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All over the world, salmon populations are in trouble, as overfishing and habitat loss have combined to put the once-great Atlantic and Pacific Northwest runs at serious risk. Alaska, however, stands out as a rare success story: its salmon populations remain strong and healthy, the result of years of careful management and conservation pro- grams that are rooted in a shared un- derstanding of the importance of the fish to the life, culture, and history of the state.
Made of Salmon brings together
more than fifty diverse Alaska voices to celebrate the salmon and its place in Alaska life. A mix of words and images, the book interweaves longer works by some of Alaska’s finest writers with shorter, more anecdotal accounts and stunning photographs of Alaskans fishing for, catching, preserving, and eating salmon throughout the state. A love letter to a fish that has been central to Alaska life for centuries, Made of Salmon is a reminder of the stakes of this great, ongoing conservation battle.
Ask almost anyone in our nation, or perhaps even the world, what they think of after the world salmon. “Alaska” is the most likely response. . . . Mixed in with stories of growing up with the annual salmon returns, or of learning about these fish and their multiple connections to the ecosystem, are facts about the rapidly changing environment for salon and the people who harvest them.
Nancy Lord is a longtime resident of Homer, Alaska, and a former commercial salmon fisherman. She teaches creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage and science writing at Johns Hopkins University. Her books include Fishcamp, Beluga Days, and Early Warming.