Tribal leaders and fishermen protest Alaska military plans

Tribal leaders and commercial fishermen are protesting against military exercises planned for the Gulf of Alaska.

Dozens of fishing boats and kayaks set out on the Port of Kodiak Saturday while supporters set off smoke bombs and flares.

Alaska’s largest military exercise this year is scheduled to begin in June on land and at sea.

Sunaq (Pronounced SHU-Nak) tribal chairwoman Sophie Frets says she’s concerned about damage to salmon, crab and other marine life. She says fish have been a part of her ancestors’ diet for generations and she doesn’t want to lose cultural traditions.

Alaska Command Spokeswoman Anastasia Wasem says damage mitigation is a major part of the exercise. She says the military wouldn’t do the drills if it thought the exercises would harm the environment.