Sir, I travelled half way around the world to be in London this week on behalf of 2,000 Alaskan business owners and their 5,000 employees.
We were here to attend Anglo American’s shareholder meeting and oppose its plans for a gold and copper mine near Bristol Bay, which threaten the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon shery. The mine would be the largest in North America, generating up to 10 billion tonnes of toxic waste to be disposed of behind massive dams. If it goes ahead, it would destroy an important salmon spawning habitat, and put the salmon fishery at risk, according to a 2010 ecological risk assessment.
Commercial shermen aren’t the only people worried. Over 80% of Bristol Bay natives, many of whom rely on salmon for subsistence, also oppose the project. Supermarkets in the US are also concerned. As a businessman, I respect Anglo American’s responsibility to shareholders, but it needs to respect the precedence salmon fishing must take over mining. The two cannot coexist in such sensitive habitat.
Bob Waldrop, executive director of the BBRSDA