Cook Inlet commercial fishermen are considering smaller crews for 2013, after the financial devastation of 2012. Rob Williams, President of Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association…
Williams: “It’s a big unknown at this point. The projection’s really good for sockeye coming back to the Kenai, well over $4 million return; the Kasilof is up over 900,000, so both river systems are looking for a good sockeye return here and we’re hoping that can draw people back to the fish sites, because after last year, it’s going to be pretty tough coming up with crew, and we’re going to be running probably bare bones operation.”
Williams, like others, wondered how much longer commercial fishermen could finance their operations if 2012 fishing patterns are repeated.
Williams: “It’s going to be really tough. I imagine some guys might have to scale down, if they can’t find crew, which is really a shame on these big sockeye years. We don’t get them very often, so it’s kind of nice to capitalize on them when you can, because they make up for the years when you either break even or don’t make any money.”