National Fisherman

Ever since the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updated its Bristol Bay Area Plan for land use management in 2005, there has been debate about what should and should not be considered the best use of the land. And as the proposed Pebble Mine became clearer in scope, some Bristol Bay residents became more and more concerned about what the plan's revisions were designed to accomplish.


JUNEAU — Build-out of a large-scale mine near the headwaters of a world-class salmon fishery in Alaska could wipe out as many as 90 miles of streams and alter stream flows, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a revised assessment released Friday.


The Pebble Partnership plans to spend $80 million this year on advancing its proposed mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay.


The firm hired by the Pebble Partnership to review the company's substantial environmental baseline studies will hold a second set of independent science panels starting May 6. The panels will be held in Anchorage, and will be filmed and broadcast via web-stream live. Remote participants can submit questions and comments by email during the event.


Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay

Pebble Mine is the common name of a mineral exploration project investigating a very large porphyry copper, gold, and molybdenum mineral deposit in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. This area is also the watershed to the world's largest run of sockeye salmon. Visit the Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay site to learn more about how this potential mine will affect fishing habitat in perpetuity.

Report: The Economic Importance of Bristol Bay

BB EconReport Small


Take Action Now

The Environmental Protection Agency released its second draft assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed and is accepting comments until June 30. Submit your comments at the Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay site (includes suggested comments) or directly to the EPA.

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The EPA is scheduled to release its revised watershed assessment for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay sometime this spring.


If there's one thing salesmen know, it's the abiding faith that if they say something over and over again, that it will become true (at least in terms of public perception). So it's no wonder that the Pebble Partnership has spent millions of dollars on advertising and lobbying to convince us that there is no plan to mine in Bristol Bay. Sadly, Alaska's own Governor Sean Parnell has bought in, repeating this same tired rhetoric just this week at the world-famous Boston Seafood Show which he attends to represent the state of Alaska and our seafood industry.


Not long before U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson resigned from President Obama's cabinet, it was revealed she spent years using a secret e-mail account to conduct official business. Under pressure, the agency has started releasing those e-mails, which provide a glimpse into how top officials at the agency worked to outmaneuver lawmakers and the press. But I found one of Jackson's e-mails particularly astounding and hypocritical, given the agency's apparent obsession with politics and PR spin.


A long-awaited federal report released Wednesday concludes that a large gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay area poses significant risks to the region's thriving sockeye salmon runs and its people -- an assessment praised by environmental, fishing and Native groups as sound science and sharply criticized by the group trying to develop the proposed Pebble mine as rushed and flawed.


While Alaska may host a wide variety of people, thoughts and ideas, I think we can all agree that salmon are an important part of calling this great state home. Whether in our belly, on the end of our line or in our net, salmon feed us, provide jobs and support a multi-billion dollar a year economy. Our salmon are iconic.


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Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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