Copper River Seafoods began in 1996 to keep Alaskan rivers fished sustainably, to market more directly to buyers, and to keep Alaskan fishermen and women earning a fair price for their catch. Founded by Alaskan fishermen Pip Fillingham, Bill Bailey, and Scott Blake, who each had his own company, the combined Copper River Seafoods has taken all steps of the fishing process under its wing. Beginning with the harvesting, processing, and delivery of wild salmon, the company has expanded into Alaskan cod, halibut, rockfish, and crab at facilities in Cordova, Anchorage, Kenai, Naknek, Togiak, and Kotzebue, Alaska. It has its own smokehouses to produce smoked fish as well.
The three founders are still working fishermen, above and beyond their Copper River Seafoods activities. Scott Blake, for instance, is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman, who says he’s been on a boat since he was five or six years old. He and his partners want to keep Alaska fishing flourishing for many generations to come, and, they say, good fish management and good promotion of their state’s bounty are the ways to make that happen.