Published September 17, 2019
WASHINGTON — From September 16 -20, 27 restaurants in Washington, DC and Wegmans locations in Maryland and Virginia will feature wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska on their menus and in their aisles. They are participating in the inaugural Bristol Bay Salmon Week, sponsored by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRDSA). Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is home to the world’s most prolific commercial wild sockeye salmon fishery, responsible for producing more than half of the sockeye sold worldwide.
During the 2019 Bristol Bay fishing season, a near-record 43 million sockeye were harvested in Bristol Bay, with over 56 million fish returning. These returns support over 10,000 jobs and a billion-dollar annual economy associated with the over-130-year-old commercial fishery and a thriving sport fishery, whose ripple effects extend far beyond Alaska. Just as important, these epic summer runs that turn Bristol Bay’s rivers and streams red with salmon are the lifeblood of a Millennia-old Alaska Native way of life.
“Bristol Bay Salmon Week gives is an opportunity to showcase these special fish that feed the world,” said Andy Wink, executive director of BBRSDA. “I hope Washingtonians will visit our partner restaurants to learn more about Bristol Bay and the sockeye it produces – and enjoy some delicious wild food.”
Restaurants participating in the week are located across the city and are diverse in their fares. In addition to some of the top seafood-focused restaurants in the District, Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian will prepare salmon using traditional recipes from the Alaska Natives who call the Bristol Bay region home. Joining Mitsitam Cafe are a food truck, delis, a fishmonger, several Asian restaurants, and many others. Each restaurant is taking its own unique approach for featuring sockeye salmon on their menus, which itself showcases the versatility of the fish.
Want to find out how DC restaurants are featuring salmon? Visit one of these participating restaurants September 16-20:
- Art and Soul
- Blue Duck Tavern
- The Bombay Club
- Brasserie Beck
- Brothers and Sisters
- Brookland’s Finest
- Call Your Mother Deli
- The District Fishwife
- Fast and Saucy food truck
- High Street Café
- Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian
- Neopol Savory Smokery (three locations in DC & Baltimore)
- The Red Hen
- The Salt Line
- Slapfish DC
- Spoken English
While the primary purpose of Bristol Bay Salmon Week is to celebrate these incredible fish and the amazing people who bring them to the world, it is also a recognition that the Bristol Bay fishery faces threats. The proposed Pebble Mine, which is now going through the permitting process, represents a significant, long-term threat to the world’s most abundant wild salmon run.
In addition to BBRSDA, other sponsoring organizations for Bristol Bay Salmon Week in DC are: Antarctica Advisors, The Conservation Fund, James Bear Smart Catch Foundation, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Natural Resources Defense Council, United Work & Travel, Icicle Seafoods, and Tulalip Tribes.
For more information about Bristol Bay Salmon Week, please visit www.bristolbaysalmonweek.com. You can also follow the conversation on social media at #BristolBaySalmonWeek to learn more about how participating restaurants are featuring salmon. We will also have people who rely on Bristol Bay’s bounty available to speak to the media upon request, as well as representatives from some of the participating restaurants.