Trout Unlimited Alaska (TU-AK) held several public events in Anchorage and the Pacific Northwest last summer to promote awareness of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and the threat it faces from large-scale mining activity. We plan to do more of these as we move into 2010.
With funding from the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association and in partnership with Anchorage's Sacks Cafй, TU-AK staff served up hundreds of grilled samples of fresh Bristol Bay sockeye salmon on three separate weekends in June, July and August at the South Anchorage Farmer's Market. Along with sockeye samples, TU-AK staff handed out salmon recipes and information about the proposed Pebble mine. Most everyone who stopped by the TU-AK booth expressed support for halting this massive project from going forward.
"Commercial and sport fishing brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, and the salmon are the cornerstone of the subsistence diet and culture of this area. The resource is too great to put at risk" said Elizabeth Dubovsky, program director of TU-AK's WhyWild program .
Besides the Anchorage events, TU-AK also held two days of salmon-tasting and education in July at New Seasons Market in Portland. New Seasons is an upscale grocer with nine stores throughout the greater Portland area that features healthy and sustainable food. TU-AK sponsored several Bristol Bay fishermen to travel to New Seasons to distribute salmon samples and speak to shoppers about how their livelihoods could disappear if the Pebble mine goes forward. It was the third consecutive summer that Trout Unlimited has partnered with New Seasons on this event.
TU-AK plans to do more Anchorage farmer's market events this coming summer. We'll be looking for volunteers to help staff the booth. If you're interested, please contact TU-AK Special Projects Coordinator, Nelli Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org .