Like other industries in the U.S., Alaska’s commercial fishermen are taking a wallop from the COVID-19 pandemic. This week we look at some of the issues and concerns fishermen, processors, and fishing communities face as they navigate the ever-changing, never-before-travelled rough seas of rules and regulations.
Let’s start in Togiak where processors are gearing up for the biggest herring fishery in the state—their plan to keep locals safe from incoming fishermen and workers? A floating processor.
Meanwhile, in Kodiak processors are already working with the fleet and processing under the new coronavirus mitigation plans. Two plant managers share the changes they’ve implemented.
And finally, the City of Dillingham and a local tribal council have asked the governor to consider halting the massive red salmon fishery for fear the incoming pulse of fishermen and processing crews will endanger community members.
We had help from Izzy Ross with Alaska’s Energy Desk and KDLG in Dillingham, who provided us with two stories this week. We also heard from Kavitha George here at KMXT in Kodiak. And Laine Welch from Alaska Fish Radio.
A big thank you to all you listeners of the Alaska Fisheries Report and to all the radio stations that air our program.
Remember to practice social distancing with people outside your family. And be sure to check that safety gear when you get ready to head out fishing.