The US-based salmon marketing group Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) has hired former Perter Pan Seafood CEO Barry Collier to advise the group on its global marketing initiatives.

A former fisherman, Collier brings extensive industry experience to the organization, including executive roles in two vessel-owner associations and, most recently, as president and CEO of Peter Pan Seafoods.

In early 2021, Collier stepped down from his role at Peter Pan following the sale of the company to a consortium of parties led by longtime seafood executive Rodger May. Collier had been with Peter Pan for 33 years.

“The BBRSDA has had incredible success that much of the industry and even fishermen are not aware of,” Collier said. “I look forward to not only bringing the established programs of the BBRSDA to light throughout the fleet and industry, but also helping gain back global markets in a time when it is needed the most.”

“The board is confident that the addition of Barry’s experience and the current BBRSDA staff will keep the organization on track to achieving our mission and continuing to elevate our brand and programs,” said BBRSDA President Fritz Johnson.

Bristol Bay fishermen were unhappy with the prices they received for their fish from processors this summer. The base price of 50 cents per pound was less than half of what they received in 2022.

Processors blame the lower prices on a combination of oversupply following a record catch of salmon in Bristol Bay in 2022 and collapsing global seafood markets hit hard by inflation and weak consumer demand.

"After several years of large harvests, the BBRSDA dedicated additional temporary funding to increase sales velocity efforts in April-June of 2023, all of which contributed to an overall average sales lift of nearly 35 percent, the group said.

Shifting global market conditions have led the organization to refocus on its core competencies in 2024 through what it says will be "authentic storytelling about the quality, sustainability, and accessibility of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon."

The marketing program will continue to offer branding, point-of-sale, social media, and digital support to retail partners, the group said.

“The partnerships and sales velocity created from a busy year of retail promotions have paved the way for our Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon brand message to resonate across retail, foodservice, and consumer channels heading into this upcoming year,” said Lilani Dunn, Marketing Director at BBRSDA.

“While there are clear challenges that are out of our control, it is important that we stay focused on what differentiates Bristol Bay sockeye from other options through marketing, quality, and collaboration with the many stakeholders of our fishery.”

The BBRSDA is a fishermen-funded group with the mission to increase the value of the Bristol Bay fishery through education, quality outreach, and marketing.

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