Fishermen Debate Kuskokwim’s Declining Numbers For Salmon

KYUK Public Media posted a report today about the decreasing salmon numbers entering the Kuskokwim River and whether Bering Sea trawler bycatch is affecting the decline. Here’s more from author Greg Kim:

“We are definitely concerned about bycatch and trawlers,” Peltola said. “It is definitely our number one priority going forward.”

In its last meeting on Nov. 11, the state working group took multiple actions to try to reduce the amount of bycatch salmon that ends up on trawlers. To do so, local tribal managers would have to convince federal managers to tighten restrictions. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a federal body, manages commercial trawlers in the Bering Sea.

The Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission wrote a letter to the council with two main asks: one, to eliminate salmon bycatch from trawlers completely. And two, to add seats on the council for Alaska Native tribes to have a say in commercial trawling in the Bering Sea.