3. Why is Bristol Bay important for salmon?
Bristol Bay is the most productive salmon ecosystem in North America, and it is unmatched in its productivity. All five species of Pacific salmon—sockeye, Chinook, coho, chum, and pink—spawn and rear in the Bristol Bay watershed, supporting wildlife like brown bears and eagles, as well as human industry and culture. The watershed supports the largest sockeye salmon run in the world, producing about 46% of the world’s wild sockeye harvest. It generates $1.5 billion a year and provides nearly 20,000 jobs throughout the United States annually. Over 4,000 locals, including many native Yup’ik and Dena’ina, rely on fish, moose, and other subsistence foods for 80% of their protein.