Sportsmen from across the country are going to Washington, D.C. next week, to argue in defense of Alaska's Bristol Bay, one of the world’s great salmon fisheries.
It is threatened by Pebble Mine, a proposed gold and coppering mining operation.
Scott Hed of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska says this:
“This is not just Alaska’s issue. It is not just a commercial fishing or sportfishing issue. This is about America’s last great wild fishery.
“If we falter here, we will have laid down our rods at the feet of a multi-national corporation. We will have turned an industry with a long history of destroying fisheries loose in a place that provides 40 percent of the wild salmon the world eats.
“As fishermen we will have abandoned one of the last places that is hatchery-free, with runs averaging 40 million salmon a year.
“If you fish and have not heard of Pebble, you may have been under a rock. It is a proposal for the largest hard rock gold and copper mine in North America, bringing with it all the pollution risk and water consumption that comes with mining at this scale.
“It would sit at the headwaters of the largest salmon fishery in the world, a place where you can catch five types of salmon, rainbows, Dollies, char, northern pike, lake trout and grayling. Its sport fishing industry brings in $100 million a year; its commercial fisheries are worth $400 million each year. Together they provide jobs for more than 12,000 people.”