EARTHWORKS

Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay Key to Sustainable Salmon Programs

Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay Key to Sustainable Salmon Programs
Alaska’s Bristol Bay is the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery remaining in the world and the most valuable single salmon fishery in Alaska

Published: November 21, 2011

By: Bonnie Gestring

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From the factsheet:

Alaska’s Bristol Bay is the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery remaining in the world and the most valuable single salmon fishery in Alaska.  Protecting the Bristol Bay fishery is an essential element to the future of any sustainable salmon program:

  • While the world’s oceans are suffering the loss of many important fish food species, Bristol Bay continues to supply roughly 50% of the world’s commercial supply of wild sockeye salmon.
  • Alaska’s wild salmon fishery is the only wild salmon fishery in America certified as a sustainably-harvested salmon fishery. Bristol Bay sockeye salmon represent 60% of the Alaska sockeye salmon harvest, by value.
  • In 2010, 30 million wild salmon were harvested in Bristol Bay, totaling roughly 168 million pounds of healthy seafood, which are shipped as frozen, fresh or tinned salmon.
  • This richly productive and sustainable resource generates some $450 million a year in revenue and employs more than 10,000 people.
  • Wild Pacific salmon is an internationally recognized and prized food that consumers increasingly seek out for its healthy qualities and benefits to the environment.
  • The Bristol Bay salmon fishery has been commercially fished for 125 years, and it will continue to provide a secure source of healthy food for the world’s population, as long as critical salmon habitat remains intact and its pristine waters are protected.

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