Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
Commercial salmon trollers have until Feb. 25 to apply for money meant to offset a drop in king salmon catches allowed under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Anyone who held a hand or power troll permit in 2009 is eligible and has been sent a pre-printed application from the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.
The Pacific Salmon Treaty is an agreement between the U.S. and Canada on the management of salmon. When it was renegotiated in 2008, Alaska’s share of the harvest was reduced by 15 percent. About $1.5 million was set aside to compensate Alaska trollers for the loss.
Howard Pendell has been power trolling for most of his 35 years as a fisherman. He’s also on the Northern Panel that advises the Pacific Salmon Commission. He says the 15 percent reduction has impacts beyond the fish themselves.
That money starts at $75 for anyone who held a hand troll permit in 2009. For power trollers, the payment begins at $150. From there, additional money is added on for those who actually commercially harvested a fish, and then again based on an individual’s percentage of the total Chinook salmon harvest from 2009. Pendell says the miney will help, but he’d rather have the fish.
Applications must be received by Feb. 25.
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