Homer families support salmon price protest

A small group on Saturday gathered at the corner of the Fish Dock Road in Homer in support of Bristol Bay fishermen protesting low prices offered for commercial salmon.

Bristol Bay fishermen on Thursday last week staged a protest in the Naknek River, calling for an increase in the base price for sockeye, according to a report published July 20 by KDLG radio in Dillingham. The base price for 2023 is $.50 per pound, less than half of what harvesters received last year, according to the KDLG report online and provided to the Homer News by Corinne Smith, director of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Report.

Katy Edens organized the Homer protest. Her husband, Hunter, grew up fishing in Bristol Bay with his father and holds a permit there now.

“When we heard about the base price that came out, about a week and a half ago, everyone was discouraged and disappointed, to say the least,” Edens said. “There are several people I work with who have family fishing out in the Bay and when we heard about the protest organized in Naknek a couple of us decided we should do something to show support from home.”

There are 2,223 permit holders listed in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery; 184 of them have a Homer ZIP code.

“We knew it wouldn’t make much of a difference from Homer but we just wanted to get our voices out and come together in our community to show support for the men and women from Homer who are still out in Bristol Bay working their tails off for family,” Edens said.

About 20 people showed up to protest, but they also had people stop by ask what the protest was about, she said.

“Just being able to share information about what’s going on was great to do, too.”