November 28, 2003
The investigation began when the Valdez Star ran a story on a Nautilus Foods' local salmon smoking operation. DEC officials confirmed that Waterer had no permit, had not submitted plans for the operation, and an inspection disclosed processing violations. Waterer offered several explanations for the violation; however, Valdez District Court Judge Joel Bolger found the explanations "disingenuous" and imposed the fine to deter other seafood processors who might be tempted to break the law.
"It's important to enforce seafood regulations," said Assistant Attorney General Kevin Burke, the prosecutor in the case. "The regulations are there, not only to protect the public's health, but also the reputation of Alaska seafood."
DEC's Environmental Health
Director Kristin Ryan agreed, saying, "The permitting process
establishes a level playing field that ensures all seafood processors
comply with the requirements to provide safe, high quality seafood
to the consumer. An operator that violates this requirement
may compromise the safety and quality of the seafood they process.
One unsafe or poor quality seafood product can have a devastating
impact on the entire Alaska seafood industry."
Source of News Release: