Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is a special request from Dennis Zaki of the Alaska Report. The coverage is neccessary, and Dennis is one of the few - usually the ONLY - person reporting it. Not only is he getting the story, what I've seen of his work is more accurate and at the heart of the situation than anything else. Dennis' coverage has ended up on major news outlets, including CNN, and his work has gone a long way to getting this story out to people who don't have any other way of finding out about it.

Take a moment to look at the information, including this article from the Tundra Drums, and please, if you can, support his work!

Dear readers,

It is a matter of great urgency that I be in Emmonak ASAP. The Federal Subsistence Board has called a meeting with the Emmonak tribal leaders and residents to discuss the Yukon's king salmon subsistence and commercial fishing crisis. At the State meeting last January, I was not allowed to film. Residents later told me the State did not want that meeting on film.

The people of Emmonak have been prohibited from commercially fishing for early run King Salmon. Alaska, the feds, and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council have chosen the marginal benefit of a few commercial pollock fishermen from Seattle over the livelihood of the villagers of Emmonak, and others of Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The fact is indisputable that the salmon bycatch of Seattle's pollock fishermen is the direct cause of the steep and devastating decline of king salmon in the waters of Western Alaska. However, few, if any, of our state's government officials have the courage to bring up this topic on the record, presumably due to the fact that they would be championing the "hapless" Natives (not a new concept in our history) over the strong, wealthy, lobbyist-backed (non-Alaskan) pollock industry.

What this intolerable situation needs is to be brought to the attention of the American people, even as it is being swept under Alaska's political rug. A few months ago, when the heating fuel/food crisis in Emmonak first surfaced, I flew there with my camera and interviewed the victims of the crisis. My filming gave their plight national exposure on CNN and other national outlets. I want to follow up the story and do it again.

We cannot let this problem just fade away as if our fellow Alaskans mean nothing. This is not just the problem of the villagers of Emmonak. As Alaskans, this is our problem just as much as it is theirs. (See: Lack of King salmon in the Deshka River, Ship Creek, Bird Creek, Kenai River, etc., etc.) Help me get to Emmonak to do something about it. The trip will cost $1080. That is $720 airfair and 4 nights in the Emmonak hotel.

Dennis Zaki


UPDATE: You did it! Dennis got all the donations he needed for the trip!


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