The City of Kenai Boat Launch into Cook Inlet is photographed May 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

The City of Kenai Boat Launch into Cook Inlet is photographed May 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Copper River Seafoods halting Kenai operations this salmon season

The company salmon cited the fisheries management plan, rising production costs and the poor forecast

Kenai fish processor Copper River Seafoods announced it will not operate on the Kenai Peninsula this salmon season, citing fishing industry hardships in the Cook Inlet area.

In a letter posted online, CEO Scott Blake said the company decided not to buy salmon on the peninsula for multiple reasons.

“Due to changes in the Cook Inlet salmon management plan, rising production costs, and the poor forecast, Copper River Seafoods will not be operating during the salmon season on the Kenai Peninsula this year,” he said in the letter.

The processor was started by four Alaska fishermen in 1996, according to the company’s website.

Requests for comment were not returned by Copper River Seafoods by Tuesday afternoon.

The letter stated, however, that another fish processing plant will be taking Copper River Seafoods’ place. Rogue Wave Processing will purchase fish in Kenai, Kasilof and Ninilchik and process the catch at the Kalifornsky Beach Road plant, the company said in the letter.

Copper River Seafoods will still have a presence on the Kenai Peninsula in Homer and Whittier, the letter said, as well as continuing operations in its Cordova, Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.

“We appreciate your support during our time operating in Kenai,” the CEO said in the letter.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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