The community of False Pass has been occupied by full-time residents since the early 1900s. False Pass is an early English name for the Isanotski Strait. The strait was called False Pass by early American sailing ship captains because it was thought to be impassable. Commercial salmon fishing and fishing services drive the local economy and it is an important refueling stop for Bristol Bay and Bering Sea fishing fleets. The community has had a long-standing history with fish processing dating back to 1917 with Peter Pan Seafoods known then as P.E. Harris Co.
In carrying out our mission under the CDQ program to help build sustainable and diversified local economies in Western Alaska, APICDA invested significant resources over the period of a decade developing and operating shoreside processing and support infrastructure in the community of False Pass. The dedication and vision of our community, board and staff over this period culminated in substantial new private investment and unprecedented economic growth in 2018.
After seeding initial investments to develop a processing and fuel facility from the ground up, APICDA helped put False Pass on the map as a strategic location for salmon processing in the region, attracting two new seafood companies to the community and over 100 million dollars in private investments in 2018. This interest allowed APICDA to enter into a partnership to transfer a majority ownership of Bering Pacific Seafoods (now False Pass Seafoods) to Trident Seafoods, a world leader in the industry and community-focused operator in rural Alaska. Under Trident’s new management, the plant more than tripled its capacity, increasing its daily production of 250,000 lbs. per day to almost 1 million lbs. per day. At the same time, Silver Bay Seafoods started construction of a new plant, that is now operating with a daily capacity of over 1 million lbs. per day with intentions to process year-round and expand to whitefish production.
This increased activity occurring in False Pass has resulted in meaningful benefits for the community in the form of additional employment opportunities, improved support for local harvesters and substantial increases in tax revenue and indirect revenue flow to local businesses.
After many years of building up and managing the plant and support facilities in False Pass, transferring operations to a strong industry leader has allowed APICDA to redirect more focus and resources on the development of new programs to further benefit our communities and address priority needs. We are very proud of the role that the community, APICDA, the CDQ program and our industry partners have played in growing False Pass’ fisheries economy.