Sockeye Salmon Capital of the World

TASTEsalmonHere in the Pacific Northwest, we love salmon, don’t we? Is that salmon you just bought at the grocery store wild? Was the salmon you ordered last night at your favorite restaurant farmed?  Most of us know that wild salmon is the best in every way, but how many of us know where most of our wild salmon comes from? Chances are it came from the “Sockeye Salmon Capital of the World”, Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska.

The Bristol Bay basin supports one of the largest commercial salmon fisheries in the world and is now threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine project.  This mine would be the largest copper mine in North America and one of the largest gold mines in the world…and unfortunately, this mine would be lethal to the fish of Bristol Bay and all of the ecosystems of that beautiful and naturally productive community. According to the Wild Salmon Center in Portland, OR, should this project be allowed to move forward, the mine would produce up to 10 billion (yes, that’s billion) tons of waste rock. Up to nine miles of dams reaching over 700 feet high would be required to impound the billions of toxic waste produced. This is just a sampling of the long list of disastrous consequences of this project.

Our very own Executive Chef, Craig Hetherington, spent some time working in Naknek, Alaska, a borough in Bristol Bay. The community, land and fisheries are very dear to him and he feels very strongly about the importance of getting the word out about this critical situation. Needless to say, it’s a political one.

There’s so much more to be said about this issue, but we just don’t have time to pass along here. But here’s Chef Craig’s take-away, “Buy and eat wild salmon.  Support restaurants that serve wild salmon.  Contact your US Senators and voice your opinion. When you buy salmon products, read the label! If it’s canned, it’s probably farmed. If it smoked, it’s probably farmed. “

Please share this with your friends and family. We don’t want to have farmed salmon as our only option and more importantly, it would be terrible to lose the irreplaceable fisheries and community of Bristol Bay.

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