Graying of the Fleet
For many years the Copper River/Prince William Sound gillnet fishery was stagnant in terms of value and income to the fishermen. The participating fisherman got older and very few young fishermen “bought in”. This was a general trend around the state of Alaska and was known as a graying of the fleet. “Buying in” has always been a big step, which necessitates a substantial loan from the state or a bank. In the last several years the value of the fishery has increased making it much more attractive for young men and women. It is still very expensive to buy a boat and limited entry permit, but we are seeing many new faces in the fleet. This past week during the closure, it was a joy to see one group of young fishermen making the most of the rare sun and calm weather on the Copper River Flats.
Copper River Girlnetter