When king salmon numbers went south on the Yukon River, it put an end to what had been a lucrative commercial fishing industry on the lower river.
Fishermen then pinned their hopes on another species of salmon — the chum — which has a mixed reputation in Alaska.
The Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, the Community Development Quota group for the region, invested heavily in marketing the chums; rebranding them as arctic keta and touting the salmon’s extraordinary oil content.
But chums, alas, get no respect in Alaska; not with so many other species of salmon to eat, including sockeyes, silvers and kings.
Europeans, though, are developing a taste for chums, which begs the question: What’s in a name?
Would a chum by any other name taste the same?
In part 5 of KTVA’s series, “Season of hope on the Yukon,” photographer Jacob Curtis and reporter Rhonda McBride look at one of the main buyers of arctic keta on the Yukon — a London-based company called New England Seafood.