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Drifters association takes issue over 'Battle on the Bay'

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Courtesy Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association
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BBRSDA says new reality TV show not an honest portrayal of Bristol Bay's fishery.

KDLG: The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is taking issue with some aspects of the new reality show set in Bristol Bay’s fishery. Discovery/Animal Planet debuted their program called Battle on the Bay in January. The show chronicles a handful of boats and skippers in the 2014 season.

BBRSDA Executive Director Sue Aspelund says the show is not a fair portrayal of the way most Bristol Bay fishermen work and operate. She also adds that the show might make viewers question the quality of the product coming out of this fishery

"Fisherman, and processors, and others have invested a lot of resources into improving the quality of the catch," says Aspelund. "People might look at the way fish are being handled on the show and think, 'I would never want to eat a Bristol Bay Sockeye."

Aspelund says the show fails to depict the safety measures most fisherman follow and sense of stewardship they have to ensure the long-term health of the salmon runs in Bristol Bay.  

"The way they are depicting the fishery could really harm us economically, and of course it hurts the heart and soul of people who experience the fishery in a completely different way," she says.

The BBRSDA sent a letter to the producers of the show voicing their concerns. The network did respond quickly, saying they will look into the points raised but that their intention with the show was to celebrate the fishermen involved in the industry. 

The BBRSDA’s website has a list of what they say are factual errors and misrepresentations on the TV show.

You can reach Matt Martin at 907-842-2200 or matt@kdlg.org