NOAA Administrator At Meeting Offers Hope To Southeast Alaska Trollers

The fallout from the pending closure of the Southeast Alaska king salmon trolling fishery has been polarizing. But at a recent meeting, A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration representative reassured angry locals that all is not lost. Here’s more from Alaska Public Media:

Although NMFS has appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and asked for a decision in June, it’s unlikely that the court would act so fast.

Instead, Kurland – without giving away too much legal strategy – said NMFS had one trump card it could play.

“So the agency has the authority under the Endangered Species Act to issue a new biological opinion and a new incidental take statement,” Kurland said. “It could be reviewed by the court, the court doesn’t need to approve it upfront. But it’s certainly possible that the plaintiffs will take issue with whatever we put out, and will ask the court to review it. But there is no no implicit requirement or explicit requirement for the court to approve it before it takes effect.”

Jon Kurland, Alaska regional administrator for NOAA, went onto say that after the analysis reporting is completed, there is some hope for an open fishing season later this summer. We’ll see how that goes.