Over the centuries, Bristol Bay’s massive network of rivers, lakes, streams and tributaries have given rise to many genetically diverse stocks of sockeye salmon.
This diversity helps to ensure a remarkably stable overall balance in the region’s sockeye populations. Referred to by scientists as the “portfolio effect,” this genetic diversity reflects the diversity of the ecosystem itself, and helps prevent the wild swings and precipitous declines in salmon populations that have often occurred outside of Alaska.
Put another way, the portfolio effect acts as a balancing and stabilizing mechanism for salmon populations in the same way that a well-diversified financial portfolio does for investments. Bristol Bay’s salmon industry pre-dates Alaska’s first Gold Rush, and after 130 years of steady fishing in Bristol Bay, our investments in sustainability are paying off better than ever!