Salmon fishermen still at odds over price with most Kodiak processors

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2002

KODIAK (AP) -- The United Salmon Association, representing most salmon fishermen in Kodiak, still has not received sockeye offers it considers high enough from processors other than True World Foods.

Kodiak salmon fishermen began fishing Sunday after a five-day stand down after signing a contract with True World, formerly known as International Seafoods of Alaska, to sell red salmon for 59 cents per pound. Other processors have not matched the offer.

''We have had discussions with them on ways they could make 59 cents a pound for red salmon work for them, and they have not responded positively,'' said association chairman Thom Wischer.

He said that all salmon boats that are able to are now out fishing. Only boats with mechanical problems or those that have been short of crew are motionless at the dock.

''There have been guys who have said that they can't make it on the price being offered by their traditional plant. They would rather go broke tied to the dock, than go broke fishing,'' he said.

Wischer said some processors have threatened to refrain from buying pink salmon if fishermen do not agree to sell them sockeyes.

''That is part of the strategy that seems to be on their minds,'' Wischer said. ''How fishermen will respond to that, we don't know.''

Other processors contacted by the Kodiak Daily Mirror declined to comment.

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