This aerial footage of Alaskan Sockeye will take your breath away.
Filmmaker Jason Ching, a research scientist for the University of Washington’s Alaska Salmon Program, documented one of the largest Alaskan Sockeye runs in recent history with a drone hovering above Iliamna Lake, the largest lake in the state.
The short film, “Above Iliamna Lake,” shows footage collected during salmon surveys.
Ching received an honorable mention for a National Geographic Photo contest in 2012, and his footage has been the visual aid for several environmental campaigns, including the potential impact of a Pebble Mine based at the headwaters of Iliamna Lake.
“Whether it’s a presentation, scientific paper, research or environmental video, newsletter or webpage, I believe in creating powerful and informative visuals to engage people in research topics and foster an appreciation for our environment and natural resources,” says Ching.
On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, President Obama issued an executive order to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the sale of drilling leases. Bristol Bay’s waters are rich with one of the largest salmon runs on the planet, half of the sockeye population globally, both which not only provide hundreds of millions of dollars in recreational fishing and tourism, but also hosts 40 percent of the nation’s supply of seafood, creating a two billion dollar commercial fishing industry.
However, our dependency on oil has created a historic challenge between the two industries. The previous administration had set in motion plans to open 5.6 million acres of surrounding land for drilling in 2011, and in 2008, leased oil sales in the Chukchi Sea north of Bristol Bay.
Obama temporarily placed a moratorium withdrawing the area from oil and gas development in 2010 just after BP’s Deep Water Horizon drilling disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico.
Set to expire in 2017, that protection has been extended indefinitely.