Joel "Chef" Chenet will be traveling to Juneau next week to showcase wild salmon as part of the organized opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine. Jacob Resneck/KMXT photo
A local restaurateur is traveling to Juneau to lobby against the proposed Pebble Mine. French-born chef Joel Chenet, co-owner of Mill Bay Coffee in Kodiak, has been involved in promoting Alaska wild salmon across North America.
— chef 1 :31 "Well, I’ve been … try to preserve that."
Chenet says he was once like many chefs who appreciated the convenience of farmed fish. But that was before he came to appreciate what he described as the stark difference in quality.
— chef 2 :49 "Farmed salmon is soft … are using wild salmon."
Next week Chenet travels to the state capital to join in a lobbying effort on March 17 organized by Trout Unlimited and seafood processors with links to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. He’s prepared wild salmon-based foods for policymakers, state and federal officials and others at a reception in Juneau.
The Pebble Mine is thought to be one of the largest untapped gold and copper deposits on earth. But its location near Iliamna Lake and proximity to the headwaters of Bristol Bay has sparked vehement opposition from those who fear discharge from the mine could poison the salmon streams that feed Bristol Bay.
At a small reception held Wednesday at Mill Bay Coffee, veteran Kodiak fisherman Pete Kendrick said he has concerns. He bought a Bristol Bay permit four years ago.
— chef 3 :28 "The one thing we have … just on a rumor."
Another concerned person is former fisherman Debbie Nielsen. She says she’s concerned that Pebble Mine would benefit few but threaten many.
— chef 4 :35 "I think the part that … basically what’s happening here."
Proponents argue the mine could co-exist with the salmon fishery. Behind the open-pit proposal is the Pebble Partnership, a 50-50 consortium of British mining giant AngloAmerican and Northern Dynasty of Vancouver, B.C.