by Shoren Brown
The Washington Post reports on Chef Rick Moonen’s fight to help protect sustainable Bristol Bay salmon from the Pebble Mine. Reporter Juliet Eilperin sampled some of Moonen’s Bristol Bay salmon preparations and concluded: “After a dish like that, people might take to the streets in defense of wild Alaskan salmon.”
Anchorage resident Michael Gogolowski excoriates Alaska’s Attorney General in a letter to the editor in the Anchorage Daily News, noting with irony the state of Alaska’s dual positions in wanting help from the EPA to clean up the Red Devil Mine, while simultaneously seeking to push the EPA out of evaluating Bristol Bay’s fisheries and natural resources.
Scientist and fisherman Sarah O’Neal commends the EPA and science panelists for working hard to get the science in the assessment right. She writes in the Anchorage Daily News: “The majority of scientific experts who spoke to the panel, however, agreed that the assessment provides a thorough review of existing science regarding fisheries resources and habitats of Bristol Bay and potential impacts from mining, pipelines and roads. They pointed out that EPA included data presented in Pebble's Environmental Baseline Document when those data were transparent and reliable.”
In a Juneau Empire op-ed, Eric Forrer calls the Pebble mine an “ethical and environmental Armageddon.” He writes: “It is just a street fight in which money is power, money is speech, and money is influence. Thus you have the Pebble group spending on the order of $25 million on the effort to defeat a single ballot initiative in 2010. This spectacle shines a light on the nature of the fight, and the absurdity of ‘letting the process work.’ The process is just smoke, mirrors and poisonous politics.”
In another opinion piece in the Juneau paper, commercial fisherman Brian Delay describes deep concerns about the possibility of reducing the commercial salmon fishery to compensate for salmon lost due to mining the Pebble deposit. This idea, he writes, “is extremely disturbing, especially because the Pebble Limited Partnership has repeatedly told fishermen and others that the proposed Pebble mine and salmon can co-exist. They promised they could mitigate the losses and have ‘no net loss.’”
A customer advisory panel of major buyers of wild seafood told the state’s key seafood marketing entity that they trust the Alaska brand, but fear the Pebble mine could devalue Alaska seafood, reports The Cordova Times. “Wild Alaska salmon is the only salmon we sell, so if there was a food scare around the Pebble mine issue, then we would have concerns over that,” said Jeremy Langley, a specialist fish and shellfish buyer for Waitrose, one of the United Kingdom’s leading food retailers.
Shoren Brown is the Save Bristol Bay campaign director for Trout Unlimited.