Last Friday, 2020’s first shipment of Copper River salmon arrived at SeaTac airport from Alaska, even if the usually-hyped occasion was a little more muted this year.
Seafood processors bracing for the 2020 commercial salmon season in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic are working with the Alaska Department of Labor to screen and pass on contact information on potentially eligible employees.
Friday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy's communications director provided the following statement responding to the letter from the Bristol Bay Working Group:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang says it would be premature at this time to decide to close the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery, since there are a couple months before it even gets going.
Early next month, Trident Seafoods vessel-operations manager Tod Hall will bid his wife goodbye, then leave his Lakewood home for the start of a six-month season catching and processing fish off Washington and Alaska.
United Fishermen of Alaska has crafted a “one stop shop” for the latest fishing-related COVID-19 updates, including onboard checklists for fishing vessels and tenders, protocols for crews coming and going and more.
Travel in and out of Alaska has dropped after federal and state advisories against it, and questions are hovering about how seafood processors and fishing vessels will find the employees they need for upcoming seasons.