Bristol Bay’s fishermen thank President Obama for visiting “salmon country”
Dillingham, AK – As part of his three-day Alaska tour, President Obama flew to Dillingham on Wednesday September 2nd to see firsthand the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and a local economy and subsistence lifestyle dependent upon sustainable and healthy salmon runs.
While meeting with salmon fishermen on Kanakanak Beach, the President said “[Bristol Bay] represents not just a critical way of life that has to be preserved, but it also represents one of the most important natural resources that the United States has.”
During his tour of Dillingham the President spent lunchtime with local fishermen and their families, learning about wild salmon and Bristol Bay’s rich salmon culture. He visited subsistence fishing beaches, held a spawning salmon, was introduced to subsistence salmon drying racks, described a love of canned salmon cakes, and sampled local salmon jerky that he declared “outstanding.”
Standing in front of the drying racks filled with salmon, the President marveled at Bristol Bay’s fishery saying, “The scale of the fish that come through here is remarkable. If you’ve eaten wild salmon, it’s likely to have come from here. This has some of the biggest salmon runs – sockeye – in the world. It’s part of the reason why it’s so critical that we make sure we protect this incredible natural resource. Not just for the people whose livelihood depend on it but for the entire country.”
The president departed after only three hours in Bristol Bay, but said he would be back with Michelle and the girls. Summing it up on the White House’s official Instagram account (that he took over during his trip to Alaska), the President wrote, “I was proud to take action last year to protect Bristol Bay and honored to meet folks today who depend on it. And don’t miss the salmon jerky if you come visit. – bo”
Bristol Bay’s salmon fishermen could not be prouder and more thrilled to have had the chance to host the President for this historic trip, especially following Bristol Bay’s record-breaking harvest of 38 million sockeye salmon this summer.
Americans around the country can experience Bristol Bay and celebrate this national treasure when they purchase Bristol Bay sockeye salmon; available frozen and canned 365 days a year.
For more about Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery, including images from the fishing grounds, visit the Sockeye Season 2015 photo series by renowned Alaska photographer and fisherman Chris Miller.
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) represents the 7,000 drift salmon fishermen who harvest the world’s greatest seafood – Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. Learn more at bristolbaysockeye.org and bbrsda.com.