National Fisherman

ILIAMNA -- In the vast, green, windswept tundra of Southwest Alaska, the planet's greatest remaining stronghold of wild salmon, an open-pit mine of staggering proportions is being hatched.
Right now it's just a cluster of buildings in a remote valley, where the silence is broken by the buzz of helicopters bringing workers to collect core samples. But the proposed Pebble mine could become the largest open-pit mine on the continent, and the Environmental Protection Agency figures it could wipe out nearly 100 miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands.
The deposit of copper and gold is a potential $300 billion bonanza in a place where good jobs can be scarce. The mine's promise of opportunity sits uneasily, though, in a region that produces half the world's wild red salmon and sustains indigenous Alaska Native cultures that have been tied to the fish for at least 4,000 years.
"When the mine happens, it will destroy a culture," said Jack Allen, the owner of Nushagak Cab in the Bristol Bay fishing community of Dillingham. "Fishing is not just about money here; it's life."
Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>

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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