A Sustainable Economy
Bristol Bay is home to one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the world, as well as vibrant sport fishing, hunting, tourism, and recreation.
- $2.2 billion annual commercial fishery
- $90 million in Alaska state taxes and licensing fees
- 15,000 fishing jobs
- 7,000 sport fishing and hunting jobs
- Thousands of full and part-time tourism and recreation jobs
Record-Breaking Salmon Runs
Salmon are the backbone of Bristol Bay and essential for sustaining Alaska’s seafood industry. They also play a central role in the cultural and spiritual identity of the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq peoples, and are critical to their way of life.
- Nearly 60% of the world’s wild sockeye salmon harvest
- The 20 year average for annual sockeye salmon return is over 40 million wild salmon
- The most prolific salmon runs on Earth
- Internationally renowned salmon sportfishing destination
- Supports the world’s highest concentration of brown bears, which depend on the region’s abundant salmon runs to survive
- Home to over 20 millions acres of wetlands, lakes, and streams critical for salmon spawning
A Way of Life
The people of Bristol Bay and Alaska depend on the watershed’s irreplaceable resources to support their families. These resources sustain the way of life for Indigenous people who have called the region home for thousands of years and are among the last intact and sustainable salmon-based cultures remaining in the world.
- Traditional territory of 31 federally recognized Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq Tribes, all of whom rely on fishing, hunting, and gathering of wild foods for cultural and physical sustenance
- Every regional community depends upon Bristol Bay’s resources to continue a cultural legacy of living on the land. Annually, they replace up to $143.1 million in food costs through harvests of wild fish, game, and plants
- Bristol Bay has sustained generations of commercial fishing families for over 135 years
- Alaskans from across the state visit Bristol Bay to hunt, fish, and adventure every year