Where is Bristol Bay?
Bristol Bay is part of the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and falls within a 52,000-acre OCS planning area called the North Aleutian Basin, located in the triangle of waters north of the Aleutian Islands.
Bristol Bay and the North Aleutian Basin, located in the eastern Bering Sea off southwest Alaska, comprise an extraordinarily productive marine ecosystem distinguished by bountiful fisheries and exceptional ecological diversity. Rich, remote, wild, and incredibly productive, Alaska’s Bristol Bay and southeast Bering Sea are America’s seafood stronghold. The region’s waters provide habitat for some of the largest runs of wild salmon on Earth and supply on average more than 40 percent of the total U.S. fish catch, including halibut, red king crab, Pacific cod, Tanner crab, flatfish, pollock, and sablefish. These renewable and sustainable fisheries are an economic engine for communities throughout Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the nation.
America’s Fish Basket
Like the “bread basket” of the Midwest, this “fish basket” provides a healthy, abundant source of seafood for the nation and the world. These marine resources also support centuries-old Alaska Native subsistence traditions as well as local communities, fishermen, fishing families, and businesses across Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, who depend upon the continued health of the region’s world-class fisheries and ecosystem.
The Bristol Bay marine ecosystem and surrounding region contain:
|Renewable fisheries that support thousands of jobs.|
|Some of the largest wild salmon runs, including the largest sockeye run in the world.|
| Important habitat for a diversity of marine mammal species, including Pacific walrus, spotted and harbor seals, and 16 whale species.|
|Dozens of globally significant congregations of hundreds of millions of seabirds and waterfowl.|
| A destination tourism industry for hunting,sportfishing, and wildlife viewing.|
Since 2009, The Pew Charitable Trusts has worked with tribes, Alaska Native corporations and organizations, and the Fish Basket Coalition, a diverse group of Native subsistence, commercial fishing, conservation, and local community interests dedicated to a healthy and sustainable future for Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea, free from offshore oil and gas development.