Featured image by Ken Morrish
Dillingham, Alaska has sent a request to the Alaskan state government to close Bristol Bay’s recreational and commercial fisheries, stating fears that the influx of out-of-state and out-of-country workers will increase the spread of COVID-19 in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Up to 12,000 workers enter the fishery during the annual salmon runs, and the runs bring in roughly $300 million for the region.
According to a spokesperson for Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the state is not planning a closure at this time.
In the letter sent to the state government, Dillingham suggested that it may take matters into its own hands if the state doesn’t close the fishery.
“If your office is not prepared to address this critical problem, then we may find the need to do so,” says the letter, signed by Mayor Alice Ruby and Curyung Tribal Council First Chief Thomas Tilden. “We don’t want to find ourselves in conflict with the State of Alaska, especially when our objectives are the same.”
To read more on the potential closure, check out this article from The Anchorage Daily News.