Alaska commercial fishing news and notes
When I see these 5 nut jobs representing Bristol Bay to the world I pretty much want to throw up in my mouth. Then again, unlike BBRSDA, at least animal planet doesn't confiscate 1% of my season.
"Unfortunately the nut job ratio is a little higher than Ms Aspelund wants to acknowledge.“the lines,” i.e., boundaries where fish enter terminal fishing districts around the Bay. Although they make for dramatic television, the lines comprise a tiny percentage of overall fishing area in the Bay." Tiny percentage of area but not of harvest. On a peak day in the Naknek District or Egegik the Johnson Hill line, South and North Line in Egegik probably comprise 50-70% of harvest. Sure, we all love those days on the west side and those big westerlies in Ugashik but to imply that rolling up your sleeves and battling isn't part of the program shows how out of touch the BBRSDA leadership really is. So Ms Aspelund, next time you are in the Bay, maybe while you're spending my 1% at one of your exclusive tours at a fancy lodge, put down your glass of chardonnay and take a stroll through a boat yard. All of those dents are from years of making a living. You write of your vision of our fishery likes it's some Little House on the Prairie love fest. Unfortunately the TV show is a lot closer to reality than any thing you describe. Just sayin....
I was surprised to see they get $2 per lb. with their poor handling. I did not see anyone bleeding in a live well, though I did see one boat using a slide.I also would like to disagree with the statement to much escapement can not poison a lake. I offer the example of Coghill Lake when fish and game let the whole run go up back in the 80s, It still has not completely recovered.
It sickens me to think this what people get to see of our fishery. Hey according to Animal Planet, ramming people is an everyday thing. So next season lets all ram the hell out of their crappy little production skiff!!
We got a base price of $1.20 a pound last season plus 15 cents for RSW... But those end of the show cash totals wouldn't be as dramatic with that number would it?
You are right, that would not make such a dramatic number in the totals.congrats to you guys in the bay however for taking giant steps forward in the way you take care of fish, and for taxing yourselves to be represented by a marketing association. What we would like to see as consumers is fisherman taking great care of the fish as first owners, and showing us why we should shop for Bristol Sockeye,we would like to see fish, handled with care, bled live and submersed in slush bags
BBRSDA is a useless joke...taxing us for 1% and doing nothing of value with it!!
Come on, they do a lot for the fishermen with our 1% . They pay a fisherman/board member 50 grand a year to write news releases and I just read in their most recent minutes they are going to have a press tour this summer and bring chefs to Bristol Bay because they want to learn more about our fishery. At least they put everyone up at a cheap hotel while they are in the Bay. Crystal Creek lodge is only $1,000 a night. Don't want their aprons to get dirty. gotta go, gonna puke.
If you own a boat too small for a modern RSW system or too lazy to open your wallet there's plenty of value. FREE ICE. If you're a non resident who catches fish you are the bbrsda's piggy bank. I'd bet our price has changed no differently than fisheries without an rsda. Call me crazy, I just think I can spent my money more wisely than they can.
"BBRSDA is a useless Joke.." I don't see it. For 1% they promote the product you catch, have taken, and will continue to take, steps to protect your fishery. They have also, in this instance, made an honest effort to help promote positive public relations. I think hiring a PR firm for 1% is pretty cheap. Think about it. The public is extremely ignorant about our fisheries. There is a bunch of misinformation and wild claims out there. Just Google over fishing sometime. Read the articles that predict all the fish will be gone in a few years. Public perception is key in keeping our industry viable.
As a set netter I only sit in my skiff and laugh. Your drift fishery is a joke. Thank you for the 1% contribution to help me get a better price.
Ok, 11:30 PM, you know you can start a petition to vote out the RSDA don't you? You don't need that many signatures to start the process. You might recall that before the BB-RSDA, our 1% went to ASMI. However, ASMI could not market product from a specific fishery. Wanting more control over our taxes the RSDA was the answer. The RSDA works very hard and they are making a difference. But, if you truly feel there is no value, do something about it.
The ice barge is a joke!....My new refer system paid for itself the first year, and the fish are always cold, verses ice...Try getting a loan from BBRSDA to purchase a refer unit..wont happen. They are promoting stone age methods of chilling fish.And how actually do they promote Bristol Bay fish? or increase price?..This is done by the markets, do you really think there is a new buyer coming to Trident wanting fish as a result of BBRSDA promotion? Are you so naive to think Trident doesn't already know all the buyers? So a chef from Boston visits the Bay, likes the fish, and makes an order for one million pounds? Keep dreaming
Why do I need to pay 1% of my catch to advertise fish for my cannery? That is their job, their part of the equation. They are the ones in charge of marketing.And my cannery does a great job of that And the things they do have brought my bottom line up. I have seen nothing from my RSDA. My cannery started paying us more to ice and bleed our fish. Other canneries followed suit. My cannery started paying us more to slush ice our fish, other canneries followed suit. My cannery started the "First Fish" to Seattle campaign which raised a lot of interest in our fish. My cannery started the first loyalty incentive program and the one that pays the most to this day. My cannery has brought on the changes that have made me more money. The RSDA mimics them at best in some areas. I am n a partnership with my cannery. I catch and sell them quality fish, and they process and market them. I don't need an RSDA to redundantly do the things I trust my cannery to do.
The executive director of the BBRSDA (a former settnetter) is "setting the record straight" on quality. You can't write better comedy than that.
I don't gillnet in The Bay but I do work with gillnetters in Washington, and I don't like most of the skippers they are highlighting, nor do I like the way they are handling the fish. But that's the same reason I don't like the reality crab show, or the reality tuna show, or even the movie of the great book, Perfect Storm. They rarely show what makes fishing a hard business to quit. But I have known a lot of skippers like that over the years, on both gillnetters and seiners. As for the 1%, do the math. Even at $2/#, which you suggest is too high of a price compared to what you actually got, if the work of your association promoting your fish gets you 2 cents more, you got your money back. If they create more markets so that price lasts the whole season, it's a bonus. Their work must be accomplishing that much, so I don't see how you can lose.
Your cannery is blowing smoke up you ass 11:20.My store, sells it.http://www.costco.com/Silver-Lining-Smoked-Sockeye-Salmon-48---6.5-oz-Cans.product.100104040.html
There is a lot of inexperience shown in the comments here, but I've grown used to seeing that in Bristol Bay. I've been fishing the Bay for 32 years, and while there are times I still feel humbled, I hope that I've learned a few truths about our markets. When I started, everything went to Japan - they paid us whatever they wanted to. There were years that I had to take on other jobs just to afford to come back. Now we have an opportunity to have someone market our fish domestically (so that we don't have to buy it back from Japan) and you bitch about the 1% used to fund it? I'm just glad I don't have to spend my summers on your boats! Beam me up Scotty - there's no intelligent life here...
I find it amazing that there are fishers that are complaining about the 1% tax for BBRSDA, when Egegik has a 5% tax, Ugashik has a 5% tax, and Naknek has a 3% tax. With the BBRSDA we have representation, the other taxes are without representation - basically illegal - and you don't see a problem with that? What are we getting for our tax dollars in any of these three rivers? Then we (yes the fishers) vote in an organization that works directly with potential buyers - and you draw the line there? I thought I had seen it all...
I agree with the last two comments wholeheartedly. I had never heard of the Egegik tax, I would hate that
great point 10:48 regarding taxation without representation. And now the Nush is trying again to get the raw fish tax imposed to make it consistent, and what burns me is that they openly argue that the tax is great cause it collects money, but targets only the non-local fisherman's pocket, while they refund the locals who pay land property taxes to the City of Dillingham. go figure..... but, I too don't like the 1% BBRSDA tax.... waste of money IMO. They do work hard, but to what effect? I would rather have my money in my pocket. Start the petition to get the vote to disband the BBRADA..... you will have my signature on it.
Nice attempt at sounding educated. Taxation without representation? Yes, 5th grade history does come in handy on blog sites. The borough is the governing body that represents. Though you might not like it, it's far from illegal. I do agree with you regarding the BB-RSDA. The organization is making a difference and they work very hard. But, justifying one tax by comparing it to another you don't like is just plain sophomoric.
Just grab a hand full of web and start beating it on the deck until the fish comes out.Power roll a nice set then jump on top of the pile.These guys aren't doing your fish quality reputation any good.What part of CAMERAS don't they get ?
This summer will mark my 37th consecutive season in Bristol Bay. I remember when the 1% for ASMI tax went into effect and I also remember all the bitching and whining I heard from fishermen about it. The ASMI tax didn’t please me very much because the fishermen were mostly cut out of the process. The processors had a lot more clout, and ASMI rules specified that seafood marketing had to be generic for all Alaska species. In other words: in ASMI land, Bristol Bay reds were not supposed to receive special recognition even though Bristol Bay’s share of ASMI funding was disproportionately large. After some time, the ASMI tax went away. Did this result in celebrations and cheers all around? Nope. To the best of my recollection, very few fishermen even noticed the tax was gone. On the contrary, the whiners kept bitching as though nothing had changed. I believe they did this because they were too lazy to check their facts and too caught up in the fun of whining. I clearly remember guys moaning, two or three years after the tax had disappeared, “That ASMI tax is such a ripoff!” Since the 1% for the RSDA came in, the entire drift fleet has, for the first time ever, one organization to represent its interests. Unlike at ASMI, the RSDA’s Board is 100% comprised of driftnetters, all of whom have longstanding commitments to the fishery. Although I’m less than enthusiastic about the way the Board has spent the fleet’s money for the past few years, I know that spending priorities can be changed when board majorities shift. I’m hoping this upcoming election will tilt the balance back in the right direction. In the meantime, I’m certain that if the 1% RSDA tax were to disappear few fishermen would notice. The compulsive whiners will keep on whining regardless of the facts; they always have. But I’m also certain many more of us would notice the disappearance of RSDA initiatives that are serving the fleet so well. It would be tragic craziness to lose the one effective voice and presence we have. But isn’t craziness what the compulsive whiners are really all about?
you guys better ck with ur RSDA is u think there is real marketing going on. There certainly should be, but the huge volume of Bay fish has crashed the market and while everyone has put up extra cash to market it and deal with the huge over supplu, the BBRSDA just watches and tells everyone what a great product it is. You should be putting a million a yeat into marketing it! To keep you fishing everyday last year the processors put up triple the 1 lb tall pack and exceded the normal sales pack of halves by over 30% again? The RSDA should be putting everything in the bank towards the marketing of these. Quit caning you say? perfect! just bring cards, checkers and lotsa books to read while your's not fishing or on sever limit!!
BBRADA effectiveness is probably minimal, but at least a positive effort. But, whatever benefit has been realized is offset many times over by the processors rejection of MSC. While we all like to feel that the "Alaska" brand is sufficient to describe quality and sustainability, the truth is that it is not. MSC, on the other hand, has world wide recognition and that equates to market value. The rejection of MSC by the processors, and the loss of value, ultimately will come out of fish price. That reduction in price will be much greater than the 1% tax.
Poster at Feb 12 11:20 PM credits his cannery and trusts their ability to market fish for maximum value. I am guessing you are a Leader Creek boat and you have enjoyed the value Lowrence brought through innovation and forward thinking. But now he is gone and you will find that innovation and forward thinking stall under AGS. From their standpoint, the trouble with innovating and thinking out of the box is that it disturbs their comfortable lifestyle, particularly those with a predominantly canning legacy. So, as the industry consolidates and the small independents drop by the wayside, the price of fish, after adjusting for run strength currency, etc, will grind lower.
The MSC comment is absolutely true and we all have the emminent Joe Bundrant to thank for that one.
Sliver Bay is MSC
The reason you wont see MSC dismissed from the Pollock fishery is that you have a different set of processors, including offshore factory boats. Inshore, you have extensive catcher vessel ownership by processors, or affiliated partners. So damage due to loss of MSC, and it would be a bloodbath, would not be borne by a large independent fleet. It would instead be borne by the processors themselves as they are the factory trawlers and often catcher vessel owners. But in Bristol Bay, the damage from loss of MSC is passed entirely back to the fleet. With the possibility of a big run this year, we need MSC back.
As a consumer of seafood, I love seeing beautiful reds being tossed and thrown around, laying on the deck without ice, and not being bled. Mmm, mmm, good. We put the fishy taste in your fish. New branding program for BB reds, doesn't even cost you a $1 million bucks. Its a free slogan you can trademark. It would be very competitive in the global marketplace. Just as I love chikin that hasn't been refrigerated, bled or handled properly. Or Beeph.Or Laaammmm. As u kin til, ma tastie bubs rn't that speacil. Me luv fishy tasty fish.Screw MSC. Just start up the Caveman Brand - the market is dying for a more fishy tasting product with zero quality controls for temperature, bleeding and handling. Cause at $10 to $20 per pound in the posh retail frozen fresh markets in Amerika, no one really cares about quality.
Obviously the lasts ocomment was in jest. I say with this show you have the chance to show the world a product that is handled so well that the posh markets will want that fish, believe me! That means handle each one with care, hand bleeding in a tote, show how the fish is kept in colds lush water and talk about your interest in quality,Mehta an opportunity thos five boats have to change the low quality perception of Bristol Bay Sockeye. I hope this can be done for the Bay, why do you think Copper River gets such a great price, besides the fact that they are just better tasting fish.
how is it they act like they get $2 a lb. Those 5 boats have a great opportunity to show the world what great care they take of there fish, and how gently they handle everyone, bleeding ina bleed tank, and slush icing, will we see it on the show, not likely just see them jamming fish to the deck never bleeding nor even using ice let alone slush ice. slush ice increases number ones in a big way ,I never saw a bit of ice on the show, sad. Then showing the inflated totals claiming 2 dollars , will come back to bit them when other yahoos buy in and fish next to them in newer bigger boats
Ouch - the sarcasm bites, but rings oh-so-true. We have to get the MSC back, Joe (like his old man) has found a way to pay the fishermen (and women) less. How did processors get the ability to vote on the MSC issue without us? Par for the course, it seems.If we don't address (or continue to address, in many cases) the quality issue, we will be forever relegated to standing on the sidelines while fisheries like Copper River get top dollar. Battle on the Bay" just dug us a hope (perception-wise) that we may never dig ourselves out of.
Hey 11:20! Or should I say "partner?' Can I quote you?"...I am n a partnership with my cannery. I catch and sell them quality fish, and they process and market them. I don't need an RSDA to redundantly do the things I trust my cannery to do.."Since this is a partnership, why don't you switch places with your partner and fill his shoes for a season or two? Then you could then live-the-dream of selling last year's H&G (many of which are 2-4's) at a loss. You too could experience the trauma of having canned sockeye - and lots of them - gathering dust in a warehouse; while working on the narrative of how you'll proceed going into the 2015 Bristol Bay season, knowing that there is a freight train of 40 million salmon steamrolling in your direction. Finally, you could get creative and develop a strategy to finance all of this. By golly, you could be the best partner ever!!
This show really blew it, just like most other reality shows. Not much reality. It could have been educational instead of dramatic and blown out of proportion. They should have at least talked about quality of the fish, instead of showing guys flinging them around. Te thunder has a salmon slide and then the crew is laying on top of the pile of fish. As a Bay fisherman I'm embarrassed by this show and I bet a lot of the real fishermen in the Bay are too. But then, most real fishermen wouldn't want to be one of the boats on a reality show to begin with. They really missed an opportunity to show how nice those fish can look when bled and chilled. They could have at least given a glimpse of that side of it. Makes me feel good about the thousands I spent on my RSW...Instead of the fastest, toughest boat or crew, who's got the fastest, best chiller? $2/lb keep dreaming and this kind of presentation won't help.Going by the poundage these guys supposedly had..I feel pretty good about my production not being a line warrior and not needing to ram anyone or yell and scream.
Right on 3:37, Quality is where its at, and should have been mentioned, also glad you can catch fish without going to the line, anybody can be a line fisherman, takes a good fisherman to find them in the not so obvious places.
At the end of the last episode the guy from the jimmy jeff said "It feels so good to know it's all over" which is just how I feel about this P.O.S. reality show.
Poster at 2/20 950 AM.....think about this for a moment......when the processors established the "going home" price at the conclusion of last Bristol Bay season, they were aware of the existing market level for frozen fish by size and grade. They were also aware of their pack mix by size and grade, and therefore could have established a going home price that guaranteed them a profit on the frozen pack. Now, it so happens that many did not enter into sales contracts for all their pack, instead holding some inventory on speculation that the market might improve in the winter/spring. That is a business decision and the gain or loss from it is their doing. It so happens the H&G market declined greatly and so losses may have been incurred. But let us not cry for them.The canned pack is a different story, as it is sold out usually over a year, and sometimes longer. It is impossible to predict the movement in market price over that extended period. But the defense against losses on canned pack is simply the use of capital to diversify into fillets, portions, and even higher value half and quarter pound canning lines. But just how much capital have the Bay processors spent to do so in the last five years? Very little.
Another misconception propagated by "Battle on the Bay" is that people are fishing legally (within the district) when they fish the line. Those of us that have participated in the line fishery know otherwise. It's a cat and mouse game up there, and the bottom line is that you have to go out over the line if you hope to catch anything. To set at the actual line is to set behind other nets. You have to steal from those that are playing by the rules - sad, but true. And public safety (the cops) are not at all interested in stopping this behavior. The fines are a great source of income for them. If they truly wanted to stop people from fishing over the line, they would set buoys on the line - complete with rebar and hooks, etc. to snag and tear nets to shreds. If your gear is hung up - you are fined. Again, they aren't interested in stopping the flow of money into their general fund. It's a game, with high stakes.
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