As a 32-year Bristol Bay fisherman and vice president of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA), I appreciated The Seattle Times editorial “Salmon-rich Bristol Bay deserves permanent protection” [Dec. 2, Opinion].
Thousands of fishermen like myself have struggled alongside Bristol Bay tribes, Alaskans and beyond for more than a decade fighting Pebble Mine. The recent denial of Pebble’s permit was a huge victory, yet Bristol Bay remains vulnerable until permanent protections are in place. Now is the time to prioritize protection of Bristol Bay’s renewable economic engine and Indigenous culture.
I ask President-elect Joe Biden and members of Congress to answer the “Call to Protect Bristol Bay,” where Bristol Bay’s tribes and residents have laid out a clear vision for permanent protections. First, President Biden can immediately initiate protections through the Clean Water Act’s Section 404(c). Second, Congress must establish a National Fisheries Area to ban mining activity in Bristol Bay’s headwaters, safeguarding against future threats.
Our fight to defend the world’s last great wild salmon fishery is not over, and we ask that lawmakers take swift action to ensure that we drive a stake through the heart of the vampire Pebble Mine.
Michael “MJ” Jackson, Bellingham