It's Bristol Bay Salmon Week, and lucky for us, this is one celebration that's easy to do from afar.

The Bristol Bay Native Corp. kicked off the week with an Instagram Live interview with Chef Tom Colicchio of Bravo TV's "Top Chef" fame. (The interview starts on the video at 3:01.)

"We're losing our wildlife, and you know, quite frankly that's who we are. It's part of our heritage. And you know these places need to be protected," said Colicchio. "I'm a lifelong fisherman — not a commercial fisherman, a recreational fisherman — and a lover of food."

Host Atkiq Illutsik- Snyder, the corporation's Culture Camp Project director, asked Colicchio about his advocacy and connection to Bristol Bay.

"I think for a lot of reasons Bristol Bay needs to be protected," Colicchio said. "There are so many livelihoods that revolve around fishing. There's also a way of life that revolves around Bristol Bay and the salmon there."

Tom also dropped his favorite ways to prepare wild sockeye, including a salt-crusted braise.

The rest of the week includes daily events, with three on Tuesday, Sept. 15:

5 p.m. Eastern | 2 Pacific | 1 Alaska
Bristol Bay Voices Panel — featuring members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation

6:30 p.m. Eastern | 3:30 Pacific | 2:30 Alaska
Instagram Live with Dave Matthews Band's Stefan Lessard

7 p.m. Eastern | 4 Pacific | 3 Alaska
Instagram Live with Colleen Vincent, vice president of Community at the James Beard Foundation

Check out the BBNC's Salmon Week central and its Instagram feed for more.

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 14 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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