President Obama's decision to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and adjacent lands from oil and gas drilling is so clearly the correct decision that the only objections will come from those whose sole interest is the welfare of those two energy industries.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously Dec. 13 to amend several alternatives to reduce the chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the eastern Bering Sea pollock fishery.

The council is looking for chum bycatch reductions both by new measures and using existing management aimed at minimizing chinook salmon bycatch.

Bristol Bay, AK — Yesterday, President Obama took action authorized by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect Bristol Bay from all future oil and gas drilling.

Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) released the following statement regarding the measure:

President Obama just took action to protect one of Alaska's most powerful economic engines and one of America’s greatest national treasures: Bristol Bay.

Today the President took action to protect one of America's greatest natural treasures by signing a Presidential Memorandum to protect Bristol Bay. One of Alaska's most powerful economic engines, and home to one of the world's largest wild salmon runs, Bristol Bay has helped sustain Alaska Native communities for centuries. And every year, the region provides 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood, supporting $2 billion in commercial fishing.

Aspelund says BBRSDA will probably take another survey of its members before commissioning a second study.

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association may commission a second, more in depth study on the idea of reducing the size of the drift fleet in the Bay through a buy back, but will hear first from the fleet before moving forward.

Alaskans know that Bristol Bay is all about wild salmon. For thousands of years the people of Bristol Bay have thrived on this bounty and for more than 130 years, it has supported a major sustainable commercial fishery that supplies the world. Bristol Bay produces 50 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon, making the region of true global importance.

The Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet and Purse Seine task forces met in Petersburg on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, to review the 2014 season and discuss the 2015 season.

The BBRSDA is tasked with increasing the value of Bristol Bay sockeye and has contracted with McDowell Group, Inc. to produce bi-annual sockeye market reports. These reports provide Bristol Bay fishermen with a comprehensive understanding of current market conditions for sockeye, and contextualize these findings against the broader salmon market.

“It’s unfortunate that Pebble’s litigation tactics are causing more delay in the public process to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine, especially when 99% of some 650,000 public comments submitted to EPA supported a final action,” said Katherine Carscallen, commercial fisherman and board member of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).