The addition of state of the art sonar was made possible by a one-time collaboration between the State of Alaska and the seafood industry. Between February and March 2018, Copper River and Prince William Sound commercial gillnet salmon fishermen and their buyers agreed to assist Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the purchase of the fourth ARIS sonar unit to be installed at the Miles Lake sonar station.
Copper River salmon fishermen pay a 1% marketing tax that funds a regional seafood development association (RSDA), the Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association (CR/PWSMA). The Association and its members contributed $75,000 to the purchase of the ARIS. Cordova District Fishermen United (CDFU), the fisherman’s advocacy organization for the Prince William Sound area, contributed $7000 to the purchase from the gillnet division of their membership. Salmon buyers in the Copper River District also contributed significant funds to the project; Copper River Seafoods, North Pacific, Ocean Beauty, Trident Seafoods each came to the purchase with $6375 while Alaska Wild Seafood contributed $2500. In all, Copper River fishermen contributed $82,000 to the purchase that will benefit all resource management, subsistence, sport and commercial.