By Dylan Tomine
President Obama’s recent protection of Bristol Bay from oil and gas exploration may feel like a victory for fish and the environment, but I think it’s really about time and money. Which in this case, is just as good. Here’s why:
Oil and gas reserves, as we know, are limited by however much is already in the ground and our ability to extract it. Sure, advancing extraction technologies (fracking, etc) can extend the life of a deposit, but unless we’re waiting for more dinosaurs to die, nobody’s making any new oil or gas.
Salmon, on the other hand, if properly managed, are perhaps the ultimate renewable resource. By all accounts, the Bristol Bay salmon industry is one of the best managed fisheries in the world, producing a sustainable $2 billion annual fish economy.