Brian Hagenbuch

Contributing Editor reporting from Seattle, USA

Brian Hagenbuch spent a decade in South America, where he was a journalist for Reuters and Time Out in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. He now lives in Seattle and works as a freelance writer and translator, as well as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay. 

Published on
September 25, 2020

As Alaska’s salmon fishing season starts to wrap up, numbers are indicating a relatively poor showing overall.

While landings and fish tickets continued to trickle in, preliminary numbers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed Alaskan salmon fishermen harvested around 113 million fish on the 2020 season, falling well short of the pre-season projection of nearly 133 million fish. It makes the season the fifth-worst even-year

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Published on
September 15, 2020

A recent study that dove into more than 60 years of records from the Alaska Department Fish and Game found that salmon returning to Alaska’s rivers are on average smaller than they were in the past.

The study, headed up by biologists from the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, attributes declines in salmon size to "shifting age structures associated with climate and competition at sea."

The smaller

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Published on
September 10, 2020

Pre-season conversation in Bristol Bay, Alaska – home to the world’s most-lucrative sockeye salmon run – revolved around whether the season should happen at all. Despite the region’s economic reliance on the summer fishery, some communities and tribal organizations in the Western Alaskan outpost called for the 2020 season to be closed down …

Photo courtesy of Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development

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Published on
September 7, 2020

A group of 32 members of the U.S. Congress have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to veto permits for Bristol Bay, Alaska’s Pebble Mine, a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine at headwaters that feed part of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) led the letter to EPA Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, whose agency holds the

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Published on
September 2, 2020

Former Red Lobster executive Jennifer Keith has taken over as director of procurement for the fast-growing Wild Alaskan Company, one of the country’s largest online seafood retailers.

Keith’s transition from foodservice to online retail takes places as Red Lobster struggles with big losses and looming debt amidst coronavirus shutdowns. Meanwhile Wild Alaskan – founded three years ago by third-generation Alaska fisherman and

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Published on
August 25, 2020

The Army Corps of Engineers said in statement released Monday, 24 August, that the Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska cannot be permitted under its current proposal, a move that could sink the massive open-pit gold and copper mine at the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.

The statement clarified that the Trump administration supports the mining industry, but said the project “could have substantial

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Published on
August 24, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to block permits for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, according to a Saturday, 22 August Politico report.

Politico cited six people close to the project in reporting Trump is expected to make a public statement opposing the project after a conference call with the Alaska’s Army Corps of Engineers office on Monday, 24 August.

It would be a surprising about-face from Trump, whom

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Published on
August 11, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said over the weekend that he would oppose the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, if he wins the November election.

In a prepared statement, the former vice president said he would uphold the Obama-era ruling that the proposed gold and copper mine would cause extensive damage to the Bristol Bay watershed and its prolific sockeye salmon run, the world’s largest.

“It’s no

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Published on
August 7, 2020

A remote processing plant on the island of Kodiak reported an outbreak of 37 new cases of COVID-19 this week, adding to a string of large outbreaks in Alaska’s seafood industry …

Photo courtesy of Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development

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Published on
August 6, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., broke with his father earlier this week to speak out against Pebble Mine, a proposed gold and copper mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

In a rare split with the president, Trump Jr. retweeted a message from Nick Ayers, a former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, that directly called on his father to instruct the U.S.

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