National Fisherman

The global mining firm Rio Tinto announced Monday that it will divest its 19 percent stake in the controversial Pebble Mine project in Alaska,  donating its shares to two state charities.
The decision is the latest blow to the proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine, which is under federal scrutiny for how it could affect the nearby Bristol Bay watershed, which supports nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon. In late February the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would invoke its authority under the Clean Water Act and consider blocking the mine, effectively halting the project.
Rio Tinto Copper chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, whose company started reviewing its investment in the Pebble Partnership in December, said it would donate its investment in Northern Dynasty Minerals to the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.
Jacques said his company continues "to see Alaska as an attractive location for potential future investment," adding that by divvying up the shares it will guarantee "that Alaskans will have a say in Pebble's future development and that any economic benefit supports Alaska's ability to attract investment that creates jobs."
Read the full story at the Washington Post>>

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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