Bristol Bay Bulletin

Wild for Salmon’s Takeaways from the 2017 Pacific Marine Expo

Posted by : Wild For Salmon   /  

no pebble mine eventThis a busy time of year for all of us, but Steve was able to sneak away to attend Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, joining Elma in the northwest and hundreds of others at various industry and seafood related panels, talks, booths, and meals in Pioneer Square, Seattle. The event is the largest marine tradeshow on the West Coast, and this year we have a couple important takeaways.

We love salmon; it’s delicious.

Although we are passionate and committed seafood lovers, like the rest of you, we are also very busy. After years of practice, the routine of thawing a fillet and preparing it for a seafood dinner comes naturally to us. But we still often end up eating the fish the same way: fried is quickest. Baked means we can multi-task.

How refreshing to leave it up to other salmon lovers! Each meal or snack at Fish Expo was spectacular and a good reminder that seafood is so versatile and takes well to adventurous recipes. At the Filson Event, put on by Business for Bristol Bay, we enjoyed out-of-this-world herring cakes and smoked salmon served with butternut squash that was amazing and unique. At the Leader Creek dinner, a delicious array of smoked options. 

 bristolbaysmokedsalmon  bristolbaysmokedsalmon                   bristolbayherring   bristol bay smoked salmon

Pebble Mine is a threat, but the fight is in good hands.

Steve & I both attended Friday afternoon’s panel, “Is Pebble Mine Back?” Lindsay Bloom, of Salmon State, Lindsay Layland, Deputy Director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, and  Peter Van Tuyn, partner at Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC and legal representative of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, each spoke out against Pebble Mine and helped the room of fishermen, environmentalists, journalists, and salmon enthusiasts digest the latest news regarding the issue of mining in Bristol Bay.

Thankfully, our takeaway here was this: Yes, Pebble Mine is a threat, but the fight is in capable, strong fishermen’s hands. Together, the community against Pebble Mine broke records in submitting letters to the EPA during the early fall’s comment period. That means you, Wild for Salmon fans, thank you! Over a million comments against the mine have been counted, and the experts remain confident that those will stand for something. We were terribly impressed with the collaborative and intersectional forces committed to stopping this project in its tracks, and we are thankful.

We additionally learned that the Pebble Limited Partnership has been sued by investors following this article, published last winter, that explains that the project is “not commercially viable.” The reality of investments and returns are lower than Pebble is pitching. Given that this battle is at least a decade old, this new information is particularly important.

Furthermore, in addition to thousands of fishermen and environmentalists and these wonderfully smart and passionate panelists, the fight is also being fought just as strongly by businesses around the nation. The Businesses for Bristol Bay coalition put on a significant event, well-attended by the industry’s commercial leaders like Grundéns, Filson, Simms, Salmon Sisters, and more, and are working hard to spread the word that economics are also at play here, and that we, as individuals and business, will not stand for it. Wild for Salmon is proud to be a member of this coalition -- and even prouder to have the Ava Jane crew on display during the event thanks to Mark Titus’ involvement in our summer and this project.  We look forward to his upcoming projects...hint hint, stay tuned!

Our mission is just as true (& important) now as it was in 2004.

An event like this one, surrounded by peers doing similar work, is a refreshing reminder of why we do what we do. Over and over again in those three days, we spoke with wonder to friends and mentors turning over and over again the questions of how we can share this natural resource with our communities, how we can make it available to equally committed and conscious consumers, how we can put the health benefits of our livelihood into your bellies, and how important it is to do because: eating wild salmon is saving wild salmon. When Steve and Jenn took home their first cooler of fillets, they had no idea they were going to be able to feed it to fellow Pennsylvanians...not to mention sell out with just a dinky cardboard sign at the Farmer’s Market. Wild for Salmon is and was a fishermen-owned company, born out of a love for the natural world and obsession with healthy eating. This was true during our first season setnetting for a friend and remains true aboard the bigger, yet still humble, F/V Ava Jane.

 bristol bay wild for salmon


Community: we love fishing for more reasons than one.

An event center full of fishermen is an overwhelming reminder that we are not alone in harvesting this resource, in loving the grind of commercial fishing, in the desire to share this food and culture, and in fighting Pebble Mine. It was so fun to see our friends off the water. Stretching our legs together in blue jeans rather than Grundéns rain gear is something we forget we needed but humanizes the fleet and strengthens our bond with this fishery and its people. During the season, we are most often confined to our boats and the company of our three to four person crew; it’s nice to get to visit with our peers that we only get to wave to during the season!


 bristol bay crew

Subscribe to National Fisherman magazine.

National Fisherman magazine helps bring Fish Expo together, and we’re grateful for it for that reason and others--like that they allow us to keep up with the beats of the industry and its environments from our land-locked home in Pennsylvania and shares articles like Grundens North American General Manager Mat Jackson’s letter Not in Our Suspenders and unfortunate, but important, updates on the extreme consequences of fish farming. Thank you for keeping us up to date and well-informed! Resources like this one allow us to wear our salmon ambassador badges with pride.  

November is a reflective time of year, and we are grateful for this community and all the hard work they do every day that allows us to do our best work in bringing our customers the nutritious wild salmon of highest quality.

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