Photo: toddraden, Flickr
Sophisticated jeweler Tiffany & Co. and the fishing community of Bristol Bay, Alaska, may seem worlds apart, but the famed retailer is just one of 50 jewelers that have pledged not to source gold from the controversial Pebble mine project being proposed in the region. (Click here for a full list of jewelers.)
According to the Wall Street Journal, the mine holds one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper and gold. Unfortunately for the 30 million or so sockeye salmon that spawn there each summer, those valuable minerals are located in the area's headwaters. For nearly four years, fishermen and environmentalists have been at odds with mining companies Anglo American PLC and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. over the area's natural resources.
"This is the largest, healthiest remaining salmon runs in the world," says commercial fisherman and sustainable seafood consultant Amy Grondin. "Fish from Bristol Bay have been returning here for 9,000 years. They're a sustainable natural resource. Minerals are also a natural resource, but they're not renewable."