Photographer and commercial fisherman Corey Arnold took over The New Yorker’s Instagram account this week, and he’s ‘gramming live from Naknek, Alaska, where wild Sockeye Salmon are born. In an introduction to the photo series, Arnold explains, “I’m going to show you around Naknek, where thousands of fishermen are preparing for the arrival of an estimated 26,000,000 salmon.”
He notes that Naknew is one of the most sustainable small scale fisheries in the world, but it is “now under threat by a massive proposed open pit copper mine, and it’s 10 billion tons of toxic waste.” He’s referring to Pebble Mine, which is situated immediately up-gradient to the salmon fishery.
Bristol Bay (where Nanek is located) is one of the world’s few and most productive wild salmon strongholds that supports a $500 million commercial and sport fishery, according to SaveBristolBay.org. Through his gorgeous ‘grammed photo essay, featuring intimate photos of life in Naknek, Arnold exposes how pollution from one mine could potentially destroy an entire ecosystem and wipe out a thriving industry.