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Yaquina Bay bridge and docks. (Photo Credit: Visitor7/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Pacific Seafood faces lawsuit for 'illegal tactics'

  (UNITED STATES, 10/30/2015)

Giant seafood firm Pacific Seafood is to face a new legal claim after being accused of trying to ruin a small company that buys its crabs from independent fishermen.

The claimant -- Seawater Seafoods Company -- states that it is victim of Pacific Seafood's attempt to maintain its stranglehold on West Coast fisheries and demands USD 930,000 for interference and trespass, the Courthouse News Service reported.

This small company, owned by Bret Hamrick and Front St. Marine, argues that Pacific Seafood, which is located next to the spot it leases on the Yaquina Bay dock, is trying to force it out of business by parking a derelict skiff at a spot on the dock that it knew would obstruct Seawater's ability to receive live crabs from independent fishermen.

According to the complaint, the presence of the skiff forced fishermen to offload their catches half a mile further away from Seawater's processing building, often resulting in the loss of business from fishermen who didn't want to deal with that hassle.

The lawsuit states that Pacific Seafoods installed a camera on the skiff to record every purchase Seawater made from independent fishermen, which Seawater claims that once intimidated by the camera, many fishermen refused to deliver live crab to Seawater's facility.

Sector analysts recall this is not the first time that Pacific Seafood has faced such claims as in 2012, it settled an antitrust class action filed in Federal Court by a group of commercial fishermen with a deal that promised Pacific Seafood would undertake a series of "pro-competitive" actions, including abandoning its marketing agreement with Ocean Gold Seafoods.

In addition, the same lead plaintiffs sued again in Federal Court, this time to block Pacific Seafood's plan to buy a controlling stake in Ocean Gold.

In the current lawsuit the seafood giant has also been accused of letting ammonia gas leak though the shared wall between its building and plaintiff's building. The gas killed 2,500 pounds of live crab and bleached them all white.

Furthermore, Pacific Seafood has been claimed to have placed dumpsters and totes in spots on the sidewalk that it knew would disrupt Seawater's ability to prepare for the upcoming crab season, set to begin on 1 December.

Apart from the sum of money, Seawater demands an injunction ordering Pacific Seafood to abandon "illegal tactics designed only to destroy plaintiff Seawater Seafoods and the sole business of its owner, plaintiff Bret Hamrick."

In its defense, Pacific Seafood filed an opposition motion Wednesday, claiming the dispute was little more than a turf war.

In its motion, Pacific said it is using every inch of its docks and accused Seawater of letting its boats drift into Pacific's docking area.

Related article:

- Pacific Seafood faces another anti-trust lawsuit

 
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Information of the company:
Address: 16797 Southeast 130th Avenue - PO Box 97
City: Clackamas
State/ZIP: Oregon (97015)
Country: United States
Phone: +1 503 905 4500
Fax: +1 503 905 4243
E-Mail: [email protected]
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