The Suquamish Tribe has constructed a new seafood plant to increase the variety of products offered to consumers.

“With the new plant, we have the ability to deliver fresh clams, crab and salmon to our commercial customers,” said Suquamish Seafoods general manager Tony Forsman. “We also plan to develop our product lines further, making them available directly to the consumer.”

The new 16,000-square-foot building includes a flash freezer with a holding capacity up to 28,000 lbs. of Dungeness crab.

 Suquamish Seafoods' new offices and processing plant.

A new pump system will bring in salt water from Agate Pass, so the facility will have the ability to hold live seafood for retail sale.

The warehouse’s open floor plan allows for salmon and geoduck to be processed and packed more efficiently.

“Our business plans say that oysters and clams are going to be the backbone of our seafood business,” Forsman said. “We’re going to move forward in that direction. Salmon runs are declining and we need to do what we can with what little we have.”

“This very much is a dream come true for Suquamish Tribe,” he said. “We’ve wanted a state of the art facility for some time now. It is the future of the tribe’s business and marketing endeavors.”

Not everyone wants to work in the casino or hotel, he said, and he’s been working with the youth next door at Chief Kitsap Academy to explore career options that give back to the tribe.

“We’ve had a few kids working here, as well as doing internships,” he said. “For me, it’s one of the most rewarding parts of this job.”