Sunday, December 23, 2007

Rough Cuts: Picking fish from our nets

Just to be clear, these videos I'm posting about Bristol Bay are rough scenes from a documentary film that I am currently editing (amongst other projects). It's my intention to get my vision of Bristol Bay out into the public sphere so that others can see what I've seen. That said, these initial scenes are just a few out of many many many that need to be cut and distilled into a finished form.

In 2006, the commercial harvest of red salmon was 44.3 million fish. This was the 8th largest return of fish in the last 50 years of Alaskan statehood. The wild salmon runs of Bristol Bay are unique in that this is the last place in the world where this natural phenomena exists.

All kinds of people depend on this valuable, sustainable resource. Native communities have subsisted on this fish for 10,000 years. Commercial fishermen have been here for the last 150 years and that tradition continues today. All fishing is still done by hand in a season that lasts for only 3 weeks.

Every fish that lands in the net needs to be picked out of the net by hand. In 2006, that means 29 million individual fish were killed by human hands.

Think about that as you watch this video.

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