Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 22 August 2008
Diamonds may just be a Bristol Bay fisherman's best friend.
Well, if not diamonds outright, then the folks who sell them are. According to a story on the National Jeweler Network's Web site http://www.nationaljewelernetwork.com/njn/content_display/high_volume/e3i4c84d87c8ff2e248eda0c7d12d218eb5?imw=Y, Tiffany and Co., New York's famed Fifth Avenue jeweler, is urging fellow industry members to oppose the proposed Pebble Mine, which would be situated in the Bristol Bay region.
The Pebble Limited Partnership is seeking the state's permission to build a vast copper and gold mine. It says the mine can be developed in an eco-friendly manner. And it would provide lucrative jobs in a region that could use them.
But Bristol Bay salmon fishermen and the conservation group Trout Unlimited oppose the mine's development. They fear its impact upon another rich natural resource — Alaska's highly prized Bristol Bay salmon fishery.
Apparently Tiffany agrees. It hosted a screening of the documentary "Red Gold" in Manhattan on Aug. 19 in an effort to highlight those concerns.
The jewelry company says it's vowed never to source Pebble Mine gold if the mine opens. And it's urging fellow industry operations to do likewise. Thus far, four other companies — Fortunoff, Ben Bridge Jeweler and Helzberg Diamonds, and Chicago-based independent Leber Jeweler — have said they'll oppose the Pebble Mine, too.
It's heartening to see the jewelers taking a stand with fishermen against the project. That kind of solid gold support from people outside the fishing industry is always welcome.
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...