EARTHWORKS

Can mining and salmon co-exist? Read this!

Bonnie Gestring's avatar
By Bonnie Gestring

August 30, 2011

Spawning salmon in Hanson Creek. Photo: Nick Hall
Spawning salmon in Hanson Creek.
Photo: Nick Hall

It s no surprise that there is overwhelming concern over the impact of the proposed Pebble Mine on the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. It s the world s largest wild salmon fishery, and the economic engine for the region.

Anglo American, the UK-based company proposing the mine, says that mining and salmon can co-exist, and they point to the Fraser River as an example of that. 

These two river systems are so different it s an odd comparison. But, more importantly, it completely undermines (no pun intended) their case.

A new paper by two fisheries biologists reports that impaired water quality and human development changes have resulted in the lowest productivity of Fraser River sockeye in over 50 years!

Frasier River sockeye salmon populations are suffering from myriad problems associated with urban and industrial development, leading to dramatic decreases in productivity, multiple fisheries closures, and federal and international population listings.  

What? That doesn t sound good. And, that s exactly why everyone s worried about Pebble. 

Salmon have never fared well in the face of significant industrialization.  Read the report here. 

Tagged with: salmon, pebble, bristol bay, anglo american

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