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September 20-24 is Bristol Bay Salmon Week in Washington, D.C.
Wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska will be on the menu in restaurants across the district from September 20-24
WASHINGTON – From September 20-24, 12 restaurants across 15 locations in the Washington, D.C. area will feature wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska on their menus. They are participating in the second Bristol Bay Salmon Week, sponsored by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is home to the world’s most prolific commercial wild sockeye salmon fishery, responsible for producing more than half of the sockeye sold worldwide.
During the 2021 Bristol Bay fishing season, a record-setting 66 million wild salmon returned, allowing for a near-record harvest of over 40 million sockeye salmon. This marks the seventh-consecutive season the runs have exceeded 50 million fish. These returns support over 10,000 jobs and a billion-dollar annual economy associated with the over 130-year-old commercial fishery and a thriving sport fishery, whose ripple effects extend far beyond Alaska. Just as important, these epic summer runs that turn Bristol Bay’s rivers and streams red with salmon are the lifeblood of a millennia-old Alaska Native way of life.
“Bristol Bay Salmon Week is a great opportunity to get delicious wild sockeye on menus and plates while telling the unique story of the connection between the Bristol Bay region and fishing,” said Lilani Dunn, Marketing Director for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. “Telling this story is critical to our way of life. We are well aware of the challenges the restaurant industry currently faces, and deeply appreciate all of our partners who have come together to help celebrate and protect Bristol Bay and its salmon.”
Restaurants participating in the week are located across the city and are diverse in their fares, including several that participated in the last Bristol Bay Restaurant Week in 2019. Each restaurant is taking its own unique approach for featuring sockeye salmon on their menus, which itself showcases the versatility of the fish.
Want to find out how Washington restaurants are featuring salmon? Visit one of these participating restaurants September 20-24:
While the primary purpose of Bristol Bay Salmon Week is to celebrate these incredible fish and the amazing people who bring them to the world, it is also a recognition that the Bristol Bay fishery faces threats. The proposed Pebble Mine represents a significant, long-term threat to the world’s most abundant wild salmon runs. Though the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a key permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in November, the company proposing the mine is appealing that decision. A coalition of commercial fishermen, sport fishermen, Alaska Natives, businesses, and chefs and restaurateurs have called on the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress to enact permanent protections for Bristol Bay.
“Bristol Bay Salmon Week is a celebration of these wild sockeye salmon and the pristine, epic region they come from,” said Andy Wink, executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. “It also underscores why Bristol Bay needs permanent protection from the proposed Pebble Mine. I invite Washingtonians to support our partner restaurants, enjoy some delicious wild salmon, and to learn more about Bristol Bay and the sockeye it produces, today and for generations to come.”
For more information about Bristol Bay Salmon Week, please visit https://bristolbaysockeye.org/salmonweek. You can also follow the conversation on social media at #BristolBaySalmonWeek to learn more about how participating restaurants are featuring salmon. We will also have people who rely on Bristol Bay’s bounty available to speak to the media upon request.