One Alaska bay is booming with salmon, for now

On a mid-July afternoon, when the tide was starting to come in on the Naknek River, the Bandle family’s commercial fishing nets lay stretched across the beach, waiting for the water to rise. With the fishing crew on break, Sharon Bandle emerged from a tar-paper-sided cabin that serves as kitchen and bunkhouse with a plate… » Read More

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As halibut decline, Alaska Native fishers square off against industrial fleets

Each year in mid-June, Father John, dressed in long black robes, heads to the small boat harbor on St. Paul, a tiny island of 500 souls in the middle of the Bering Sea. It’s the start of the fishing season, and the Blessing of the Fleet is a community affair, an opportunity to give best… » Read More

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The water war in Indian Wells Valley

John Conaway has lived in and around the town of Ridgecrest since before it was much of a town. In 1967, when he moved his young family to the remote Southern California community, Ridgecrest had been incorporated for only a few years. “It was all dirt roads,” he says. “No stop signs, no nothing.” Mostly,… » Read More

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From the sea floor to the courtroom, the fight to save right whales grows urgent

Artie Raslich has been volunteering for seven years with the conservation group Gotham Whale, working on the American Princess, a whale-watching boat based in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. In that time Raslich, a professional photographer, has glimpsed a North Atlantic right whale, the world’s rarest cetacean, only twice. The first time was an unseasonably warm December… » Read More

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With thousands of seafood workers coming to Alaska, state tries to contain Covid-19

Two months ago, local leaders in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a 250-mile-long inlet in the Bering Sea, begged the state’s governor to consider canceling the commercial sockeye salmon season. They feared that Covid-19 would spread through the region’s small villages, which have scant health resources. Now, preparations for this fishery, which starts in a matter… » Read More

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Trump’s executive order seeks controversial overhaul of seafood industry

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the meatpacking sector, the Trump administration on Thursday made a major announcement about another essential food industry: seafood. With a late-afternoon executive order, the administration laid out a pathway for the approval of ocean aquaculture in federal waters, a controversial departure from existing policy that could reshape the country’s seafood… » Read More

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Arizona’s water supplies are drying up. How will its farmers survive?

You could almost visit Arizona without noticing it was a farming state. If you flew into Phoenix in an aisle seat, for instance, and spent your time in the city, you might not see it. But if you happened to drive south beyond the car shops and warehouses, across the sandy flats of mesquite and creosote, over… » Read More

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The strange, uncertain fate of Alaska’s biggest wild salmon habitat

Anna Hoover and I ease up and down in limestone-colored water on a warm, windless afternoon in early July, our backs to the mouth of the Egegik River. She’s distracted, perched in the captain’s seat of her 32-foot drift boat. She glances at her phone, checking the time. The state manages fishing on a tight… » Read More

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