Capital Seafood Co., a distributor at the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market in Jessup, has filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code.
The business, which is still operating, listed assets of $3.9 million and liabilities of $5.7 million in its Dec. 9 filing in Baltimore. Capital is one of two dealers in the state-owned market that regularly opens for retail business, trading under the name Purity Seafood.
Capital's largest creditor is NationsBank in Bethesda, which is owed $4 million, according to the seafood company's court filing. Among its other creditors are fellow seafood dealers at the market, including Southern Seafood Co. and Reliant Fish Co.
Scott Taylor, Capital's president, declined to comment on the filing.
David Michalov, purchasing agent and chef at Spike & Charlie's restaurant in Baltimore, said Capital has been known as the largest dealer in lobsters at the Jessup market. The company's offerings of different varieties of fish is more limited than some of its competitors, he said.
Robert Milhauser, president of Southern Seafood, said small seafood distributors in Jessup have been hurt by a combination of high rents and competition from large distributors.
"Most small distributors are in trouble, and I categorize most of the companies in this market as small distributors," he said.
Mr. Milhauser said he was not overly concerned about the $12,909 that Capital owes his company, largely the result of the inter-dealing of merchandise that is common at the market.
"We have faith that he'll get things straightened out," he said.