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
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 Sockeye Forecast
Confluence of factors causing disconnect in salmon pricing
Seafood producers were hoping U.S. consumers would have cheaper salmon this year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The $8.99 per pound of Alaska sockeye the U.S. consumer pays at a minimum in Anchorage isn’t making its way back down the chain to the fishermen, whose overall pay has been slashed in half by a cyclone of every possible negative market pressure and a marketing campaign that keeps prices high and attracts fraudsters.
Bristol Bay produces the world’s largest natural sockeye run and the most valuable fishery in Alaska state waters, but after one of the largest harvests on record with 37 million salmon, Alaska fishermen experienced a severe shortfall on the 2015 season price.
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.
Federal Judge Sides with Pebble to Halt EPA Mine Action for Now
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 Proposed Determination Published
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