National Fisherman

Earthworks confirmed that more than 100 jewelers, representing more than $6 billion in annual sales, have pledged their support to protect  Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine. The jewelers have either issued comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or signed the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge citing Earthworks' findings that the gold and copper mine would destroy the world’s largest wild salmon fishery in the area. The EPA extended its public comment period on the Pebble Mine until June 30.

The Pebble Mine is a project of Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals, and Earthworks and an EPA preliminary impact statement alleges that the open pit operation would dispose of billions of tons of toxic waste into the watershed.

"When a foreign mining company lobbies Washington for permission to dig the largest open pit mine in North America in the middle of one of Alaska’s most ecologically sensitive areas, it is clearly time for the White House to say 'no,'" said Brian Leber, the president of Leber Jeweler Inc. and a third generation jeweler. "The EPA has the authority to prevent this travesty, but they need to act now."

Earthworks' Bonnie Gestring said, "The American public doesn’t want to see the gold jewelry they buy come at the expense of the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery. We commend the jewelers for their principled position."

In addition to jewelers,  commercial fishermen in Alaska, the region's Native Tribes, Anglo investors, supermarkets and sportsmen have all called upon  the EPA to protect Bristol Bay from mining by invoking section 404c of the Clean Water Act to restrict the dumping of mine waste into streams and wetlands that drain into the bay. The EPA’s impact statement  found that 90 miles of streams could be blocked or eliminated, another 34 miles harmed by reduced stream flow, and 4,800 acres of wetlands destroyed under normal operation of the Pebble Mine.

Read the full story at Rapaport>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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