Your Salmon Or Our Salmon? B.C.’s Objection To Fish Caught Enroute To Canada

Fascinating report in Canadian publication Coast Reporter about what fishermen have the right to lay claim on in waters separated by the U.S. and Canadian borders. British Columbia fishers are objecting to Alaskans catching a lot of the sockeye that head upstream before reaching Canadian waters. Here’s more from Stefan Labbé’s piece:

Based on genetic data from previous years, Watershed Watch president Aaron Hill estimates up to 75 per cent of the approximately 800,000 sockeye salmon caught in southeast Alaska in 2021 were bound for B.C.’s north coast rivers. He says those details will be added to the report in the coming days.

Tens of thousands of Canadian-origin chinook and coho, and “a large but unknown number” of Canadian pink, chum and steelhead were also harvested, according to the report. 

“We knew that the Alaskans were catching a lot of B.C. salmon, as they have for a long time, but it was pretty jarring to see how their share of the catch has grown as ours has dwindled to protect salmon,” said Hill.

It’s a really interesting read and potentially a conundrum to truly figure out how to figure out who should have access to the fish and how it could be evenly distributed.