“Thousands Are Headed to Alaska’s Fishing Towns. So Is the Virus.”

“As the famed Copper River salmon season begins, isolated fishing towns are bracing for an influx of workers and their first brush with the coronavirus.”

“The people of Cordova, Alaska, had weathered the coronavirus pandemic with no cases and the comfort of isolation — a coastal town unreachable by road in a state with some of the fewest infections per capita in the country.

But that seclusion has come to an abrupt end. Over the past two weeks, fishing boat crews from Seattle and elsewhere have started arriving by the hundreds, positioning for the start of Alaska’s summer seafood rush.

The fishing frenzy begins on Thursday with the season opening for the famed Copper River salmon, whose prized fillets can fetch up to $75 a pound at the market. Before the pandemic, Cordova’s Copper River catch was flown fresh for swift delivery to some of the country’s highest-end restaurants.”

Mike Baker reports for the New York Times May 14, 2020.