Fish chilled at the point of harvest are worth more money, and to help resident fishers earn the best price for their fish, BBEDC provides slush ice bags, insulated totes/tote bags, flexible foam insulation for lining fish holds, and padded deck mats. Bristol Bay watershed community resident commercial fishers (New Stuyahok, Koliganek, Igiugig, Newhalen, Iliamna, Kokhanok, Pedro Bay, Port Alsworth, and Nondalton) can also receive BBEDC’s free quality improvement products. Insulation, totes, slush bags and deck mats are one- time benefits. Replacements are not provided except in special circumstances, but patch material for slush bags is available.
Applications for slush bags, insulated totes, flexible sheet foam for hold insulation and padded deck mats will be accepted until March 12, 2021.
For more information contact the Regional Fisheries Development Office at 842-4370 or 1-800-478-4370.
Since 2004, BBEDC has committed more than $10 million to fish chilling products and icing infrastructure. Capital projects include two sixty-ton ice barges, the Bristol Maid and the Bristol Lady, and onshore ice machinery at Egegik, Ekuk, Naknek, Ugashik, Togiak, Port Heiden and Dillingham. More than a 1400 insulated totes and over 2400 slush ice bags have been provided to fishermen, and scores of vessels insulated.
According to reports from processors, the percentage of Bristol Bay’s salmon that was chilled at the point of harvest is increasing every year, and markets are responding.
“So far the market has rewarded us with higher prices for higher quality fish,” one buyer observed. “And there’s every reason to believe that will continue.”