Recently, a Bristol Bay set net fisherman and photographer gave fans of the New Yorker Magazine an up-close and personal look at the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, through the smartphone application Instagram.
The fishermen and processors who return to Bristol Bay every summer, as well as local residents, are all too familiar with the amount of work that goes into preparing for the short-lived Bristol Bay salmon season. The stresses that go along with getting a boat ready, finding a reliable crew, and waiting an extra 30 minutes for a D&D pizza are just part of the game. But what can we expect a stock trader in New York City or a Google executive in Silicon Valley to know about the Bristol Bay salmon fishery?
As of writing this story, the New Yorker's Instagram account has 80,482 active followers. For a while now, they've been doing Instagram Takeovers, where they hand over the password to their Instagram account to professional photographers.
As he and his crew prepared for this year's fishing season on the Kvijack River, Corey Arnold, a commercial set net fisherman and photographer from Portland, Oregon, was given the opportunity to post photographs on behalf of the New Yorker Magazine through their Instagram account.
They just gave me the password to their Instagram account and said "go for it".
Corey Arnold began set net fishing in Bristol Bay at the age of 19. For the past five years, he and his crew have fished a set net site on Graveyard Point, at the mouth of the Kvijack River. Arnold studied photography at the Institute of Art in San Francisco and has spent the past 5 summers documenting his experiences during the fishing season.
After I graduated with a photography degree, I was kind of searching for a new photo project, and I landed on commercial fishing. Now that I own a site and a permit, and I fish at Graveyard Point, I've been, for the last 5 years, doing a documentary on the community out there. It's really focused on the characters and the people, and the strange personalities that come together every year for the salmon season.
In January, 2013 his photo series from Graveyard Point was highlighted on the New York Time's popular "Lens Blog".
Corey Arnold took photos of the people, places and the everyday activities involved in preparing for the Bristol Bay salmon season. His hope is that these photos will shed shed light on the importance of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.
Recently, you really get the sense that people value wild sockeye salmon. They understand it and they get it. Bristol Bay being a series of rivers that have no industry happening upstream, you know, completely pristine waterways, there's just not many places left like that in the world. So getting this series instantly out there and getting people interested in what's going on in Bristol Bay, I'm sure they're going to do a little more research on their own. Hopefully I can continue to tell the story of commercial fishermen from Bristol Bay and elsewhere around Alaska.
- More information about Corey Arnold can be found at coreyfishes.com and at instagram.com/arni_coraldo
- The complete series of photos from Arnold's week as the official New Yorker "Instagrammer" can be found by scrolling down through the photos on the newyorkermag Instagram account.
- Arnold's feature on the NYT Lens Blog can be found at http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/eat-sleep-fish-click/