Westport, WA – July 12, 2011 – The Ocean Companies, including the independent business units of Ocean Gold, Ocean Cold, Ocean Protein and Ocean Express, is nearing the end of a 12,000 square foot expansion of its cold storage building. The new addition is being built in order to expand the company’s storage capacity, allowing it to explore potential new shrimp processing capabilities for 2012.
“We are always looking at ways to expand our capabilities and compete in the global seafood market,” explained Ocean Gold president, Dennis Rydman. “Shrimp has been a growing opportunity for our local fishing fleets and we want to be able to provide our company and our community with the ability to tap into that growing market.”
The addition of shrimp processing will allow the company to provide more opportunity to its fleet and its workers in the early spring, between the crab and whiting seasons. The company began exploring the addition of shrimp when the trawl groundfish fisheries (both whiting and non-whiting) became rationalized at the start of 2011, giving fishers individual quotas for managing both target species and bycatch.
This new system has caused some fishermen to delay some of their fishing efforts due to concern with bycatch as many individual participants in the fishery feel they do not have enough bycatch quota to successfully fish groundfish year round. The addition of shrimp, allows those fishers with shrimp permits additional opportunities during a time when they may have historically targeted non-whiting groundfish without the same constraints on bycatch.
The shrimp processing will add to Ocean Companies’ current processing capabilities of whiting, sardines and Dungeness crab and is currently scheduled to be operational by April 2012.