About Seafood Producers Cooperative
Founded in 1944, Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC) is the oldest fisher’s co-op in North America—now owned by over 575 small-boat fishers providing wild-caught Alaskan seafood. They were founded to support fisher people in getting the fairest price for their catch and access to processing and packaging. Fish are sustainably harvested one by one through traditional hook-and-line methods and immediately chilled right on the boat. Their commitment to sustainable harvesting practices helps to preserve reliability and consistency of high-quality seafood for years to come.
Catching Up with SPC
Since beginning of the pandemic, Seafood Producers Cooperative has seen some challenges as well as growth. This fishing season had proved to be a difficult time for many fisherpeople in Southeast Alaska with processing plants closures. SPC adopted social distancing practices keep their owners, staff, and vendors healthy. While many seafood processing plants closed due to outbreaks of COVID-19, SPC’s processing plant was able to remain open throughout the season.
With the amount of processing plant closures, many fisherpeople were finding it difficult to get their fish to be sold to market. Caven Pfeiffer, member-owner and fisherman, shared his experience this fishing season. “There were times when SPC this season was the only buyer. The only reason they were buying under the uncertainties of the market was because they cared about the fisherman. And the fishermen that own SPC were saying that ‘we got to keep going.’” Due to the market uncertainty, processing plants and organizations were not purchasing product from fisherpeople. Many found it difficult to find anyone to purchase their catches during the fishing season. SPC agreed to keep their doors open to purchase and process products brought on by the many fishers unable to sell their catch to market, whether they were owners of SPC or not.