Another salmon shipment is bound for Yukon River communities hard hit by low salmon runs after the Dunleavy administration purchased 12,000 pounds, the governor’s office announced Friday.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy lauded the state’s partnerships with Alaska businesses and “tremendous team effort to get salmon into the hands of our fellow Alaskans in need.”
The Yukon River region is experiencing historic low salmon returns, with residents unable to participate in subsistence or commercial fishing activities this year.
“Salmon is the lifeblood for those along the Yukon, and my administration wasn’t going to sit on the sideline while our rural communities struggled to put food on the table,” the governor said.
The state has purchased a total of 37,000 pounds of salmon, valued at $135,000, for Yukon River communities.
Last week, 12,000 pounds of salmon was purchased by the state from Copper River Seafoods for communities along the Upper and Lower Yukon.
Six thousand pounds were trucked to Fairbanks by Lynden Transport Inc., and 6,000 pounds were flown to Emmonak by Everts Air. Tanana Chiefs Conference will distribute the salmon out of Fairbanks, and Kwik’Pak Fisheries is distributing salmon out of Emmonak.
“Alaskans are at their finest when hardship strikes,” Dunleavy said. The governor said that facilitating the fish donations were partnerships forged with local businesses, tribal and village leaders, seafood processors, and shipping companies.
Also, Donlin Gold, Doyon Ltd., Calista Corp. and Nova Minerals each donated $10,000 to purchase an additional 8,000 pounds of salmon sent this week to communities across the Yukon region.
Three thousand pounds from Doyon Ltd. and Nova Minerals was trucked to Fairbanks Thursday.
Another 5,000 pounds was flown to Emmonak Friday from Calista Corp., Donlin Gold and Nova Minerals.
Andrew Guy, president of Calista Corp., said that participating in the fish donation program aligns with his company’s “vision of cultural stewardship and corporate responsibility.”
Kristina Woolston, external affairs manager with Donlin Gold, noted the cultural traditions and heritage that salmon runs represent for the river communities.
“In addition to food security, it’s about the Alaska Native values of sharing and cultural identity tied to fish,” she said. “Donlin is committed to responsible development and meeting the needs of Y-K communities now and in the future.”