In early July, grocers and fish markets throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond came together to promote Bristol Bay sockeye salmon during the peak of the Bristol Bay fishing season. This wasn’t your average salmon promotion though. Instead, businesses encouraged customers to eat Bristol Bay salmon as a way to help save Bristol Bay salmon – or “eat wild to save wild,” as Seattle Chef Tom Douglas often reminds people.
During the weekend promotion, participating businesses collectively raised $12,700 for the Alaska Wild Salmon Fund, which supports Alaska nonprofits working on the frontlines of the Pebble Mine fight. In addition to raising funds, some businesses hosted special salmon tastings and events, including Flying Fish Company, which hosted a class teaching people how to fillet a whole salmon.
“As a business that is committed to supporting the regional food economy and environmental stewardship, it was only natural for us to become involved in protecting this irreplaceable source of wild salmon,” said New Seasons Market’s Seafood Program Manager, Daisy Berg. “We have been advocating for Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery for the last decade, and this year, with the help of our customers, we were thrilled to be able to make a financial contribution towards the important work being done to save Bristol Bay.”
The promotion was spearheaded by New Seasons Market and Tom Douglas’s Rub With Love. The two businesses, which are members of the Businesses for Bristol Bay coalition, combined forces and invited other Northwest businesses to join them as a way to help raise funding and support for protecting Bristol Bay. Business partners ranged from large regional seafood distributors to local fish markets and food trucks.
“It’s exciting to see businesses that might normally be competing for customers to come together and get behind a shared goal,” commented Dana Kemmerling, Sales Manager for Rub With Love. “The success of our Bristol Bay promotion just shows that when businesses come together we can have a bigger impact and make a real difference.”
“This is exactly why we created the Alaska Wild Salmon Fund; we saw a real need and opportunity to create a community of like-minded businesses that share an appreciation and connection to Alaska’s wild salmon. The Fund gives these businesses a way to put their money where their values are,” noted Matt Rafferty, Director of the Alaska Wild Salmon Fund.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest (or Michigan!) or happen to be traveling through, please be sure and thank these businesses for doing their part to help protect Bristol Bay’s wild salmon:
Flying Fish Company
Gemini Fish Market
New Seasons Market
Ocean Beauty Seafoods
Seattle Fish Guys
Tom Douglas Rub With Love