Many companies operate the waters along the Western Seaboard. These companies are responsible for a significant portion of the United States’ supply of fresh fish, including tuna, crab, and lobster.

These companies operate on the water, catching fresh produce, and on land, processing incoming produce. In the following article, we’ll review some of the largest companies in California, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State.

Fishing Company Injury Lawyers

The companies that employ maritime workers are known for underpaying and refusing to provide coverage for injured workers. Working for a fishing company can result in serious injuries, and companies are generally expected to protect their workers.

If you or a loved one have been injured or died working for a fishing company, you may be entitled to compensation. It takes an experienced maritime lawyer to protect your rights and provide you with the compensation you deserve.

BoatLaw, LLP (formerly Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP) has decades of experience helping workers and family members receive compensation.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation.

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Major Players

Some of the biggest players on the West Coast include:

Trident Seafoods – Headquartered in Seattle, Trident is one of the largest seafood companies in the U.S., operating numerous fishing vessels and processing plants, primarily in Alaska but also along the West Coast. Trident employs over 9,000 fishers, mechanics, food processors, and other maritime workers.

Pacific Seafoods – Based in Clackamas, Oregon, Pacific Seafood is a major player in the seafood industry, offering a wide range of seafood products sourced from both wild-caught and farm-raised fisheries along the West Coast and beyond. Pacific Seafoods employs 3,000 workers across 41 facilities in 11 states.

American Seafoods – Also headquartered in Seattle, American Seafoods operates a fleet of catcher-processor vessels primarily focused on harvesting pollock, Pacific whiting, and other groundfish species. American Seafoods employs approximately 600 workers.

Icicle Seafoods – Icicle Seafoods, LLC is a seafood processing and distribution company based in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1965, it operates a fleet of fishing vessels and shore-based processing facilities in Alaska. The company processes a variety of seafood products, including salmon, pollock, crab, halibut, and cod, and distributes them worldwide. Icicle Seafoods is known for its commitment to sustainable fishing practices and maintaining high standards of quality and environmental responsibility. In recent years, it has undergone ownership changes and continues to be a significant player in the seafood industry.

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Legal Battles

Maritime work is dangerous, especially in the North Sea. Many fishermen come home with life-long back and brain injuries, and some don’t come home at all. Other workers, employed in maritime work doing dock work, or processing fish portside, may also face the threat of injury due to poor working conditions, stress-related injuries, the weather, or even the fish themselves.

In addition, some companies have settled or litigated cases of overwork, underpaying, and other pay-related issues.

Fox v. Trident

In 2022, Trident Seafoods was sued for discrimination against a chief engineer (Fox v. Trident Seafoods Corporation). The case alleges that Trident Seafoods unlawfully discriminated against a new hire, Jim Fox, who had 25 years of experience. Fox was fired almost immediately after boarding because he was missing 3 fingers. The case notes that Fox has been able to conduct his work without the fingers. Fox v. Trident Seafoods was settled in March 2023 for an undisclosed sum.

EEOC v. American Seafoods

In 1999, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued American Seafoods, Inc. on behalf of 18 Vietnamese boat workers, alleging that American Seafoods violated the Jones Act and other fair work acts by creating a hostile work environment for crew members, denied training and promotional opportunities, and subjected crew members to undesirable living conditions (housing, meals, and medical treatment), among other accusations.

The lawsuit was settled for $1.25 million, which was awarded to the 18 members of the class.

American Seafoods Settlement

In 2024, American Seafoods agreed to pay $9.5 million in fines for using a 100-foot track created explicitly to undermine and avoid the Jones Act, a key piece of legislation created to protect maritime workers. The suit alleged that American Seafoods created a 100-foot railroad track across the Canada-US border to circumvent the Jones Act.

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Types of Employees

The seafood industry employs many different types of workers, in different roles. We’ll go over some of the more prominent positions that may expect protection under the Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Deckhands are responsible for the general maintenance and operation of the vessel. Their duties include handling fishing gear, assisting with hauling in the catch and performing cleaning and maintenance tasks. They work under the supervision of the captain and mate.

Fishermen (or fishers) are directly involved in catching fish and other seafood. They operate various types of fishing equipment and may specialize in different types of fishing, such as trawling, longlining, or pot fishing. Their role is physically demanding and often requires working long hours in challenging conditions.

Captains are in charge of the vessel and its crew. They are responsible for navigation, ensuring the safety of the vessel and crew, and managing the fishing operations. Captains must have extensive knowledge of maritime laws, weather conditions, and navigation techniques.

Fish Processors
Fish processors work in processing plants or on processing vessels. They handle the cleaning, filleting, packaging, and freezing of seafood. This role requires attention to detail to ensure that the seafood meets quality and safety standards.

Quality Control Inspectors
Quality control inspectors ensure that the seafood products meet regulatory and company standards. They inspect the catch for size, quality, and compliance with regulations. They also monitor the processing and packaging operations to ensure sanitary conditions and product consistency.

Maintenance Technicians
Maintenance technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing the vessel’s mechanical and electronic systems. This includes engines, refrigeration units, and navigation equipment. They ensure that all equipment is functioning properly to avoid disruptions during fishing operations.

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Hire a Maritime Worker Personal Injury Attorney

A maritime injury lawyer helps individuals who get hurt at or by companies such as Icicle Seafoods. They understand the unique federal maritime laws that protect these workers, such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The lawyer fights for the injured person’s rights to make sure they get money for medical bills, lost wages, and pain suffered because of the injury. They guide their clients through legal steps, negotiate with companies or insurance firms, and represent them in court if needed.

By negotiating with the company or representing the victim in court, we work tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome for their client.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation.

We litigate maritime cases across the country from our offices in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. We handle cases that occur in the Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Coos Bay, The Columbia River, Grays Harbor, Port Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Dutch Harbor, and the Gulf of Alaska.

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