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U.S. government begins review to list Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon as endangered

June 6, 2024  By Hatchery International staff

The U.S. government has announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Chinook salmon as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate critical habitat concurrent with the listing. This includes any evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) in the area.

In January, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received a petition from the Wild Fish Conservancy to list one or more ESUs of Chinook salmon in southern Alaska as threatened or endangered.

The petition stated that most of the population’s size and maturity age have decreased for over two decades. The group has previously filed Endangered Species Act lawsuits to protect other Alaska and Washington salmon and steelhead populations.

“We find that the petition, viewed in the context of information readily available in our files, presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are commencing a review of the status of Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon to determine whether listing under the ESA is warranted,” a document from the NMFS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Commerce states.


According to a report by Northern Journal, ESA experts said the initial stage is usually easy for advocacy groups to clear, while the second one can take longer — with the courts often brought in to settle disputes over delays and scientific conclusions.

The proposal to list the Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon will come at the end of the scientific review which is legally required to be finished within a year of filing the listing petition.

They’re opening a 60-day public comment period to solicit information on GOA Chinook salmon.

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