As a second-generation commercial fisherman my life has always revolved around salmon. Although a resident of Washington, I have spent summers fishing in Southeast Alaska since I boarded my parents’ boat as a 2-week-old.
My livelihood depends on healthy salmon runs, something we have struggled to maintain here in Washington. Now, Alaska’s salmon also face major threats, from unprecedented development proposals across the border in British Columbia.
Though I catch Alaskan salmon a few hundred miles north, I’ve seen how Western Washington’s economy has reflected the strength of Alaska’s salmon runs. Fishermen across the Pacific Northwest have cautiously sighed with relief at the delayed, but not dead, Bristol Bay Pebble Mine proposal. In part, we have U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to thank. She spoke out against the Pebble Mine at a 2014 rally at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal. But now, an even bigger, quieter storm is brewing in Southeast Alaska.
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