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Businesses praised for action over Bristol Bay


The president of a leading US reel manufacturer has praised the efforts of businesses and people who came together to play a major role in saving Bristol Bay, one of the world’s top salmon fisheries, from a major mining project.

Kristen Mustad, of Nautilus Reels, was speaking after he attended a White House reception to celebrate the protections that have been put in place to save the region from being mined for its vast reserves of copper and gold. The small gathering included representatives of companies that have been outspoken about Pebble Mine, along with Native American leaders and regional stakeholders.

The event included an address from President Joe Biden, recognising the protections for Bristol Bay through the Clean Water Act.

“Politics is a dirty sport and can be very divisive,” said Mustad. “But businesses and people from all sides of the political spectrum came together over the past couple of decades to save Bristol Bay and the project was shut down multiple times only to come back again and again. I truly hope this is the end of it for good.

“After years of being outspoken, raising awareness, calling anglers to action and helping to raise funds for this effort, Nautilus Reels was honoured to be invited to the White House. It is grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly to protect Bristol Bay.”

It is the second time Nautilus Reels has been invited to the White House. In 2020, the company was honoured by President Donald Trump at the Spirit of America Showcase, an event which highlighted industry-leading companies that manufacture in the United States. Mustad and Charlotte Gonzales (pictured below) used the opportunity to raise concerns about conservation issues directly with the Trump Administration by bringing custom reels that highlighted efforts to save the Everglades and protect Bristol Bay.

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