Jun 05 2008
Growing Fuel Prices Felt By Boat Owners
Thursday, 05 June 2008

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 With the nation’s gas prices continuing to rise, the effects are felt not only by motorists, but fishermen as well. Mary Donaldson has more.

            Gas prices continue to rise in Kodiak. The price of one gallon of regular gasoline went up 10-cents last week alone, and the current price of diesel fuel is 5-dollars and 5-cents per gallon. The constant rise in prices is increasing operating costs for boat owners and affecting where and when and even whether they will go fishing.

            Jeff Stephan, the manager for the United Fisherman’s Marketing Association, says the rise in prices affects everyone in the fishing community.

            (Stephen 1                    :48       “…that kind of phenomenon.”)

            Stephan says fuel prices are a significant issue in Alaska, because as a state it is very fuel intensive, especially in the fishing industry.

Dave Kubiak has been fishing for over 40 years. He says the higher cost of fuel has affected him but not as much as it has with others.

            (Kubiak 1                     :40s      “…changed the whole face of fishing.”)

He says he has downsized his boat.

(Kubiak 2                     :24s      “…freedom again to travel.”)

            Darius Kasprzak, a local jig fisherman and the owner of the fishing vessel “Malka”, has been fishing since 1983. He says the price for some fish creates an opportunity for fishermen to make more money but that the rising cost of fuel is a tremendous concern that creates a larger risk factor, because if a fisherman has a few bad trips, it is much easier for him to go into the hole financially.

Kasprzak says he is attempting to increase his boat’s efficiency to deal with rising fuel costs.

            (Kasprzak 1                 :36s      “…make my boat as efficient as I can.)

Stephen says grants or subsidies would temporarily aid fishermen with fuel prices, and a mid-to-long-term solution would be solid economy that includes what he called fairer prices from processors.

I’m Mary Donaldson.