False Pass fishery hopes for better July
UNALASKA - The False Pass commercial fishing fleet is hoping this month will bring higher salmon prices.
The July season began Friday.
In a protest over low prices, most of the fleet remained tied up during the last week of the June season. But while some fishermen waited for a higher price, other boats broke from their ranks to go fishing.
Dick Jacobsen, the mayor the Aleutians East Borough and a commercial fisherman, said that some driftnetters from King Cove gave up on the strike to go fishing. They joined a group of nonresident driftnet boats who reached an agreement to fish with Peter Pan Seafoods in mid-June.
Meanwhile, the majority of the nearly 400 permit holders in what is referred to as Area M are still waiting for a better price.
Processors offered 85 cents per pound last season, but say a glut of fish has softened the market this year.
The July fishery is focused on the remaining sockeye salmon, along with the arrival of pink salmon, chum and cohos.
The price dispute came on top of sharp limits placed on the False Pass fishery by the Alaska Board of Fisheries to address complaints that too many chum salmon were being intercepted before reaching the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.
The Area M fishery covers 3,000 square miles at the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula.