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Bornstein Seafoods announces closure of Newport processing plant by May, laying off 50 workers

A small industrial building, with a mural on the second level, and a bridge in the background.
Quinton Smith
Yachats News
Bornstein Seafood is closing its small seafood buying and processing plant on the west end of Bay Boulevard in Newport, laying off 50 workers.

This story was originally published on YachatsNews.com and is used with permission. 

A major seafood processor is permanently closing its plant on the Newport bayfront in May, laying off 50 workers and consolidating its operations in Astoria.

Bornstein Seafoods is also closing its facilities in Bellingham, Washington, resulting in 72 layoffs there.

The company filed layoff notices March 22 with the states of Oregon and Washington. The Newport plant will close by May 21 and the Bellingham plant is to be shuttered by the end of June, the notices said.

The Oregon notice said 40 general laborers, four operation leaders, two quality control workers, two warehouse employees and one administrator would be laid off.

“The Bellingham and Newport facilities are being consolidated into two other facilities we have in Oregon,” company president and chief executive officer Colin Bornstein said in an email to the Bellingham Herald newspaper. “While this decision represents a significant step forward for our company, we are also mindful of its impact on our valued employees. We assure our workforce that we are dedicated to supporting them during this transition period, providing job fair opportunities and access to other resources to assist them in finding alternative employment opportunities. Our commitment to our employees remains unwavering as we navigate this change together.”

Bornstein is consolidating its operations to take advantage of excess capacity it has in Astoria, according to the Herald. It said the company’s Bellingham facility processes halibut, salmon, albacore tuna, Dungeness crab, and groundfish and conducts custom processing, value addition, and smoking.

Bornstein closed its Bellingham groundfish processing operations in 2019, cutting 40 workers, and after taking on a lease for the former Polar Seafood facility in Seward, Alaska, in 2022, it is no longer operating the plant. It also lost its Ilwaco, Wash. facility to a fire in February. It opened a fishmeal processing facility in 2023 in Warrenton as part of a joint venture with Scoular and Da Yang Seafood.

Bornstein Seafoods was founded in Bellingham in 1934 by Myer A. Bornstein, with Jay Bornstein taking over for his father in 1980, according to the company’s website. Jay Bornstein expanded the company’s operations along the West Coast until 2010, when his three sons Kyle, Colin, and Andrew Bornstein assumed leadership of the business.