National Fisherman

Kevin McCambly was born and raised in Dillingham, Alaska, just downstream from the proposed Pebble Mine, a massive copper and gold mining project that is pitting corporate interests against commercial fisherman, conservationists and local residents. Last week, he and many others demanded answers from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) at a town hall meeting in Anchorage.

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On April 26, 2013, more than 300 leading scientists sent a letter to the White House expressing "deep concerns" about the prospect of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed of Southwest Alaska, home to the world's largest wild salmon runs. The action comes as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases for public comment a revised draft assessment on watershed impacts of what could be North America's largest mine.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Inside the Industry

It’s no secret that fraud is a problem in the seafood industry. Oceana repeatedly touts a mislabeling epidemic. While their method has been criticized, the perception of rampant fraud  has been established.

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The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

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