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Communities statewide will observe the second annual Alaska Wild Salmon Day today. The holiday was established last year when Gov. Walker signed House Bill 128, designating every Aug. 10 as Alaska Wild Salmon Day. This day gives residents an opportunity to celebrate their love of salmon with their communities and calls attention to an energized movement of Alaskans seeking to protect wild salmon through encouraging responsible resource development in the state.
“As fishermen, we celebrate wild salmon every day. But today is a great reminder to pause and recognize that because of our constitution and sustainable management, these healthy and intact runs of salmon here in Alaska are unique in the world,” said Mike Wood of Stand for Salmon and owner of Su Salmon Company. “Each week, we harvest wild Alaska salmon and then send them across the inlet to Anchorage to friends and families who are sustained by those fish throughout the year. With every fish caught and with every shipment sent to Anchorage, it’s a reminder not only that we should celebrate this resource, but that we need to commit to ensuring the return of wild salmon for generations to come.”
Wild salmon plays a unique role in the lives of nearly all Alaskans – from subsistence, commercial and sport fisherman to everyday Alaskans sharing a salmon meal with their family. In a 2016 poll, 75 percent of Alaskans indicated that more should be done to protect the strong legacy of Alaska salmon for future generations. This year’s celebrations call attention to an energized movement of Alaskans seeking to protect wild salmon through updates to the state’s 60-year-old permitting law that dictates what impacts will be allowed to occur in salmon habitat. The group, called Stand for Salmon, represents a diverse range of Alaskan individuals, businesses and organizations committed to responsible and balanced resource development that includes protecting the state’s valuable wild salmon runs and transparency in government decision making in the face of a growing and changing Alaska.
“Alaska Natives have depended on salmon for thousands of years,” explains Gayla Hoseth of Dillingham. “In rural parts of Alaska, life revolves around the cycle of salmon. Today, across the state, we see how much Alaskans continue to love salmon, which is a reminder of why it’s so important to make sure we protect our Alaska wild salmon for future generations. Our way of life, our values and our economies are supported by salmon and there is a growing political movement of people who are willing to act and vote in order to protect it.”
Alaska Wild Salmon Day celebrations across the state include:
For updated event details and more information about Alaska Wild Salmon Day, visit www.aksalmonday.com.
Stand for Salmon is a diverse group of Alaska-based individuals, businesses, and organizations united in taking immediate steps to ensure that Alaska remains the nation’s salmon state for generations to come. Learn more at www.standforsalmon.org.