fishing bristol bay

ButcherBox is Calling for Permanent Protection of Bristol Bay, the World’s Largest Sockeye Salmon Fishery

Last Updated on November 9, 2021

Bristol Bay, Alaska, is one of the world’s most vital fishing grounds; its pristine Alaskan waters serve as the source for most of the world’s sockeye salmon.

But for the past decade, the Pebble Mine project—a proposed mining operation to extract metals from one of the largest copper and gold reserves in the world—has threatened the Bristol Bay watershed and its fishery. After years of changing regulations and opposition to the the mine, the EPA’s Environmental Assessment concluded that Pebble Mine would negatively impact the Bristol Bay watershed and wild salmon. This led the Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the mining proposal in the fall of 2020. Even though the project has been stopped for now, mining proponents still claim that the mine can be developed and operated without harming the watershed and salmon.

Over the past two years, ButcherBox has been in opposition to the mine because of the threat it poses to the wild salmon we source. But more importantly, we stood against the Pebble Mine because of the disastrous impact it could have on the livelihoods of the salmon fishermen and women not to mention the lives of the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq communities and the residents of Bristol Bay. The location of the Pebble Mine project is at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two major rivers that feed into Bristol Bay that all sustain the largest wild salmon run in the world.

In January 2021, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, the company behind the Pebble Mine project, appealed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse the permit denial for the Pebble Mine. This appeal has lead Bristol Bay’s Indigenous communities and residents to push for permanent protections for the area, concerned that the fight is not over.

saving bristol bay

There is a call now for permanent protection of Bristol Bay:

  • One action is for the EPA to veto Pebble Mine under the Clean Water Act.
  • The other is a call for Congress to pass the Bristol Bay National Fisheries Area Act to permanently ban any future toxic mines in Bristol Bay.

Learn more about these approaches here.

We are asking you to join with ButcherBox in advocating for permanent protections of Bristol Bay by taking the following action:

1. Learn more about Bristol Bay, its environment, the salmon, and the people.

2. Join us by signing this petition and contact your representative in Congress to support permanent protection for Bristol Bay.

3. Share what you’ve learned with three friends or family members so that there is more widespread knowledge of the potentially negative impact of the project.

4. Give to one of the groups opposing the project. We as a company and some of our employees have supported Trout Unlimited’s efforts.

Evadne Cokeh is ButcherBox's VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility. She is working to develop the company's social and environmental responsibility strategy and is the Chair of ButcherBox's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.