Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BBRSDA board president resigns

Robert Heyano, president of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, has resigned from the board of directors.

The official announcement doesn't offer a word of explanation.

The timing seems odd, as the organization is in the midst of a mail-in election to fill two other board seats.

Heyano's term wasn't due to end until 2016. He's a Dillingham resident and owner of the F/V Lady Mindy.


Anonymous said...

In the last year an executive director, the marketing director, the board president and arguably one the most engaged board members in a long time resigned. Perhaps the larger question is can this RSDA model even work. Now an election and Harsila might serve on the board, a guy that was one of the drivers of the class action lawsuit against the very same processors the RSDA is supposed to collaborate with. It's a mess

Anonymous said...

Could it be because he promoted a regulation at the last BOF meeting that was intended to benefit him alone? Is someone finally coming to their senses and getting the message that the Development Corporation has many conflicts that have to be eliminated. Didn't a BOF member who is also associated with the corporation just force through new requirements to reduce the number of fish that are needed to spawn in BB rivers which allows even more harvest opportunities by BB drift fishermen. And doesn't that member have a CFEC drift permit to catch those fish? Something smells fishy.

Anonymous said...

And said BOF member was at the open meeting where everyone came to agreement on the new management numbers. Its a sad state when someone can force something through that ADF&G,fishermen and industry all agree on.

Anonymous said...


It's only a mess, IF, Harsila is elected. Don't beat yourself up so much. There's still a whole bunch of good that this organization can do. But you are correct in your assessment of Harsila; if anyone "should be spending more time with their family" it should be him and not Heyano.

Robert's leadership, kept Harsila in the cheap seats, in terms of his numerous attempts to get a seat at the table of the RSDA.

Maybe I have it wrong. It would be nice to see a few AIFMA advocates weigh-in, to enlighten everyone as to Harsila's accomplishments over the years.

Anonymous said...

I wish the BBRSDA itself would resign. When I bought my permit and boat, nobody asked me if they could take 1% of my money, yet it still happens. Fuck em.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with the model, just with the folks that you elect. Find the guys that understand what Seafood Development really is. Marketing your product, educating the customer base (present and future), and supporting the businesses that own and sell the products that you depend on for your lively hood! the goof balls you keep electing know ZIP about the reality of the marketplace cause they rely on this idiotic site and the bar for their information base. It'll work if you elect the guys that know what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

6:50, would you like whine with your cheese? Geez... say something constructive and quit the moaning.

Agreed...nothing wrong with the model. It's the only organized body...the fleet can engage with in the right people and if you're not happy with the board direction, show up to a meeting, get on a committee, or write an email and say something. It's not out of's by the fleet and for the fleet.

Don't forget...they directly fund things like early counting towers...and those projects put money directly in your pocket.

Out with the old and in with the new.

Anonymous said...

Seems like some people are running a negative smear campaign against AIFMA and David Harsila—best guess is Harsila’s opponent in the election Buck Gibbons and his cronies. His campaign statements included several negative fabricated statements about Harsila. The same kinds of comments are appearing here on Deckboss. Coincidence? I think not.

Harsila has run a positive campaign and has a lot to offer to the RSDA.

A recent AIFMA/Harsila accomplishment: Helped gain permanent protection from oil and gas development in Bristol Bay. AIFMA worked with a coalition of groups for years to gain protection. Here’s a video about history of effort:

One of the things wrong with Bristol Bay fishermen demonstrated on this blog is it’s easy to throw stones and slander people anonymously. This hurts all of us.

Anonymous said...

All one can do is laugh at the perennial and perpetual BBay whiners and ignorants. I'm a smaller processor, been in this for 40 years, and watch continually as the Bay fleet circles the shitter as the few opportunites to advance quality, marketing, and higher prices gets shitcanned again by those that can't see over their flybridges.

Like ASMI, BBRSDA, and the Copper River version, more has been accomplished by these organizations in a few years to improve markets and quality than anything else in the last couple of decades.

In the last few years, due to efforts to get you cowboys to pop gills, the ice barges(not-perfect, but quite an accomplishment that it's even off the ground),smaller knotless brailers, salmon slides, and generally just a better attitude towards fish quality as a proud food product the Bay provides to the world, has done wonders in the marketplace.

Not to get you too excited, but you're quality is still the world's lowest next to Russian tractor beach seining, and no ice skiff fishing to the West and North of you, but the fact that over half the fleet is refrigerated is amazing. And I come from the woodie days when a hungry crew could always grab a bite from the next to the stack brailer, nice broiled sockeye in a bag. We were always proud to deliver already cooked fish for six bits.

Now you boys are always huffing and puffing about how your fish is as good as any other fishery on the coast. It isn't. I've been buying, processing and selling my whole life from the Sacramento to Kotzebue, and I'd rather buy fish from dozens of other fisheries before I buy from Bristol Bay. I can buy cleaned and pressure-bled reds from Southeast gillnetters all day long now, and more and more Copper River boats. There is no fishery south of the Bay that doesn't have 100% ice or refer.

The only reason to buy Bay fish is because they're cheap, cause you guys don't have a choice, nobody is ever going to pay you $2 bucks /lb. for the lowest grade fish on the West Coast, playing russian roulette on the defrost, who knows what you're ever going to get quality wise when you slack out a box of BBay fish.

Sorry boys, take your lumps, and just fish for volume, cause if you aren't going to support the organizations and the hard work to improve quality, say hello to 80 cents, cuz that's all were paying this year. And next year, and...

-You're friendly Processor

Anonymous said...

Are you still shopping at Costco?

Proud Wild Salmon fishermen don't shop Costco.

Take it easy, English Majors, I can't spell "your" correctly anymore,per my previous post, age is getting to me.
Anyways, another reason the price of BBay Reds ain't gonna be worth spit this year. Costco is switching to supposedly "antibiotic and drug free" Norwegian fish, leaving Chile to dump on the marketplace. Costco buys 600,000 lbs. of fillet a week, that a million lbs. a week of head-on farm garbage. 52 weeks in a year. How's that Costco junk in your cart tasting like now?

From the Seattle Times:

"Costco will buy most farmed salmon from Norway, not Chile"

-Your Friendly Processor

Anonymous said...

Your friendly processor, you just stay away from the bay. Your small little operation does us no good, your just a little middle man trying to make a dollar by doing nothing of value in the big picture. Stay with your south east and copper river. One tide we catch more fish then all the places you talk of. In fact I bet I catch more with my boat in bristol bay than you sell so stay away, don't need your kind and don't want you buying our fish.

Anonymous said...

That's why we own silver bay to get away from friendly processor and kick you down the road.

Anonymous said...

Our Friendly Processor?

Like the Copper River Model?

One little postage stamp area from Cape St Elias Light to Hook Point, to catch 2 million fish one at a time. The area's a bit larger, x 10, just like the boat.

Our Ignorant Processor;

Tell us about 2 million fish coming on board in one tide, with that old federal, feral regulation to make cat food in the 32 foot regulation from a company sponsored sailboat that went into effect in 1952, after going dry on Deadman Sands. Tell us about yourselves. 49 dead and then they get engines?

Our Friendly Processor?

Yes tell us about all the number 2's and 3's going into a freezer van, listed as number 1's and sold into valuable market's, only to end up as inspected by another disappointed purchaser who didn't realize that the Seattle Seven model he was buying from, was actually in the cat food business?

You know the model; lie thru your teeth to rip off some unsuspecting buyer. Then run to Juneau and the Feral Reps for ASMI funding, to pay for a marketing campaign, that your friendly processor couldn't pay for himself?

YOUR Friendly Processor's head shed, where we pass the job on to everyone, except; Your clueless Processor?

Read their Reports?
"We can handle it. just like in every other Processor Capacity Survey Report?

Oooppps; WE also stripped two plants in South Naknek, and two on the Nushagak. Our friendly processing deck is also growing smaller daily.
Of course don't ever take notice that the same old group of Seattle Seven's Sea Serpents, used the same process, to buy the rest of the North Pacific, from another snake named Ted Stevens.

"The River Salmon Surpasseth all the fishes of the sea." Gaius Plinius Secundus A.D. 79

The Seattle Seven's Sea Serpent Priest?├Ân_and_His_Sons

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:20 pm

You're not a processor and please don't act like one.

If the fish were crappy in Bristol Bay why would companies still be out there.

You're full of bull shit.

Your friendly fisherman of 40 years in the Bay.

Anonymous said...

Your Friendly Processor is right, to a point. There is no excuse for unrefrigerated poor quality fish. Your processor cant make it better when it gets to his dock. If you don't cant afford the boat to eventually support refrigeration or cant afford it, you should plan your exit strategy from this fishery.

But, the issue of improving value for Bay fish needs to be addressed from three angles. Fish handling/quality is one. Effective marketing is another, but it is the least of the three. After all, how much Bay sockeye is really left over after deducting tonnage canned and tonnage the primary processors put into their value added programs. That remaining sockeye is a small percentage of the whole and it is only that small percentage that the marketing efforts of ASMI and BBRSDA can help. And, the fact is that any positive effect BBRSDA marketing dollars had on that small quantity of H&G sockeye was wiped out several times over by the processors rejection of MSC. The processors need to set their egos aside and re-embrace MSC.

The third point of attack must be shouldered by the processors and requires capital. The likely long term survivors in the Bay are Silver Bay, Trident, Marubeni, AGS/Leader Creek, and Peter Pan (Maruha). Their responsibility should be to wisely deploy capital to develop high volume, low cost mega plants with processing options to freeze, can, fillet, and portion all in high volume. Not one plant today in the Bay has that capability, and some, like Icicle Dillingham, and the floaters Jensen, Thorstensen, Aleutian Falcon, just need to be scrapped. Taking cost out of the processing end leaves more on the bottom line for Fleet and processor alike.

Anonymous said...

Listen to his interview on KDLG. Resigning because his agenda isn't being supported by the rest of the board. I thought he was supposed to be working on behalf of BB Fishermen not his own agenda.So he says he'll go find another organization he's more aligned with and of course there is the cursory thank you to BBEDC in the interview just to make sure he doesn't piss off the friendly wallet. So is he a public servant or a self servant? Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Lets give the RSDA a bit of time to transition from start up blues. Let's give Sue time to establish her agenda. I have hopes the RSDA will attempt to engage the fleet, FINALLY.
Should the fleet not engage themselves then we know the real problem and issue is a bunch of independent fishers who cannot work together on anything, and we might as well go back to the dark days of everyone out for themselves. Quantity not quality.
Go Sue!

Anonymous said...

Let's not blame fishermen completely when it comes to quality, today large number of fishermen deliver excellent quality fish to the tenders but many don't know how it's handled beyond that.

Maybe it's time for the processors to step up and take measures to bring up the quality of fish after the fishermen make a delivery. Today I see many tenders holding the fish in their tanks too long until it's time to process, or haul the fish elsewhere for processing, Seward, Kodiak etc..

Bring more processors/tenders to the Bay to keep up! Don't bite more than you can chew, why do you think a large number of fish go in a can when there could be a lot more fillets available to sell.

Anonymous said...

Don't shit on the can, if you go into your local store the stuff sells for more than the fillet. Remember the fillet is only 45 percent recovery at best. The can has like 80 percent recovery. I think many of you have no idea of the real market. As a bristol bay fisherman for 40 years I can't understand the crap fishermen themselves put out about the bay, we are getting scamed and we all know it. The guys who put this junk out there are 90 percent ex-scabs, that's right scabs. The companies in the bay have been replaced. Trident-Norqust, started as scabs, yard arm, total scab fleet, icicle when first in the bay scabs, king crab who became ocean beauty in the bay, scabs at first. Peter Pan, Peterson point Alaska general, the only none scab companies left. That's the real story here, so let's look at the ones running for these offices. If the guy was a scab don't vote for him. Let's ask some of the guys running first of all what did you do during the strikes or would they even want to say, it's ok we know who and what they are. That's the real pity of bristol bay. You new guys to the bay should ask the guys who lived through it how it went down. It sucked, it broke us and we never came back. It was the billingham scab fleet.. That's the bottom line boys and I will never forget it. Scab bastards, can't wait to cork your ass...and have you cork mine.

Anonymous said...

9:21 - You spelled it wrong; it's Dillingham not billingham.

Anonymous said...

He may have meant Bellingham. Probably trying to type while picking a scab.

Anonymous said...

@9:21 Was that the strike of 1991? Gee, only 24 years ago. It might be time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Jesus guys (and gals), get out of the past. Our biggest challenge, or opportunity, is to look forward and adapt to new markets. There was an increase of 500 million lb of salmon in 2014 worldwide! Is your market adapting???? By the way, all those companies listed have stuck with, and invested in the Bay year after year.

Anonymous said...

Strikes don't work for salmon fisheries. Never have, never will. But, if you must strike please orchestrate one this year. The reduced competition will keep us from facing limits.

Anonymous said...

This just in - Sue Aspelund announces retirement from BBRSDA.

Whole lot of resigning going on the past several months. What is real story here?

Anonymous said...

Follow the money, or what is left of it. Lots of conflicts on the Board and lots of money doled out to individuals. Might not be much left and those leaving the Board or from Exec positions saw it coming. I am so happy to have been paying that % year after year. wonder how much the Board members get, what Sue was paid, what transportation and travel were paid for trips, and finally what good has it accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Robert A. Smith says:

I was elected to the AREA E RSDA in autumn 2014. This RSDA is known as CRPWSMA. I believe that an R.S.D.A. could and should be beneficial to the AREA E Gillnet fleet.

It is all very well for people to anonymously air their complaints and accusations. I on the other hand will state my name and urge others to do so as well.

The following letter was sent to my representative and senator in the Alaska legislature. This letter has no bearing on and does not pertain to the BBRSDA.

April 7, 2015
I am writing to you in regards to my concerns with the Area E Regional Seafood Development Association; known as the Copper River Seafood Marketing Association (CRPWSMA). As an Area E drift gillnet permit holder, my gross revenues are assessed one percent (1%). This tax is sanctioned by the State of Alaska and administered by the Department of Commerce Community and Economic Development.
As a taxpaying member of this Association, I have grave concerns about its conduct and I call for an investigation. The following points have been raised by the elected members of the B.O.D. and members of the Association and rebuffed by the board as a whole.
• The board of this Association has routinely and improperly altered and violated its own bylaws.
• The Association has failed to respond at all to my requests for information. Requests which it is required to respond to by law. This includes a copy of its most recent audit. An audit required under state law.
• The Association has failed to comply with the recommendations of its previous audit.
• The Association fails to follow sound business practices.
• The Association has practiced censorship upon an elected member of the board.
• The Association has threatened the arrest of a duly elected member of the B.O.D. as well as an officer.
• The Association has disenfranchised the membership by expelling a member of the B.O.D. on two occasions; without due process or cause. The expulsion of a duly elected member of a state sanctioned, tax assessing association should be a serious matter.
The Association has violated the rights of its taxpaying membership by its actions.
The concerns laid out in this letter are well documented and substantiated for the protection of your constituents. I urge that this matter receive your close attention.
Robert A. Smith
C: 907-429-6869

Anonymous said...

Bob Smith - you are a clown. You have stated in the past that quality programs caused our reduced fish prices in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Ever heard of competition from farmed fish?

Quit attacking the Area E program. The vote recently affirmed the fleet is for it but was otherwise a waste of money. Why don't you buy a real boat; one that can pack some ice and slush?

Get with the program.