Opening of the Fishing Season
Greetings from the Beginning of Fishing Season in the Pacific Northwest.
By: Travis Collins
A wet and rainy greeting from the Seattle Ocean Marine operation or what is affectionately known as “Territory 22.” While our region is vast in geographical terms, it’s not so large in terms of population. Washington and Alaska make up the majority of our book, and our Alaskan Hull book is primarily fishing vessels.
The salmon fishing season is a big one for our office. Although we have reduced our reliance on the fishboat book over the years, it is still an important part of our mix of business. It currently consists of the Bristol Bay Gillnet Fishery where the boats are small and maneuverable as they set their nets in the paths of migrating salmon runs in the mouths of the Western Alaskan rivers. Did you know that by law, all boats must be the same size at 32 feet? Even at the same size, there are a variety of boats fishing in this region – from circa 1960’s bow pickers to brand new state-of-the art stern pickers with luxury crew accommodations.
Knocking on any wood within reach, we like this business. We like it because the season is in the summer from June to July. The crew contingent is generally one to three crew, plus the owner. Most boats have the owner as the operator, and the operator has been fishing these waters for many years. Many of these vessels are laid-up and out of the water for the rest of the year!
Biologists are forecasting a massive run of sockeye this year in the Bristol Bay region. We hope with the success long overdue the fishermen in this fishery, that we can play our part in providing strong, stable insurance coverage for these fish wranglers during the 2022 season.
Next time you have wild caught Alaskan Salmon on your dinner plate, (besides thinking of Chip enjoying his much-deserved retirement), think of these 32-foot boats and their crew working hard to pronounce rivers in Alaska such as the Igushick, Nushagak, Kvichak and Naknek. And remember, Great American may have had a small but significant role in this fish getting to your table.