Bristol Bay Town Hall meeting online Aug. 3 = markets, future options

Meeting will focus on markets, options for further actions.

by | August 1, 2023

Filed Under Markets | Meetings | Prices | Salmon

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The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) is hosting an online (zoom) Town Hall meeting for Bristol Bay fishermen (S03T and S04T permit holders only) on Thursday, August 3, 2023, from 6-8pm AKT.

This Town Hall meeting will provide fishermen a chance to discuss market conditions, the BBRSDA Price Mediation Petition, and options for future actions. If you are a Bristol Bay permit holder, we strongly encourage you to attend this meeting in order to better understand market dynamics in Bristol Bay, what options fishermen have to improve the situation, and to tell BBRSDA’s Board Members where you’d like to see things go in the future.

The meeting access details are as follows:

Time & Place: August 3, 6-8pm Alaska Time, meeting via Zoom
Weblink: In Access: dial 253-215-8782, Meeting ID: 875 3060 0196

Understandably, Bristol Bay fishermen are angry. They are trying to make sense of the situation and thinking about what can be done.

BBRSDA wants to assure the fleet that it will do whatever it can to support improvements to the Bristol Bay commercial fishery. That is actually one of our statutory purposes. Supporting activities which result in a fair and transparent price is seen by many fishermen as one of the biggest improvements needed in this fishery. There are a lot of things BBRSDA and fishermen can do, if we work together. This is your fishery, your organization, and your money, so how do you want to see it used?

As a first step, BBRSDA has developed a Price Mediation Petition which would allow the State of Alaska to intervene as a price mediator. This should provide more transparency regarding sockeye prices, if enough Bristol Bay fishermen sign it. However, fishermen should understand that while it ought to provide more transparency, the mediation is non-binding and may not result in actually changing prices.

It is important that fishermen engage with BBRSDA in the coming weeks.

Keep an eye on, follow our Facebook page, make sure you’re signed up for our (Waypoints) email list, and attend the August 3rd Town Hall meeting.

In the meantime, we encourage fishermen to read BBRSDA’s 2021 White Paper. Many of the same frustrations and questions arose after the 2020 season (when the base price was $0.70/lb.), and that White Paper is an excellent resource for understanding fishermen’s options.

Some of those options (examined in the White Paper) include:

– Providing financial support for price negotiations
– Developing a fishermen’s cooperative or joint venture company for processing and sales
– Investigating options for passive, downstream investments
– Recruiting new processors to operate in Bristol Bay with a pricing agreement

As always, if you have ideas or comments, you’re encouraged to send those to

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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