Bristol Bay fishermen up in arms over lower salmon prices

Commercial fishermen in the Bristol Bay region speak out against lowered prices of sockeye salmon.
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 8:30 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Commercial fishermen in the Bristol Bay region are voicing their displeasure against recent prices of sockeye salmon.

According to fisherman Cheyne Blough, the price of sockeye salmon hovered around $1.20-$1.50 per pound, but as of recently, the price dropped to 50 cents.

“We all expected less than last year. But we had no clue it was gonna be basically kind of bankruptcy prices,” Blough said.

Since then, Blough along with several other commercial fishermen have set up a protest that will happen on Thursday, where fishermen will line up their boats in front of the Naknek River, in protest of the lowered prices.

“One of the most common comments that I’ve heard recently in the last couple of days: ‘Had I known the price was going to be this, I wouldn’t even come and lost money.’ And that’s part of the big issue I think amongst the fleet. We keep fishing year after year after year — have no clue what we’re gonna get,” Blough said.

Blough said the call to protest was posted on Facebook, and that this is not an organized protest, but that anyone in the fleet who decides to show up can do so.

Peter Pan Seafoods, Silver Bay Seafoods, and Leader Creek Fisheries did not respond to a request for comment. OBI Seafoods and Pacific Seafood Processors Association responded, saying they do not comment publicly on prices, and Trident Seafoods declined to comment.