This past week Mark Titus, who spent a week aboard the F/V Ava Jane this summer, joined the Wild for Salmon crew, again--this time in Pennsylvania, wearing his filmmaker hat. Mark is a friend and a passionate fishermen and faced with Pebble Mine, along with many of us who make a home in Bristol Bay, he set out to answer the question: How do you save what you love?
A great shot of the back deck on the Ava Jane by Mark Titus- Our crew busy picking fish!
For fishermen, the answer to that question is to catch and share our harvest, to march on as salmon ambassadors wherever it is we spend our winters, and to make this quality product that is our livelihood available and affordable for as many as we can. For Mark, his campaign against Pebble Mine has been to spread the word via another passion and make films, like the feature, The Breach, our friends and neighbors saw at Bloomsburg University last week and The Wild, a forthcoming Pebble and Bristol Bay updated documentary in the works now. If you missed the screening, you can watch the movie here; to stay up to date on the production of The Wild, follow the project along on instagram.
Mark Titus & Steve Kurian at Bloomsburg University on October 4th during The Breach Screening!
For those for whom this is not familiar news, a quick update. Pebble Mine is a proposed copper mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay; the Pebble Partnership has been working for more than a decade to get their proposal of the world’s largest open-pit copper mine passed. We worry about Pebble Mine because it threatens the environment and ecosystems our fish thrive in, and thus the livelihood of fishermen like us and locals to Bristol Bay. Under the Obama administration, the chances of the mine moving forward were slim. Many grassroots organizations, Alaska Natives, and fishermen pushed the EPA to take a stand, and in 2014, it put out a Proposed Determination under the Clean Water Act that would have restricted hazardous tailing ponds that come with mining...if it had been finalized. Under the new administration’s EPA, it is again up for debate. For even more of a recap, check out United Tribes of Bristol Bay’s recent Smokehouse Chat.
We hope you’ll join us in this fight; as a consumer and customer, your voice matters. Investing in this premium, wild salmon with your dollar or fork is sending the message that this fishery is highly valued across the world. The other step is to share your sentiments loudly and proudly by submitting a comment to the EPA by October 17th. This week in Bristol Bay, the EPA is hosting town hall meetings and hearing from locals and fishermen alike. Groups like Trout Unlimited and UTBB are working tirelessly to make sure voices on the ground are heard. Add yours here or here.
Unsure of what to say? Perhaps take a hint from Mark’s question: How do you save what you love?
Mark aboard the Ava Jane - Summer 2017
Have you come to love wild salmon? Do you appreciate that the world, despite all modern pressures, still supports truly wild spaces? Are you proud to know the fishermen you buy your seafood from? Do you love seeing the bears at Katmai Falls chowing down on salmon in the current?
These are all fantastic reasons to shut down the proposal of the world’s largest open pit copper mine with a weak plan for a tailings pond that could devastate a model fishery and the lifeblood for many fishing families. The EPA needs to hear them. For an easy way to share your standing, add your name to Trout Unlimited’s letter here--and watch Mark’s video online here.
Thank for your considering this action and for working with us to save what we all love.
#thebreach, #thewildfilm, #howdoyousavewhatyoulove #wildforsalmon #nopebble #fishfirstpebblenever #pebblemine #bristolbay #knowyourfisherman
*All photos were taken & provided by Mark Titus*