Alaska Fisherman

Bristol Bay Fishermen's Association (formerly AIFMA)


BBFA is a member-funded association commited to the fishermen and the salmon resource of the Bristol Bay region since 1966.


New BBFA Member

"I have looked at your fishermen's price sheet for a couple years. The price sheet is an invaluable service to the fleet. I have recommended to other fishermen that they join as well. Thank you for your work on behalf of the fishery."


News and Updates

2017 ADF&G Preseason Oulook for Bristol Bay

2017 ADF&G Bristol Bay Outlook


2017 Sockeye Forecasts for Bristol Bay

ADF&G and FRI have published their 2017 forecasts for Bristol Bay

Here are the forecasts:

FRI Forecast

ADF&G Forecast


Name Change for AIFMA

After fifty years the Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Association (AIFMA) has changed its name to the Bristol Bay Fishermen’s Association (BBFA). The Board of Directors voted to change the name this winter after two membership votes in support of doing so.

AIFMA was incorporated in 1966 in the State of Alaska as a non-profit corporation. The Association operates under the protection of the Fishermen’s Cooperative Act. The organization will operate under the same articles of incorporation and bylaws as before.

A Bit of History

AIFMA was incorporated seven years prior to the passing of the limited entry law that designated Area T. The board at the time saw no reason to limit the organization to only Bristol Bay, and had members who fished in different areas of Alaska. The word “independent” noted that the group represented those fishermen who owned their own boats and no longer were employees of the processing companies. The new limited entry law sealed the deal by giving fishermen exclusive rights to fish commercially, with a permit license, and fishermen said goodbye to being employees of the company. The new group of independent fishermen in AIFMA was able to continue to negotiate the price of fish and poundage limits legally under the law.

A half century later much has changed in our fishery, however, our basic economic structure is unchanged. The certain need for fishermen to be professionally represented in a number of areas is clear. With that, the new name will more accurately describe who we are, where we fish, and the fact that we are organized. I trust that our fishery and our association will thrive for another fifty years.


2016 ADF&G Bristol Bay Summary

Read more here:

ADF&G has released the 2016 Bristol Bay season summary. The sockeye harvest was 37.3 million fish with a total 51.4 million run. Average ex-vessel price was 76 cents per pound for a total sockeye fishery value of $153.2 million.

2016 Bristol Bay Summary


Obama Protects Alaska's Bristol Bay from Oil and Gas Drilling

In a boon to commercial fishermen, conservationists and Native Alaskans, President Obama on Tuesday, December 16th withdrew the waters of Alaska's Bristol Bay from oil and gas development, vowing to protect the world's biggest sockeye salmon fishery.

Calling the region "one of America's greatest natural resources and a massive economic engine, not only for Alaska but for America," Obama said he was taking it "off the bidder's block" and would "make sure that it is preserved into the future."


This is an issue that BBFA has been working on for a decade.

Obama Protects Bristol Bay



Federal Judge Sides with Pebble to Halt EPA Mine Action for Now

A federal judge on Monday ruled in favor of the Pebble mine project and put a temporary halt on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to protect Bristol Bay.

The ruling is a "procedural victory," but it doesn't settle Pebble's claims that EPA overstepped the law, Tom Collier, Pebble Ltd. Partnership CEO, said Monday afternoon in a written statement. It will take months more to resolve the lawsuit at issue, Pebble said.

Activists fighting the mine noted that U.S. District Judge Russel Holland rejected two of Pebble's three arguments to halt EPA over a theory that it colluded with anti-mine activists and scientists. Rather, the judge determined that Pebble had a chance of winning on one claim, that EPA improperly turned to an anti-mine team as it worked on its study of how a big mine would affect the Bristol Bay watershed.

The EPA in July announced that it intended to take extraordinary steps to protect Bristol Bay's world-class salmon runs and proposed restrictions that would prevent the mega-mine from being advanced by the Pebble Partnership. While it stopped short of an outright veto of the project, the EPA said it would place caps on how many miles of streams and acres of wetlands could be lost if the mine were developed.

Pebble responded with three lawsuits.



EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

EPA's final assessment of the potential impacts of large-scale mining development on Bristol Bay fisheries and wildlife, and on Alaska Native cultures of the region.



EPA's Proposed Determination Published

EPA Region 10's proposed determination to restrict the use of certain waters in the Bristol Bay watershed for disposal of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a large ore body in southwest Alaska.

EPA Proposed Determination






Bristol Bay: World’s Largest Sockeye Salmon Run

Bristol Bay is home to the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.The 2016 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 51.4 million fish ranks 2nd out of the last 20 years (1996–2015) and was 46% above the 35.1 million average run for the same period. The sockeye harvest value in 2016 was nearly $153 million to fishermen who harvested over 37 million sockeye. Wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay is enjoyed by consumers worldwide. Its firm, red flesh and delicate flavor make it one of the finest fresh, frozen and canned salmon on the market today.

Bristol Bay is located in the Southeast corner of the Bering Sea in Alaska. Bristol Bay sockeye salmon begin their lives in the pristine tributaries and lakes of the region. Here the fingerling salmon spend the first year of their five-year life cycle before migrating out to sea. The sockeye salmon spend four years in the cold and clean waters of the Bering Sea and North Pacific. The sockeye salmon thrive on a plankton diet, and attain one of the highest levels of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids found in any seafood. Completing their life cycle, the sockeye salmon migrate back to the rivers of their origin.