A recent study by the McKinley Research Group estimates that Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon industry generated $2 billion in economic benefit and an average of 15,000 jobs in 2019. The 57-page study was published in February by “Bristol Bay Defense Fund,” a coalition of regional Tribes, businesses and conservation groups that support permanent federal protections at the region's headwaters.
The state has forecasted a jump in commercial salmon harvests across most species this summer. Once again, Bristol Bay is projected to see a huge influx of sockeye. But there are still concerns about king salmon runs.
Participation from the gillnet fleet has been low in recent years. This spring, Fish and Game will open the area from Kulukak Bay to Right Hand Point to gillnetters first, as usual. But if there are none, it will open fishing to seiners.
The 233-foot Aleutian Falcon caught fire shortly before midnight Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard. It was one of two floating processors Trident operates during the herring and salmon seasons in Alaska.
One of the largest seafood companies in the world has sold Peter Pan Seafoods to three buyers. The sale comes after years of struggle for the seafood processor, which has a big footprint in Alaska. But the new owners are optimistic.
It was another huge year for Bristol Bay's fishery. KDLG's coverage ranged from how the pandemic affected the season and fishermen's reactions to prices to the lowest run on record in the Chignik River.
Heading into the 2020 fishing season, many people were concerned that seafood workers from out of state would bring COVID-19 to rural communities. Processing companies managed to keep the disease under control — but at a big cost. Now, economists are looking at that financial toll.
Chignik’s early run of sockeye this year is the lowest on record, and it failed to meet its lower-end escapement goal for the third year in a row. With commercial fishing at a standstill, the community is struggling to make ends meet.