Alaska Rep. Peltola On Attempting To Fix Fishing Bycatch Issues

As Alaska’s fishing industry grapples with concerns over commercial fishing bycatch issues and new guidelines over the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its potential to enact much-needed changes to the system, Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola (D) has some ideas of her own. Here’s more from Alaska Public Media:

Congresswoman Mary Peltola focused on revising the Magnuson-Stevens Act since the start of her campaign. But she said it’s not in the cards now.

“I think everybody recognizes that there’s a very slim chance that Magnuson-Stevens will be authorized this year” or next, Peltola said in a recent video call arranged by a public affairs firm called Ocean Strategies.

Rather than change the law, the new strategy is to change a set of guidelines for the law that’s already on the books.

It’s a fallback position. It’s not likely to yield quick results. But this year is shaping up to be another grim one for chinook and chum runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.  Peltola and other salmon advocates say it’s important to take some kind of action now to preserve the possibility of a return to salmon abundance.

Peltola’s comments suggest it’s going to take some creative thought to really make an impact on what’s seen as devastating bycatch effects on Western Alaska king and chum salmon runs.