“I have the deepest gratitude for my life. I am satisfied with things just as they are. All there is now is to give back. I do this by sharing the best of what I have: in this case, it’s fish.”
— Dustan Dickerson, Raven Bay Seafoods
Dustan Dickerson hails from the Oregon Coast Range where his family worked in the timber industry. As a kid, he often dreamed of moving to Alaska and fishing for a living. In 1987, he did just that, initially working on crab boats. He purchased his first boat in 1994 and started fishing for cod. Today, he is the captain of fishing vessel (F/V) Raven Bay and is the only dayboat fisherman delivering into Dutch Harbor. His wife, Evie, is an essential part of the business and an Alaskan Native that comes from a fishing family. Together, they run Raven Bay Seafoods.
Dustan catches cod using pots, a method that keeps the fish alive until it is removed from the water. Once the fish is onboard, it is immediately bled and chilled in freezing cold seawater. This practice prevents the flesh from browning and results in firm, snow white colored fillets. The fish is then filleted and frozen within 36 hours of capture, locking in it’s incredibly fresh, mild flavor.
What is pot-caught?
Pot-caught refers to the catch method and gear the fisherman uses; picture a rectangular cage made of steel and covered in wire netting. Dustan baits the pots with local herring to lure the fish inside. Each pot lays on the seafloor at a depth of approximately 300 feet with a rope attached to a buoy that floats on the surface of the water. Unlike other catch methods, like longlines or trawls, pots keep the fish alive and in an unstressed condition, which significantly improves the quality. Pots also have less impact on the marine environment making it a more sustainable catch method.