19 Aug The Beauty of Bristol Bay’s Sustainable Salmon Population
Bristol Bay, Alaska is home to breathtaking natural beauty, thriving wildlife, and the most valuable and sustainable sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Each summer, Bristol Bay’s salmon run contains an astounding 35-50 million sockeye salmon. The Bristol Bay salmon run is a refreshing contrast to the lower 48 states, where many salmon populations are listed as either endangered or extirpated. It’s no wonder that nearly 40% of America’s wild-caught seafood is sourced from this bay.
Salmon stocks are impressively stable and successful in Bristol Bay because the habitat is essentially unaltered, the fish produced by region’s 7 major river systems maintain important genetic diversity, and there is a single management agency responsible for oversight.
Salmon isn’t just an important commodity in Bristol Bay; it is a way of life. The fishery is over 100 years old and is valued at 1.5 billion dollars. Salmon supports the livelihood for many of Bristol Bay’s residents, responsible for about 10,000 jobs. Salmon also plays an important role in the bay’s intricate and delicate ecosystem.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) helps support the ongoing success of this abundant and sustainably managed resource.
“So many of the places we work have been polluted, deforested, mined, or destroyed,” says Margaret Williams, managing director of WWF’s Arctic program. “Bristol Bay is one of the few truly intact ecosystems left in the world.”
However, certain threats loom over Bristol Bay. Proposed pebble mining could alter the freshwater ecosystem and result in habitat loss, changes in water chemistry, and ultimately, lead to a loss in salmon biodiversity. More generally, the ongoing effects of climate change also poses a threat to the continued abundance of salmon and their food chain.
Wild Selections is committed to the preservation of this fishery. 13 cents from every can of Wild Selections that you purchase goes directly to WWF project work. Specifically, 25% of the all Wild Selections donations go to the Bristol Bay project work.