Alaska Processing Jobs
Working Outside at a Seafood Processing Plant
Beach crew (dock crew) This crew greets the incoming boats and helps the boat crew unload their holding tanks. Sometimes a large "fish vacuum" is used to withdraw fish.
Ice and bait: Some plants supply tender boats (which often work for the plant) and other fishing vessels with ice, bait, and other things like soda pop, groceries, and other necessities. Ice and bait are sometimes supplied free of charge to vessels.
Inside Work at an Alaska Processing Plant
Britestacks: After cooling, cans are sent via conveyor belt to a warehouse area where a machine, generally a big magnet, palletizes them. Several employees work in this noisy environment. One operates the machine, making sure cans end up in the holding area right-side up, while another employee assists. Two other people stack and move the filled pallets.
Night clean up: Many plants operate on a 24-hour schedule. Workers process fish during the day, and in the evening they thoroughly clean the plant. The crew spends a lot of time hosing down bins and slime lines, cleaning machinery, and doing other tasks to reduce the risk of fish contamination.
Forklift driver: This is a rather specialized position. Pallets, boxes, and heavy ice-filled bins need to be moved by a fork lift. Usually only the most experienced employees can hope to get this job.
Truck loading: This is considered to be a warehouse position. Boxes and crates are loaded into trucks and vans which take them to container ships or the airport for shipment.
Office staff : Positions in the office may include reception, accounting, payroll, filing, and order processing. Office staff also put in long hours, and these positions are usually filled by local residents or returning employees.
Egg House Jobs
Canneries and fresh frozen plants make additional profits from the sale of salmon roe (eggs), usually to Japanese or other foreign-owned companies. In many Asian countries, salmon roe and caviar are in high demand. On the grounds of almost every plant, you will find what is often referred to as the "egg house," where the careful processing of salmon roe takes place.
Working in the egg room is less hectic than working on your average slime line. There's often less noise, little in the way of fish guts, and it's a bit drier. The work is quite monotonous, though.