The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is applauding State Senator Peter Micciche and other co-sponsors and members of the Alaska Senate for passing Senate Resolution 5 Monday. As we’ve reported, the resolution encourages fishery managers to lower limits on Chinook bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and supports increased coverage by fishery observers to obtain accurate estimates on bycatch. It passed with 18 yes votes and no opposition.
Sen. Micciche(R-Soldotna): “Well, we request that they reduce the bycatch by 50%. You know, the bycatch in the Bering Sea fishery is currently set at 60,000, which is more that the entire subsistence fishery of the Yukon River. The Gulf of Alaska is set at 25,000 fish. We want them to cut that in half, that just means they have to fish smarter. We don’t’ want them to put them out of business, but while 450 of our setnetters we our of business last year, they continued to fish.”
Kelly Harrell, Executive Director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council said that “On behalf of our organization and members across the state that depend on healthy Chinook salmon stocks, we thank Senator Micciche, other co-sponsors and the Senate for their leadership in reducing bycatch. SR 5 is an important statement from our legislature that fishery managers must go further to reduce waste of our valuable king salmon.”