September designated as Alaska Wild Salmon Month

A resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, designating September as “Alaska Wild Salmon Month,” has passed the U.S. Senate.

The measure celebrates the contributions of Alaska’s wild salmon industry to the health and economy of the nation.

“Alaskans are tremendously proud of our wild salmon,” Murkowski said. “This bountiful resource has helped sustain our entire state for thousands of years. Alaska’s fisheries remain the most abundant and sustainably managed in the nation.

“Educating others about the strength of our fisheries, and the efforts to ensure that our wild stocks remain strong and healthy is so important,” she said.

The resolution highlights the fact that the sustainable wild salmon commercial fishery in Alaska contributes over 38,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in annual labor income to the national economy. The sport fishing industry in Alaska, by comparison, generates $5 million in economic output and creates 4,500 jobs annually.

The resolution notes that many Alaskans depend heavily on subsistence-caught wild salmon for food and cultural purposes, and that Alaska wild salmon continues to comprise up to 70 percent of the subsistence harvest of many Alaska Native communities.