Fishermen, registered buyers and hatcheries have a new and easier way to do business online from a single location. It’s based in Kenai.

“All buyers that register through the site have to be certified and registered through the feds and of course, through the state of Alaska, so nothing changes in that regard. Your existing buyers are part of this if  they choose to be. And they’re the ones that are bidding.  It just makes everything easier. It’s in one location. This is somewhat like eBay in that it’s a platform for fishermen to go to advertise that, hey, I’m going fishing on this date for X amount of pounds of quota. And all the normal buyers that are around here can go to one spot to see what fishermen are going out, when, and how much, so existing companies that these fishermen are used to selling to have the opportunity to bid through this platform.”

Nate Berga is the auction creator. He has over 20 years’ experience in both fishing and seafood buying. The Seafood Auction streamlines sales for both parties, he says, in a process that is completely above board.

“Fishermen of course often wonder, are they getting the best price and did they call the right buyers. And then from the buyer side, no one really knows what’s going on necessarily or who’s paying what. So this provides transparency in the marketplace.”  

The Seafood Auction also can streamline sales of hatchery cost recovery salmon, the fish they sell to help fund their operations. Instead of them soliciting bids from various buyers, it could all be done online.

 “This would be, of course, electronic and in an auction format. Hatcheries maintain the control in that they approve who can participate in the auction. If there’s been anyone who they’ve had issues with in the past, either not making payments or even not being able to handle all the fish from a hatchery, it may opt to not let somebody participate for whatever reason. So it ultimately gives control to the hatchery to decide who’s qualified to bid. Once that’s established, those companies can go ahead and bid and it’s just the normal auction format where the highest bidder wins.”  

Right now amidst the Covid pandemic, is the easiest way to streamline buying and selling. Berga says that’s a welcome break.

 “Things are really uncertain right now and this definitely gives them an option.”

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