The North Pacific Fishery Management Council began taking public comment yesterday on measures to reduce the number of Chum Salmon caught incidentally by the Pollock trawl fleet in the Bering Sea. No final action is expected at this meeting, even though the by-catch of Chums skyrocketed last year to 191 thousand 445 fish.
Genetic studies are showing that many of those Chums may have been bound for hatcheries in Japan and Russia, rather than rivers in Alaska.
Alaska villagers are telling the Council they want Pollock fishing shut down in the Chum bycatch reaches a hard cap of thirty thousand. They say their fishing has already been curtailed plenty. Here is how Polok Simon Junior of Allakaket, on a tributary to the Yukon River, put it:
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