New Bristol Bay advocacy group formed

A new commercial fishermen’s advocacy group, Sustaining Bristol Bay Fisheries, has announced its formation as an entity to amplify the voice of commercial fishing in efforts to protect the Bristol Bay fishery.

The Bristol Bay commercial fishing industry needs to be at the table when it comes to protecting the Bay’s world class fishery from threats like the Pebble mine, said Paul Hansen, of Naknek, a member of the group’s advisory committee.

“Given the importance of the commercial fishing industry to the economic and social fabric of Bristol Bay, it is both necessary and appropriate for commercial fishermen to have their own advocacy group,” said Jason Metrokin, chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Native Corp.

“The efforts of SBBF address a critical need to advocate for the protection of our local fisheries,” said Norm Van Vactor, chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.

Ralph Anderson, chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Native Association, also voiced approval of the group, saying BBNA if in full support of SBBF’s efforts to unite and amplify the commercial fishing voice as it is a critical part of our region’s economy.”