Seafood company agrees to clean up mess that caused Alaska 'dead zone'

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 28 at 5:41 PM

SEATTLE -- Seafood processors did it the same way for decades. They cleaned the catch and dumped the leftovers into the sea.

In the case of Seattle-based Trident, a massive wasteland of fish guts about 50 acres or more accumulated on the sea floor near one of its Alaska plants. The result was a dead zone.

On Wednesday, Trident agreed to a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency to not only end that practice, but to clean up the mess.

Trident will pay $2.5 million now and invest between $30 million and $40 million over time to clean it up.

Trident spokesman Joe Plesha said the company will now keep and process that waste in fish oils and other valuable commodities it can market around the world.

EPA officials said the agreement marks the end of years of negotiations one of the industry's most destructive practices.

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