Board Member Rodvik Resigns, Ure Appointed to Seat

Hans Rodvik was elected and seated to the BBRSDA Board this past June. Mr. Rodvik has been the subject of controversy, due to his neutral stance on the Pebble Mine and the events surrounding his election. After nominations were closed for board seat elections, BBRSDA members mounted a write-in campaign which ultimately resulted in Nels Ure receiving more write-in votes. However, because write-in votes were not provided for in BBRSDA bylaws, Mr. Rodvik was seated on the board as the election winner. Mr. Ure was appointed to a non-voting ex-officio board seat. During the ensuing months many BBRSDA members expressed concern about Mr. Rodvik's position on the board due to his stance on the Pebble Mine.

At the recent September BBRSDA Board Meeting, Mr. Rodvik graciously resigned his board seat citing a desire to conserve organizational resources for mission-oriented activities. The BBRSDA Board of Directors would like to acknowledge that Mr. Rodvik conducted himself with an extraordinary level of class and professionalism during this difficult situation. Mr. Rodvik wishes to address BBRSDA members, as follows:

Dear BBRSDA Members,

At the conclusion of the September BBRSDA Board meeting I officially resigned from the BBRSDA Board of Directors. This was a difficult personal and professional decision as I care tremendously about our fishery and the success of the BBRSDA. I volunteered to serve on the Board because I believed I could bring a unique set of skills to the table and help, even in a small way, increase the value of our fishery.

As a Board member I wanted to see the BBRSDA continue its positive track record of building a brand, further increase consumer awareness of our product, achieve 100% chilling by the fleet, and drive up the price we get paid for our world class salmon. After reviewing the statutes and regulations that govern the BBRSDA, as well as our strategic plan, these were the areas I wanted to focus on as a Board member to get the most bang for your buck when it came to funding projects and work the BBRSDA does.

I didn’t focus on Pebble when I ran as I thought it fell outside the BBRSDA’s purview and scope of work. The court case that arose this summer dealt with many questions about the BBRSDA’s ability to act/weigh in on issues like Pebble. Even with that case’s outcome I still had reservations about the BBRSDA engaging in costly legal battles and other activities surrounding Pebble (not because I support the project – I am neutral on it), but because I felt our primary focus as an organization was to be about marketing, promotion, sales and quality.

Throughout the election process and after being seated on the Board, it became clear to me that many in the fleet have different ideas and priorities about what the BBRSDA should be spending its resources on. Furthermore, it was evident the fleet was not happy with how the election played out and concerned about my neutral stance on Pebble. I may not agree with some of the reasons why people didn’t want me on the Board, however I do fully respect their right to express their opinions and concerns. I heard the concerns and did my best to listen respectfully.

After much deliberation about my future on the Board, I determined it would be best for the organization and fleet if I resigned. In no way was I looking to get entangled in controversy or be the center of attention. I simply wanted to help move our fishery forward in a positive manner. Having the BBRSDA go through an extended period of conflict is something I wanted to avoid. I realized that being an effective Board member was going to be quite difficult given the circumstances before me. Therefore, in order to prevent your money from being spent on non mission-oriented activities I opted to resign and remove the problem completely.

I don’t regret running for the Board. I have learned many valuable lessons and met a number of you I hadn’t known before. I believe in the mission of the BBRSDA and want it to flourish for the benefit of us all.

In closing, I’d encourage the fleet to engage with the Board. Attend the meetings. Submit proposals. Email and call the Directors to know what is going on and how you can help. Sign up for the Waypoints email. If you’re on social media follow the BBRSDA’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our BristolBaySockeye brand pages. Stay up to date on the projects and partnerships the BBRSDA is developing to market our fish. Pay attention to the quality guidelines and be aware of best practices to improve our product. For those who really want to be involved I recommend you run for the Board. The Staff and Board put in a tremendous amount of work for the benefit of each of us, and succeed even more when the fleet is trusting, supportive and behind the organization.

Thank you for your time. Have a safe winter everyone and good luck next season.

Sincerely,
Hans Rodvik

SWAMC is offering low-cost energy audits and access to a USDA REAP improvement grants

Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) is again offering low-cost energy audits and access to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) REAP improvement grant for small businesses in Southwest Alaska. So far, five Bristol Bay commercial fishers have used this program and received $54,000 in grant funding for energy efficiency improvements including RSW upgrades and adding hold insulation. 

All small, for-profit businesses in Southwest Alaska are eligible for the program including commercial fishing vessel owners and building owners – offices, warehouses, stores, restaurants, hotels, and more.

This is how the program works for commercial fishers. You sign-up for a targeted fishing vessel energy audit to identify the energy savings of upgrading or installing an RSW system, insulating fish holds, switching out lighting, installing high performance hydraulic pumps and gensets, and more. You use the energy audit report to apply for USDA’s improvement grant that covers 25% of the upgrade cost. We help you with the application process.  

For example, the cost of the targeted fishing vessel audit runs between $500 and $625. A commercial fisher looking to purchase an RSW system and have it professionally installed for $50,000 would be able to apply for a USDA grant that reimburses them for $12,500 of the system cost.

Keep in mind – All commercial fishers that live or fish (and store their vessel) in Bristol Bay, Kodiak, and the Aleutians are eligible.

Spots are filling up! Find out more on the program and how to register by emailing  energy@swamc.org, calling Jamie Hansen at 907.450.2461, or visitinghttp://www.southwestakenergy.org/.


Bristol Bay Salmon Week in Washington, DC

Bristol Bay Salmon Week in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC –From September 16 -20, 28 restaurants in Washington, DC and Wegmans locations in Maryland and Virginia will feature wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska on their menus and in their aisles. They are participating in the inaugural Bristol Bay Salmon Week, sponsored by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRDSA). Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is home to the world’s most prolific commercial wild sockeye salmon fishery, responsible for producing more than half of the sockeye sold worldwide.

Read More

EPA Disappoints with Reversal of Clean Water Act Proposed Protections

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew it’s proposed determination to restrict mining activities in Bristol Bay, Alaska under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. This is an outrageous, astonishing action by the Trump administration’s EPA that pushes aside three years of peer-reviewed, rigorous scientific study and extensive public involvement that garnered over 1 million comments. The results of this extensive analysis were clear: large-scale copper and gold mining could have devastating effects on the world’s largest wild salmon run in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Read More

AML Shipping Discounts Available Now

Need to ship your vessel south for upgrade or repair work? There’s a discount for that! Alaska Marine Lines (AML) has extended an agreement with BBRSDA to offer Bristol Bay fishermen a discount on shipping driftnet boats between Bristol Bay and Seattle for repair or upgrade work. This program can save BBRSDA members approximately $1,300 on the cost of round-trip shipping (discounted rates: $6,636 southbound and $6,780 northbound, not including fuel surcharges or other handling).

In order to qualify for the discount, you must be shipping a gillnet vessel from Dillingham or Naknek on a round-trip basis to Seattle and present a quote or an invoice from the vendor performing work on the vessel. Vessel length must not exceed 34’ in length or 15’ in width.

Contact your local AML office or call 1-800-950-4265 and ask about the Bristol Bay Fishermen’s Boat Repair Program to learn how you can benefit from this discount.

BBRSDA greatly appreciates AML’s service to the Bristol Bay fleet and them taking an active role in fleet development. Thank’s AML!

Other details: Measurements shall be the maximum dimensions including hitches, railings, etc. but not including swim steps and outdrives. Shipper must furnish necessary skids, cradles, chocks, crates or necessary devices to ensure safe handling. When a boat trailer is used, an additional flat charge of $748 will be assessed. Shipper will be responsible for inspecting and approving of the method, materials, and placement of the blocking and cradle devices. Shipper or his agent waives any right to claim for loss or damage that is associated with the blocking devices, cradles, or trailers. In Naknek, at the Port of Bristol Bay, 24 hours free time is allowed for boats or boat cradles. Boats and cradles remaining at the Port of Bristol Bay past the free time will be subject to additional charges as per the Port of Bristol Bay Tariff, charged directly to the boat owner. Boat lift charges in Naknek will be assessed at $443 for boats between 28-32’ in length, and $19 per additional linear foot. Rates include lifting/discharging boats from the water at Carrier’s terminal in Seattle, WA. For all other ports, Shipper must make boat lift arrangements directly with the applicable port authority. Booking must be accompanied with the cash deposit equaling 25% of ocean charges. The remainder of the balance is due at the time of shipment.

Upgrade Grants for Commercial Fishers in Bristol Bay

Upgrade Grants for Commercial Fishers in Bristol Bay

Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) is offering low-cost energy audits and access to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant for commercial fishing vessels.

  • Commercial fishing vessel owners that fish in Bristol Bay, Kodiak, and the Aleutians are eligible.

  • The USDA grant reimburses owners for 25% of the cost for upgrades including slush ice to RSW, hold insulation, LED lights, and high performance gensets (not for propulsion). A commercial fisher looking to purchase and professionally install a RSW system for $50,000 would be reimbursed $12,500 by the grant.

  • There is no deadline. But applications for projects $80k and under are reviewed for award on October 31, and another round of awards for all project sizes occurs in April.

  • To get started, visit http://www.southwestakenergy.org/, email: energy@swamc.org, or call Jamie Hansen at 907-450-2461.

Read More

Popular Science Covers BBRSDA-Funded Research

Popular Science Covers BBRSDA-Funded Research

Popular Science recently covered a cutting-edge research project funded by BBRSDA on its website (article link). This on-going study is being conducted by researchers from the University of Washington and uses analyses of strontium isotopes in sockeye ear bones (otoliths) to map where the fish are spending their time during the fresh-water portion of their life cycle. Check out the PopSci article and if you’d like to learn more about the study, you can read the project report from the initial study conducted in 2014 and 2015 on our ‘Project Reports’ page. Image credit: Jason Ching (University of Washington).

Read More

BBRSDA Photo Contest

BBRSDA Photo Contest

Think you’ve got a good photo that can help market Bristol Bay salmon? Submit it! Win! The top 5 photos in each category will win $100, the first place photo in each category will win an additional $150, and the most popular photo among all categories will win 30,000 Alaska Air miles!

To Enter: email photos (noting the category of each submission) and your contact info to: photos@BBRSDA.com.

The contest is open until October 12, 2019. Winners will be announced at the Pacific Marine Expo. Winners need not be present to receive their prize. Click “Read More” for full details.

Read More

Lawsuit Against BBRSDA Dismissed

Today, Alaska Superior Court Judge Yvonne Lamoureux dismissed the case against BBRSDA and the other named defendants who received funding from BBRSDA. Judge Lamoureux agreed with BBRSDA that it was acting within its statutory purpose of promoting the Bristol Bay fishery in opposing the Pebble Mine, which could have a devastating effect on the commercial fishery it seeks to support and enhance.

Read More

2019 Harvest Forcast

Bristol Bay sockeye harvests are projected to be 23% greater than the 50-year average this summer. Over 40-million sockeye are projected to return to the Bay between June and August. Bristol Bay is projected to harvest as many as 26 million sockeye Salmon this summer, a 23% increase on the average harvest over the last 50 years. New, innovative marketing initiatives are connecting consumers with the Bristol Bay story and driving demand nationwide.

Congratulations! Reba and Kaleb, on your new Marine Safety Instructor Training

The 2 MSIT students sponsored by BBRSDA in the Seward MSIT class last week - Reba Temple Naknek and Kaleb Westfall of Dillingham- did....GREAT!

They are going to be effective instructors and are highly motivated to give back to their fisheries in this way. They had an opportunity to also co-teach their first Drills workshop in Seward after the MSIT and they did a great job at that as well- so they already have one Drills class taught under their belt. We look forward to their work next month in the Bay in their respective fishing ports teaching Drill classes.

We already have 29 people signed up for the 4 workshops, 14 in one Naknek course alone. 

Sign up if you haven’t already HERE : https://www.amsea.org/dc-registration-form
or call: (907) 747-3287

AMSEA F/V Drill Conductor Workshops meet the US Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels, 46 CFR 28.270(c).

New AMSEA Drill Instructor Courses in Naknek

Free Required Drill Instructor courses will be offered in Naknek and Dillingham on June 1st and 9th.

SIGN UP NOW!

All classes will be from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. 
In Naknek, the classes will be held at the Naknek Village Council, 1 Stenball St. In Dillingham, the classes will be held at the UAF Bristol Bay Campus, 527 Seward Street.

Register here: https://www.amsea.org/dc-registration-form

It is required that one individual aboard every vessel has this training. AMSEA F/V Drill Conductor Workshops meet the US Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels, 46 CFR 28.270(c).

Webinar Town Hall Meeting

The BBRSDA strives to update the fleet with our activities. This year we've had Town Hall meetings in Everett, Astoria, Anchorage, Homer, and Kodiak. If you were not able to attend one of those we're doing a webinar just for you! This Wednesday the BBRSDA will be streaming live! We will present on what we've been doing to maximize the impact of your 1% contribution as well as showing a tailings dam failure model by Dr. Cam Wobus about the potential effects of Pebble Mine. The recording will be posted on our website, stay tuned!

Join via this Link: https://zoom.us/j/700364357

Read the agenda HERE

AMSEA Drill Conductor Courses

AMSEA is conducting two Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Classes in Dillingham, Alaska. These classes are FREE to commercial fishermen, thanks to support from BBRSDA, Alaska DCCED, NIOSH, and AMSEA members. 

It is mandatory that at least ONE individual on each fishing vessel has this training. 

One will be on June 1 and the second on June 9, 2019. Both classes will be held from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the UAF Bristol Bay Campus, 527 Seward Street.

These topics will be covered:

  • Cold-Water Survival Skills

  • EPIRBs, Signal Flares, and MAYDAY Calls

  • Man Overboard Recovery

  • Firefighting

  • Flooding & Damage Control

  • Dewatering Pumps

  • Immersion Suits and PFDs

  • Emergency Drills

  • Helicopter Rescue

  • Life Rafts

  • Abandon Ship Procedures

  • In-the Water Practice Session

Register HERE: https://www.amsea.org/dc-registration-form or call (907) 747-3287.

Pebble Mine Public Comment Period Open

BBRSDA encourages the fleet to submit comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is a critical moment for the fishery. It is important that stakeholder comments are part of the historical record. Comments should clearly indicate support or opposition for the proposed mine project, and may cite specific concerns with aspects of the Draft EIS. You can read the Pebble Mine Draft EIS by clicking HERE, and submit a public comment electronically to the USACE by clicking HERE.

Read More

BBRSDA Statement About Write-In Ballots in 2019 Board Election

We understand there is a desire to submit 'write-in' votes in the current board member election. BBRSDA is working with our legal counsel to understand whether write in votes can be counted in this situation. Unfortunately, it is not clear at this time whether write-in votes can be counted. Regardless of whether a write-in vote is considered valid, it will not disqualify other votes on your ballot. 

Board Election Ballots have been mailed! Postmark Deadline: April 5, 2019

Find out more about each candidate HERE

The holder of each S03T permit may vote for one candidate for each seat. This group of fishermen is qualified to vote in this election due to the group’s prior approval of a 1% assessment on their harvests. 

Voters are registered for the election by being the legal holder of a current S03T salmon drift gillnet interim-use or entry permit as determined by Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) on December 15, 2018 (the cutoff date used for nominations).  Ballots and self-addressed return envelopes are sent to the permit holders at the addresses on this CFEC list. 

 All voting must be done by mail. Hand delivered or emailed ballots cannot be accepted. Members owning two permits may vote each permit using separate envelopes. A permit may only vote once for each seat. No voting information will be available until after all ballots are counted. 

 Ballots will not be counted if postmarked after April 5, 2019, or if received after April 12, 2019. Ballots must be returned in the self-addressed envelopes provided and postmarked prior to midnight, April 5, 2019. 

 Ballot packets are sent to permit holders using their mailing addresses as listed on the CFEC records mentioned above. Each ballot packet contains: 
1. Official Ballot 
2. Ballot Envelope 
3. Identification Envelope 
4. Return Envelope 
5. Candidate Statements and Questionnaires 

Voters must mark the Official Ballot and seal it in the Ballot Envelope. (No photocopies will be accepted; only Official Ballots will be.) The Ballot Envelope must be put in the Identification Envelope, which is then sealed. 

The information requested on the rear of the Identification Envelope must be completed (name, CFEC permit number, and voter signature). Take care to ensure that the proper CFEC permit number is used and not, for example, a vessel number. Ballots without this information will not be counted. 

 The Identification Envelope must be completed clearly, properly, and fully. If the accounting firm cannot determine voter eligibility from the Identification Envelope, that envelope will not be opened and the ballot will not be counted. The identification envelope must be sealed in the Return Envelope and then mailed to the independent accounting firm, Thomas, Head & Greisen, APC (THG) – the address on the Return Envelope. 

 Votes are anonymous. THG directly receives all Return Envelopes containing the Identification Envelope and the Ballot Envelope. As Return Envelopes are received, the Return Envelopes will be opened by THG and the information on the outside of the Identification Envelope will be compared to the CFEC list of eligible voters. 

 Identification Envelopes are stored unopened in a locked cabinet until April 15, 2019 at the office of THG. On April 15, 2019, THG personnel will remove the unopened Ballot Envelopes from the Identification Envelopes, and the Ballot Envelopes will be set aside unopened, and shuffled before counting. 

 The Ballot Envelopes will be opened on April 15, 2019 and the votes recorded for each eligible ballot on one or more tally sheets. If more than one ballot is contained in a Ballot Envelope, none of the ballots in that envelope will be counted. Voters must clearly mark their choice of candidate. No changed votes will be counted. Voters may only vote for one candidate for each seat. 

 The winning candidate for each seat will be that candidate receiving the greatest number of votes. After the vote count is reviewed by THG, the results will be sent in writing to the Executive Director of the BBRSDA. 

 Should the results of the election result in a tie for one or more seats, the winner of the election for the seat(s) will be decided by a coin toss conducted by THG. 

 New board members will be seated at the BBRSDA board meeting held immediately following the Membership Meeting in June 2019.