Subsistence Board Pushing for Hard Limits on Bycatch

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

The Federal Subsistence Board Tuesday got itself involved with the controversy over the amount of salmon the trawl fishing fleet is catching in federal waters – both King and Chum Salmon. They want the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to enact the lowest of its proposed hard caps on bycatch. If the fleet hits the cap it would have to stop all fishing.

Tim Smith, of Nome, says one King salmon stock on one river on the Seward Peninsula – the Pilgrim – is now so weak that it meets the definition of extinct.

Federal Subsistence Board chairman Tim Towaruk says the board members voted for the lowest bycatch limits proposed by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council – 25,000 to 50,000 Chum Salmon in the Bering and 15,000 Chinook in the Gulf of Alaska.

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