Alaska fishermen already reeling from poor Bristol Bay prices got more bad news with a Aug. 5 letter from Trident Seafoods, warning that “chum markets have collapsed” and the company would only pay $0.20 for all Alaska chum.
The company plans to stop buying all salmon in all areas Sept. 2, except for Petersburg and Cordova South to maintain support for coho fisheries. Seattle-based Trident says it will not participate in Puget Sound or fall salmon fisheries.
“Spring of 2023 brought a sharp decrease in wholesale prices across all species and continues to drop as the weeks progress,” Trident CEO Joe Bundrant and senior vice president Jeff Welbourn wrote in the letter. “Bristol Bay was an early confirmation of this unprecedented decline.”
“Given how quickly things are changing we are committed to being as transparent as possible, so you can make timely and informed decisions,” the executives wrote.
As July ended, Trident officials foresaw yet another shock wave forthcoming from Russian competition.
“Last week, Russia harvested pink volume equivalent to the entire Alaska pink annual forecast, and they have shown a willingness to offload inventory at very low prices in part to fund the war in Ukraine,” Bundrant and Welbourn wrote. “We haven’t seen a collapse in value like this since the 1990s when pinks went well under ten cents a pound.”