Three First Nations demand action following report on Alaskan interception of B.C. salmon
(Photo source: SkeenaWild Conservation Trust).
Three Northwest First Nations say they are “outraged” over the findings of a report that showed how large numbers of Skeena and Nass Sockeye Salmon are being captured by Alaskan fishing boats.
The report – which was co-commissioned by SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, a Terrace-based environmental group – estimates up to 75 per cent of sockeye harvested in southeast Alaska last year was bound for rivers along B.C.’s north coast.
A press release from the Skeena Fisheries Commission says the Gitxsan, Gitanyow and Wet'suwet'en Nations are calling on the Canadian government to hold an emergency meeting with the Pacific Salmon Commission to address the issue before the 2022 fishing season.
The release notes that access to fishing is critical to sustain the lives communities, economies and culture of these First Nations.
“Our people have gone to extreme lengths to preserve the small numbers of Kitwanga sockeye that still exist, and to find that the Alaskan fishery is exploiting these same fish at extremely high numbers is very disheartening,” said Gitanyow Hereditary Chief Glen Williams.
Many restrictions on fishing are currently in place along the Skeena River to protect salmon stocks.
Last year, the federal government closed 60 per cent of B.C. fisheries and announced the $647 million Pacific Salmon Strategy to further conserve B.C. salmon.