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BC groups demand halt in Alaskan interception of Pacific salmon runs


March 21, 2022
By Hatchery International staff

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A coalition of Canadian conservation groups in British Columbia (BC) have published a letter appealing to Alaskan salmon fisheries that it claims intercept B.C.-bound salmon runs.

In the letter is a joint statement between for non-governmental organizations: the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Coastal Rivers Conservancy. It is being addressed to Alaskan governor, Mike Dunleavy.

“Canadian Pacific salmon populations are hitting record lows and over the past few years, commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries in B.C. have seen unprecedented closures with severe economic, social and cultural impacts in our communities. At the same time, Alaskan harvests of these B.C.-bound salmon have continued and, in some cases, grown,” the letter said.

The letter cites a report commissioned by the groups found that more than 650,000 Canadian-origin sockeye were caught by Southeast Alaskan commercial fishing, compared with 110,000 sockeye commercially harvested in all of BC.

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The BC groups are demanding the closure of District 104 net fishery and move vessels to “to inside waters where they will target Alaska-origin stocks and where the majority of the Southeast Alaska seine fleet already fishes.”

They also demand reduced harvest rates and implement catch reporting for all target and non-target species.

“The impacts from these fisheries on depleted B.C. salmon populations represent a significant gap in the Pacific Salmon Treaty and must be addressed with urgency,” the letter said.


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