Written by Jen Finn
The Clatsop County Democrats recently passed a resolution to support the Environmental Protection Agency's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, which documents destructive impacts and further risks from the contentious plans to build North America's largest open-pit mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Clatsop County is home to more than one-third of Oregon's 2,100 Bristol Bay commercial fishermen, more than any other county in the state.
"The Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery is critical to our family's livelihood and to thousands of other fishermen across the United States," said Randy Wall, a commercial fishermen on the Brown Bear fishing vessel. "My family has commercial fished for generations and we take pride in providing Bristol Bay salmon to people all over the world.
"This is one the of last remaining sustainable sources of salmon left on earth and the Pebble Mine could destroy it forever."
The resolution acknowledges the economic threat of building a large-scale open pit mine in Bristol Bay where the wild sockeye salmon fishery is an economic powerhouse that supports 14,000 jobs. The fishery generates $17 million in income for Oregon residents.
The resolution calls the Pebble Mine proposal "an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to the economic livelihoods of Clatsop County commercial fishermen who operate in Bristol Bay, due to established science that demonstrates the incompatibility of open-pit mining operations in salmon spawning habitat."
According to the EPA's updated assessment, which was released April 26, the proposed Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay could destroy up to 87 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,800 acres of salmon habitat. The mine would unearth and store up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste "in perpetuity" behind massive earthen dams in a seismically active region. The Bristol Bay salmon runs account for about half the sockeye salmon supply in the world.
Read the full story at the Daily Astorian>>
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...