Alaska seafood worker Benny Daquilanea, 73, described by the Kodiak Daily Mirror as a “pillar of Kodiak’s seafood processing industry and the Filipino community” died from complications related to COVID-19, on Dec. 18.
Daquilanea first came to Kodiak in 1966. He worked at Alaska Pacific Seafoods since 1985. Daquilanea worked as the head production supervisor at Alaska Pacific Seafoods. “His immense competence and that fabulous smile helped hundreds of Kodiak fishermen and processing workers make a living and helped to feed the world,” the Kodiak Maritime Museum posted on Facebook about his passing, with hundreds of commenters offering condolences.
Earlier this month Chris Barrows, president of Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA), sent a letter to the state of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, asking the state recognize “workers’ contributions to the nation’s food supply and the fact that these workers are at substantially higher risk of exposure due to the nature of the congregate work environment,” in its distribution of Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines to Alaska.
The vaccine for the virus is currently in short supply across the state, with hospital-based frontline health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, emergency personnel, community health aides and people performing vaccinations currently eligible to receive it, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
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