Thursday, September 19, 2013

Huge Step Forward in Fight Against Pebble Mine

On Monday Anglo American, a major mining company and partner in the proposed Pebble Mine project announced it was pulling out of the project. The company will take a $300 million hit on the project, which has faced stiff opposition from both local and national fishing and conservation groups, and from Native Alaskan communities in the Bristol Bay region. Bristol Bay supports the largest, most sustainable commercial sockeye fishery in the world, and the proposed Pebble Mine, situated in the headwaters of Iliamna Lake, would pose a direct threat to the regions ecological bounty. Indeed, an EPA commissioned report found that project posed major risks to wildlife and fisheries values in the region. With the largest financial partner exiting the Pebble Partnership, momentum is on our side. The public has overwhelmingly and emphatically stated their opposition to the Pebble Project and the exit of Anglo American will place further pressure on the Federal Government to protect Bristol Bay under the Clean Water Act. 

The Huffington Post on Anglo American's decision: 

More information from Save Bristol Bay:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Despite Provincial Protections Coal Mine Proposed in Sacred Headwaters

Just a few short months after the province of British Columbia announced a landmark ban on oil and gas drilling in the Sacred Headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine, the province is considering a proposal from Fortune Minerals to build a massive coal mine in the region. The proposal has been adamantly opposed by the Tahltan First Nation, whose traditional territory falls within the Sacred Headwaters region. The Skeena, Nass and Stikine are among the greatest salmon bearing watersheds remaining on earth and this is just the latest in an ongoing saga in which resource extraction companies have sought to exploit the sparsely populated region, often with the support of the provincial and federal governments. Fortunately First Nations in BC have not hesitated to stand up to government and industry, otherwise these environmentally devastating projects would be proceeding at breakneck speed.

More from the Globe and Mail:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LLTK and PSF Launch Salish Sea Marine Survival Research Initiative

Last month, Long Live the Kings and the Canadian based Pacific Salmon Foundation officially launched their Salish Sea Marine survival project. The project, which seeks to bring together key research capacity from both Canada and the US has been in development for several years with research proposals and workshops with leading scientists from Canada and the US. To identify key data sets, gaps in our knowledge and to develop research proposals that will expand our understanding of factors which have contributed to reductions in marine survival observed in the Salish Sea during the last 20 years.

The program, which is slated to last 7 years is estimated to cost about $20 million. To date about $2 million has been raised. Visit the LLTK website to find out more about this program.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dean River Bycatch in Globe and Mail

With a high intensity gill net fishery taking a heavy toll on returns of steelhead, coho and chum salmon to the Dean River, outrage is spreading like wildfire through British Columbia. The Dean, with its unique run of wild summer steelhead is one of BC's most beloved watersheds and people are getting very tired of unsustainably high rates of incidental harvest being allowed by DFO in a non-selective Area 8 chum fishery. It is particularly outrageous because voluntary reporting means tthat DFO has no way to actually estimate exploitation rates on what is arguably BC's most valuable sport fishery. In the absence of good data, DFO insists nothing is wrong and maintains business as usual allowing gill netters and seine boats to pound wild salmon and steelhead populations into oblivion (see 24 commercial openings already this summer). Now Mark Hume, veteran environmental reported from the Globe and Mail has gotten in on the act with this story on Dean River bycatch and the concern it is generating.