Obama Gives Bristol Bay Fishermen A Great Christmas Present!

Aerial view of braided wetlands and tundra that is typical in the pristine Bristol Bay region. Photo from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown Last month, President Obama used his executive power to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from future oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is a 52,000 square mile area (roughly the size of Florida), north of the Aleutian Islands that the largest surviving salmon populations on Earth swim through on their […]

Killer Whales in Washington State: Serial Problems

Male killer whales have big fins
Photo: Carl-Safina

We were just chatting in Ken Balcomb’s kitchen when out of the computer speakers’ white-noise static came a single whistle that stopped all conversation. They were coming! Moments later the kitchen was full of squeals, squeaks, whoops, buzzes—. At the windows with our binoculars, we confirmed that a familiar group of “resident” or fish-eating killer […]

A New Idea to Protect Wild Salmon

Salmon Forest
Photo: Amy Gulick

Previously posted on Huffington Post 6/14/2013 and National Geographic on 6/10/2013. A few years ago I visited Southeast Alaska and saw more salmon than I thought I’d ever see in my entire life. The question: will they be there for our next generation? Southeast Alaska is one of the last places in the United States […]

Bringing Salmon Back

Dawn at Nisqually River Mouth

Salmon have lots of problems in many places. But some places have solutions. One is the Nisqually River in Washington State. There, wild Chinook Salmon were eliminated decades ago by overfishing and habitat loss. Now, an unusual coalition of politicians, civic planners, wildlife managers, farmers, fishing folks, and the Nisqually Indians are engaged in a […]

Frankenfish: Not Quite a First

From my point of view, “unnatural” spans a range of things. All domesticated breeds are genetically altered. Look at corn compared to its progenitor teosinte, a wild grass still found in Central America. Or a toy poodle compared to the timber wolf that was its progenitor before people started breeding them for all kinds of […]