Copper River Seafoods no longer buying Cook Inlet salmon amid declining harvests


A tote full of sockeye salmon
Sockeye salmon. (Courtesy of Redoubt Reporter)

A different seafood processor is transferring out of Kenai this salmon period. Copper River Seafoods is ending its run in the old Cosy Harbor Seafood plant, leaving just one big salmon processor in the location but promising the addition of a new business before long.

Processors like Copper River obtain catch from business fishermen and deliver that capture to industry. As professional fishermen have dealt with declining salmon runs and management modifications, processors from Kenai to Homer have left, way too, leaving fishermen with less possibilities.

In a letter, Copper River CEO Scott Blake mentioned these factors were being to blame for the firm ending its salmon obtaining on the Kenai Peninsula, as properly as raising creation expenditures.

The letter didn’t connect with out any distinct administration variations and a spokesperson for Copper River Seafoods could not be achieved just before airtime.

The largest latest alter to the professional fishing landscape in the area is the impending closure of a big swath of Prepare dinner Inlet to business salmon fishermen. That improve was approved by a federal council in late 2020 and goes into outcome for the initially time this summer, limited of a past-moment lawful holdup.

Opponents of the determination warned that closing the fishery would get out nearby processors, too. That part of Higher Prepare dinner Inlet will make up just below half of the profits from that area.

But even ahead of the council’s selection, processors have been pulling out of the inlet, stated Paul Dale, of Nikiski. His processing operation, Comfortable Harbor Seafoods, marketed to Copper River in 2019.

“Processing has been altering in the Prepare dinner Inlet area, Kenai spot for most likely an effortless 20 many years,” Dale reported.

The erosion of processors has been constant, Dale reported, as fishing time and prospects have lessened. In the previous 10 years, specially, the measurement and benefit of Cook Inlet salmon harvests have dropped, bringing close to 10 processors down to just a couple.

Dale claimed Copper River has scaled back again since it’s been functioning the Kalifornsky Beach front Street plant in the previous a few several years.

“And whilst they did not attain the good results that they hoped they would in Cook Inlet, that does not necessarily mean that diverse organizations aren’t dealing with achievement in Prepare dinner Inlet, or may well be capable to achieve accomplishment in Cook Inlet,” Dale reported.

Audrey Salmon, place of work supervisor for the nearby drift association, UCIDA, explained Copper River stopped obtaining fish from Kasilof fishermen past year. Right after that, quite a few fishermen took their company to Pacific Star, which today is the only Kenai-dependent processing plant for the drift fleet. OBI Seafoods in Homer also buys from fishermen in Kasilof and Ninilchik.

Other people have commenced marketing and advertising their catch them selves. Salmon reported individuals fishermen – identified as “catcher processors” – have develop into extra well-known in Cook dinner Inlet as additional processors have still left.

Copper River claimed in its letter it will be replaced by a new processor.

That business, Rogue Wave, has no digital footprint. The letter from Copper River said the business will make an announcement quickly about what its presence in the space will seem like. It also stated the purchasers will obtain from Kenai, Kasilof and Ninilchik.

Copper River, meanwhile, explained it will continue to perform on groundfish systems in Homer, Whittier and Cordova.

[Sign up for Alaska Public Media’s daily newsletter to get our top stories delivered to your inbox.]

Leave a Reply

Next Post

DDM Jeffery Jacobsen Ensures Meat is Safe and Cooks it, Too!

By Suzanne Hensell, OPACE A newly named deputy district manager (DDM) in the Des Moines District, Jeffery Jacobsen began his FSIS occupation in March 2000 as an intermittent food items inspector in Crete, Nebraska. In 2013, he was highlighted in the Faces of Food items Security when he was an […]