If you have been in to eat in the Lounge at 156 Highland Ave, you may have noticed that we have been offering housecured wild Bristol Bay Salmon, which is from Alaska, on our menu. And you may have thought, “HEY! Wait. Alaskan salmon is in no way local to Massachusetts! What’s up, “locavores”?” Well, I’m glad you asked, cuz this is really important to me, and I’ve been dying to tell you…
In Alaska there is a place that I have only seen in photos, called Bristol Bay. It is the home to many people who fish for their livelihoods as well as their basic sustenance. It is also vital to the the last remaining wild salmon run that is hearty enough to be commercially fished.
Yes, you read that right. If you are eating salmon that is not wild AK it is farmed. I don’t care if it is called “Wild Atlantic Salmon” on the sign at Whole Foods, that is the name of the type of fish. Most of the stuff we see over here is farmed, and that is a whole other conversation about sustainability and ocean toxification.
Save that, let’s get back to Bristol Bay.
Unfortunately for the fishermen and the fish, Bristol Bay sits on top of an ungodly amount of copper and gold, and there are mining companies who want to blow the place apart to get at those “valuable resources”. The Pebble Mine company has fought long and hard to dig there, and so far has been sort of held back by a variety of studies and restraints put in place by the EPA as summonsed up by the people of Bristol Bay.
Regardless of those restraints, the “valuable resources” remain down there, and the companies who want them will keep trying to prove that they have a better case.
This is where you and I come in. We are not in Alaska. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to Alaska, and I’d like to go, but it’s not going to be soon. Although we over here are not really aware of what is going on over there, there are lots of interested lobbyists who go to politicians in states far away from Alaska and convince them that the EPA is putting restrictions on their mining activities that will compromise the growth of industry, limit jobs, etc. They put pressure on those politicians to support bills that will limit the EPA’s ability to suppress the mining companies progress in any situation, including Bristol Bay.
Do you see where I’m going here?
I’ll get to the point. If Pebble Mine succeeds it will wipe out the last remaining wild salmon run in the country. Maybe in the world, if you look closely. Salmon cannot survive the level of disturbance and pollution that will be caused by the mine. It will be the WORLDS BIGGEST copper and gold mine. The fish do not have a chance. This pisses me off. The ocean is a mess, and getting worse, and this is a really obvious moment to come to the defense of the fish. I cheered when the EPA slowed this project down, and a major investor dropped out, but that was just a little band aid. It matters that people in North Carolina and Massachusetts know what is going on in Alaska because the ocean is everywhere and this affects everyone. You can help by buying wild Alaskan salmon, by telling people about wild Alaskan salmon and by watching out for bills that will reduce the right of the EPA to stop progress on projects that will create environmental disasters.
There is an organization that is well named to help us remember this call to action. It is “Eat Wild, Save Wild”. I am asking you to recognize the importance of the problems we are creating in our food systems everywhere, and to eat local, think global, and sometimes that means acting global too.
If you would like to dig deeper you can do that here:
and I absolutely encourage you to watch the movie Breach to learn more about this important topic. http://www.thebreachfilm.com