BBRSDA is trying to put guidelines in place for the influx of fishermen and processors to Bristol Bay in support of the upcoming salmon season. They have identified the risk of spreading COVID-19 to the rural communities in Dillingham, Naknek, and other areas and are trying to develop protocols for keeping non-local fishermen separate from local community members.
Discovery Health is a group out of Seattle that provides remote medical advice and coverage for the fishing fleets in Alaska. They have developed a series of safety protocols for fishing vessels of various types and shoreside processors.
The commercial fishing industry is working around the clock with community leaders, state officials and healthcare professionals to set safety plans for the upcoming fishing season. Commercial fishermen take their role as food providers within Alaska's mandated critical infrastructure very seriously. We are dedicated to safe, responsible seafood businesses, fishing communities and the essential workforce keeping our food system intact. We will share more information as it develops and wish you the best as you prepare for the coming season.
Signage and information sheets for cleaning and social distancing, along with other resources for fishermen, including sample protocols and procedures from the Deep Sea Trawlers Association Page. Some of FishSafe's materials are being translated into Vietnamese and Chinese and will be available shortly.
We are training our Navigators to work one-on-one with fishermen and their families, and we are reporting out the frequently asked questions - see the financial section of the website, for example. In addition, we are beginning to host a weekly webinar with Navigators and financial experts who can answer questions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented all mariners with new operational and financial challenges. CDC/NIOSH has provided us with a list of online resources from around the country, to help commercial fishermen and other mariners address this new operating environment. Please let us know about online resources for your area that we may have missed. Send us a link at at our Contact Page. We will add resources to this list as we learn about them.