Trident Seafood Plant in Akutan to move to Unalaska

This facility in Aukutan was our biggest load port when I worked on the Aleutian Freighter. Called there almost every trip. Processing plant is moving to Captains Bay on Unalaksa.

The Akutan plant is Akutan’s only source of income. The village is quite small. Maybe 100 persons. The rest of the population are cannery workers who are flown in. About as remote a spot as you can imagine.

A major port for Aleutian freighters before the plant was built. Processing boats, some of them ex-Knot ships, would anchor in the harbor because it was the least-worst harbor near the crabbing grounds. When the plant came in so did containers, so it became less of a stop.

The place bred nerveless mariners. Lots of skippers learned the art of landing a single screw boat with no thruster in 60 knot winds on an another ship wildly swinging at anchor. The DeepSea/TNT barge was worst.

Flub that landing and you were likely to run aground at the whaling plant, close to leeward. You had to keep up enough speed on your approach not to be blown ashore by 60 knot williwaws, but then suddenly take all way off when you were alongside. Then the deckhands on either side would battle to get the mooring lines across fast enough before the wind separated the vessels.

If they failed you had to cast off instantly and gun ahead full throttle before the wind blew you onto the point. Then circle round and try it again.

Dragging your anchor as you made the landing could help. But when you later raised the anchor it would likely be balled up with derelict crab pots some poor slob would need to torch-off later. So skippers just got really, really good at making landings on moving targets in cross winds. Nobody thought of not making landings because of storm force winds.


How well I recall dayboat fishing out of Akutan in the late 80’s /early 90’s and landing alongside an anchored processing barge every night to take out fish.

A couple years ago, the State built a huge new $$$$$ million boat harbor at the head of the bay; it’s isolated from the Village of Akutan, and the Trident plant. It has not seen much use.

At least that is not as stupid and expensive as the new airport they built on nearby Akun Island which they tried to serve from Akutan with a hovercraft. The hovercraft is long gone, but I don’t know what became of the airport.

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Google Earth shows nothing but tundra at the site called the Akun airport. That is really strange because there are plenty of nice photos of a modern, one owner, very low mileage bit of asphalt and expensive buildings. I wonder if the State paid Google to hide it out of shame. It looks like the only sign of human visitation on the satellite view is the old burnt out wreck of the Aoyagi Maru.