Out with the old in with the new pretty much sums it up at the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. Andy Wink, who for over five years lead the organization through an expanding marketing program, the fight against Pebble Mine, and continuing efforts to improve quality in a demanding market, has stepped down as executive director. Barry Collier, former CEO of Peter Pan Seafoods has joined the team as an advisor.

“Representing Bristol Bay fishermen as BBRSDA’s executive director has been the greatest honor of my professional career thus far,” Wink says in a statement on the BBRSDA website. “I’m grateful for all the people I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with, and for all the experiences this position has provided. I’m proud of the organization’s growth and accomplishments achieved during my tenure.”

While Wink’s lengthy list of accomplishments at BBRSDA include helping steer the fishery through covid and assisting fishermen in applying for emergency aid, as well as seeing four of the fishery’s most profitable season, he declined to add to his statement on the BBRSDA site, which clarifies the situation. “These are challenging times in the Alaska seafood industry. It was a difficult year for Bristol Bay fishermen and the BBRSDA. We all agree on the problem that fish prices are unsustainably low, but there are many different opinions on what to do about it.”

BBRSDA President Fritz Johnson also declined to comment on Wink’s departure, but he is optimistic about the future. “We have a product with a unique flavor and quality that can compete with farmed salmon,” he says.

According to Johnson, Collier has lengthy experience in marketing, and that is what Bristol Bay fishermen facing record low prices need.

 “The Norwegians just announced they a $46 million marketing program targeting the American market,” says Johnson. “Barry was CEO at Peter Pan for 20 years, and started with in November under a one year contract. If he can beat the Norwegian’s $46 million he’ll have earned his salary.” 

Correction: An earlier National Fisherman story misidentified Barry Collier as executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. Collier is an advisor to BBRSDA under a one-year contract since November 2023.


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Paul Molyneaux is the Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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