“Generally, you don’t want fish spawning on your feet.”
That’s salient advice from the president of the United States, who spent some time fishing this week in Dillingham during his high-profile trip to Alaska.
While examining his catch in a pair of florescent orange gloves, President Barack Obama‘s salmon began secreting on his shoes in a comical moment captured by press photographers.
“Uh-oh, what’s happening there?” Obama asked the woman next to him while holding the salmon at arms length.
“Did you see that? Something got on my shoes,” he hollered to the press. The woman explained to the president that the fish was spawning.
“He was happy to see me,” Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to travel above the Arctic Circle, added after dropping the fish.
Obama travelled to Alaska this week for a three-day trip meant to highlight the effects of global warming in the region, an issue the White House has framed as a threat to America’s national security. On Wednesday, Obama hiked through Kenai Fjords National Park to see the Exit Glacier, which has melted more than a 1,000 feet in the last decade alone.
In addition, the president is urging Congress to accelerate the purchase of new icebreaker vessels, which are essential to cutting naval traffic lanes through the Arctic sea ice.
“After World War Two, we had seven icebreakers, and now we only have two. Russia has 40 and 11 more planned,” Obama told reporters. “In light of the changes taking place, some of which are already happening and inevitable, it’s important we are prepared.”