Circle Seafoods (Aberdeen, WA)

500 N. Custer Street, Aberdeen, WA 98520

Circle Seafoods (“Circle”) is revitalizing Alaska’s wild salmon industry – one of the most healthy, sustainable natural resources in the world – by simplifying and streamlining the cold chain.  Consumers want premium wild salmon year-round at farmed salmon quality and consistency but can’t get it due to a cold chain that hasn’t changed since the early1900s. Wild salmon today is low quality, inconsistent, and only available a few months per year.  Circle is solving this by building and operating mobile, cost-effective, ultra-low temperature fish freezing and cold storage facilities on the water. This results in higher-quality wild salmon produced at a lower cost (-65%), a lower carbon footprint (-50%) and wild salmon supply that is available year-round.

In December of 2023, in partnership with Hampton Roads Ventures, Alaska Growth Capital, CEI Capital Management, and US Bank, Crescent closed on a $23.0M Federal NMTC financing to construct a cold storage facility and a salmon processing facility on top of a barge.  Wild salmon will be purchased and frozen on the barge in Bristol Bay, Alaska and SE Alaska from June to September.  The salmon will then be processed on the barge from September to June in Aberdeen, Washington.

Circle’s model can bring substantial benefit to Alaskan communities by providing year-round processing jobs. The state has supported significant investments in processing throughout Bristol Bay and along Alaska’s west coast. Outside of the salmon fishing season, land-based plants are either shuttered or underutilized because of lack of access to salmon. Circle’s ability to preserve fish quickly during the season and then provide access to supply year-round maximizes these existing investments and offers compelling year-round employment opportunities for the members of these communities.

The mobile infrastructure and business model create additional revenue for Alaskans and their communities through four primary channels:

  • Increased income for all fishers, tied to quality,
  • Increased year-round employment opportunities in economically distressed and rural communities in Alaska,
  • Increased tax revenue
  • Direct fisher education on quality and thus income enhancing practices.

Assuming 20% of Circle’s total supply stays in Alaska for processing, Circle will generate 120 full-time jobs in 2024, 400 full-time jobs in 2025, 840 full-time jobs in 2026, and 1,120 full-time jobs in 2027. Circle estimates that 134 direct jobs and 113 indirect and induced jobs will be created in Aberdeen, WA as a result of the project. Fishers will receive a pay increase, and the project will especially benefit the historically-disadvantaged native populations.

Circle will work with local institutions to train its labor force and in doing so, enable low skilled workers to access higher wage employment opportunities, whether with Circle or elsewhere in the community. Circle will partner with Grays Harbor Technical and to implement and support programs that prepare enrollees to fill high wage and technical jobs (e.g. fabrication, accounting, welding & construction).