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Photo gallery: Take a tour of Pacific Seafood's newest processing facility

Pacific Seafood's 78,000-square-foot processing plant in Warrenton, Oregon, reopened in 2018 after several years of sitting dormant because of a fire.

Company profile: Pacific Seafood

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On a recent Sunday in June, a privately-owned fishing vessel with the capacity to hold around 280,000 pounds of whiting, was unloading around 50,000 pounds of the fish per hour at Pacific Seafood's new 78,000-square-foot processing plant in Warrenton, Oregon

The facility, which re-opened last year after a fire led to its closure in 2013, processes whiting as fresh and frozen fillets, headed and gutted (H&G), as well as groundfish and Dungeness crab.

It includes 40 fillet stations, two skinning machines and a vacuum packer. Behind the processing stations are the company's cold storages and freezers can keep products between 20 and minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

An advanced tracking system

Pacific Seafood's in-house automated production control (APC) tracking system allows the company to track fish from dock to delivery with an integrated labeling and fish ticket function.

"If a customer had a question on a fish they bought at the store, we can track it back to the day it was made, we can track it to the filleter that filleted it, we can track it back to the boat it came off of, and we can track it back to the area in the ocean where the boat caught that fish," John King, a general manager for the company, told IntraFish.

The company's quality control data is also entered into the APC, he said.

Efficiently dealing with waste

The plant also includes several mechanisms to ensure there is as little waste as possible.

Nearly 100 percent of the Warrenton facility's fish by product is processed into fish bone meal, and fish oil, which is then used in pet food, fertilizers, aquaculture feed, and more.

"We will make mince out of fillets that aren't making fillet-grade," King said, noting the minced raw material can be used for products such as fish sticks. "Everything else will go into our freezer tunnel and come out the other side as a frozen fillet ready for packaging."

Any whiting that cannot be used for fillets or mince can still be turned into fishmeal at the company's nearby bio products plant.

"It's about getting everything off of the fish that's usable, so you have the least amount of waste possible," he said.

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