Bristol Bay wild sockeye salmon will be on the menus of 28 restaurants in Washington, DC and the shelves of Wegman’s stores in Maryland and Virginia during Bristol Bay Salmon Week, from Sept. 16-20.
“The promotional event is an opportunity to showcase these special fish that feed the world,” said Andy Wink, executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).
Bristol Bay, in Southwest Alaska, is home to the world’s largest run of wild sockeye salmon, and in fact produces more than half of the sockeyes sold worldwide. This summer, the Bristol Bay fishery saw the harvest of a near-record 43 million red salmon, from a return of more than 56 million fish. The fishery supports more than 10,000 jobs and a one-billion-dollar annual economy associated with the 130-year-old plus commercial fishery and thriving sport fishery.
Each restaurant will take its own approach in featuring the sockeyes – from a food truck, delis, and Asian restaurants to the Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian.
While the main purpose of Bristol Bay Salmon Week is to celebrate the fish and the people who harvest them, it is also a recognition that the fishery faces environmental threats from the proposed Pebble Mine. Backers of the copper, gold and molybdenum mine are currently going through the permitting process to construct and operate the massive mine.
Sponsoring organizations for the event, in addition to the BBRSDA, include Antarctica Advisors LLC, the Conservation Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, and United Work and Travel.