Commentary: Bristol Bay Fishermen pay the price for recent record salmon runs


August 17, 2023

Early in the season, one of my deckhands started the joke, “Pay to Bay,” dreaming of people paying money to fish on a drift boat in Bristol Bay, like people pay to climb Mt. Everest. That joke came around to bite us. We had a breakdown during the peak of the run, then the day we got fishing again Trident posted the 50-cents/lb base price (before quality incentives amounting to another 30 cents or more). The processor we sell to, Silver Bay, seemed sure to follow Trident’s lead. I sent my deckhands home with checks for $5,000 each—not much for two months of dangerous work on a 32-foo...

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