Nothing to stop Alaska from harvesting all sockeye swimming to B.C., says conservation group. “Fisheries in Southeast Alaska have harvested well over a quarter million sockeye salmon”
By Jenna Cocullo for The Northern View
Two salmon conservation groups are concerned that Alaska’s fisheries are harvesting most of the sockeye salmon for themselves, without consequence.
Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust released a statement on Thursday in which they said more than 250,000 sockeye salmon were harvested in the U.S, most of which were headed to Canadian waters.
“Canadian commercial and recreational fisheries have been closed and Indigenous people are unable to get food fish,“ Greg Taylor, fisheries advisor to Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, said.
Fisheries in Southeast Alaska have remained open while the Fraser and Skeena river systems are experiencing historically low sockeye salmon returns.
The groups also said the renegotiated Pacific Salmon Treaty — a 1985 agreement between the U.S. and Canada to share management of Pacific salmon — contains no mechanisms in place to hold the state accountable for their impacts on at-‐risk sockeye salmon swimming to B.C. to spawn.