Cook Inlet Commercial Fishing Fight Continues As Dunleavy Enters Chat In Court

The closure of Cook Inlet to commercial fishing has brought forward a lawsuit and now intervention from Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Here’s more from the Alaska Journal of Commerce:

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration will be fighting in court to keep much of Cook Inlet closed to commercial salmon fishing after a federal judge approved the state’s request to intervene in a lawsuit over the fishery.

U.S. District Court of Alaska Judge Josh Kindred granted the state’s motion Jan. 6 to join the National Marine Fisheries Service as a defendant in suits filed last fall by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and individual fishermen in an attempt to force the agency to reopen the federal waters of central Cook Inlet to salmon fishing this coming season.

Often referred to as the EEZ — an abbreviation for its formal name, the exclusive, economic zone — the area currently closed by federal regulations this year covers all of the waters beyond 3 miles offshore in central Cook Inlet. Fishing would still be allowed in state waters up to the 3-mile line.