Court sides with UCIDA on Cook Inlet Salmon management

A federal appeals court has sided with United Cook Inlet Drifters Association [UCIDA] in a lawsuit seeking to return Cook Inlet salmon management to federal fisheries control. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week [wednesday] to send the suit back to federal District court to have an earlier judgement entered in favor of the commercial fishing organization.

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The suit, filed in 2013, charges state salmon management disregards certain regulations of the Magnuson – Stevens Act, resulting in underharvesting of Inlet salmon. UCIDA vice president Eric Huebsch said the organization filed suit after a North Pacific Fishery Management Council decision [in 2011] removed Cook Inlet salmon from the federal management plan.

Huebsch said the decision requires the NPFMC [the Council] go back and work with the state on a salmon management plan for Cook Inlet that complies with the Magnuson – Stevens act, and then delegate day-to-day management back to the state.

Chris Oliver, executive director of the NPFMC, [the Council], said he is not able to comment on the 9th Circuit decision until there is time to confer with other federal agencies on the meaning of the decision. State Department of Fish and Game officials did not return calls for comment by newstime.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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