members however we can, providing quarantine facilities daily meals, and accessible onsite medical care. We will sanitize the vessel during this time.”
The 285-foot (87-meter) American Triumph has been at sea since June 27, when it embarked for the Bering Sea to fish for Alaska Pollock. All crew members were quarantined for a minimum of 14 days and passed public health protocols prior to boarding the vessel before setting sail.
“We are moving expeditiously to relocate our crew and get them the care they need,” said Durham. “I want to thank the Illiuliuk Family and Health Services, the City of Unalaska Unified Command, and the public health and critical infrastructure professionals in Alaska who provided us with support and clear guidance.”
The American Triumph is ASG’s most powerful at-sea processor and boasts the largest frozen hold capacity of any of its two-level processing vessels. Registered in both the Pacific Whiting (hake) Conservation Cooperative and the Pollock Conservation Cooperative, it is also employed in the Wild Yellowfin Sole fisheries in Alaska.
This is the second Covid-19 infection event reported by ASG during the past seven weeks. In early June 86 crew members aboard the American Dynasty tested positive for the novel coronavirus during a 15-day fishing trip for hake in North Pacific waters. Prior to setting out to sea, all 124 crew were first quarantined for a minimum of five days. They were screened for signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and tested for antibodies and viral infection, according to American Seafoods, which maintains a fleet of six vessels that use leading-edge technology to fish for a variety of species in sustainably managed fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.