Alaskans intercepting a lot of BC salmon: study

Business Insider Vancouver

When members of the Pacific Salmon Treaty meet later this week in Vancouver, they will be faced with a new report that suggests Alaskan commercial fishers caught an estimated 800,000 sockeye in 2021, most of which were B.C. origin, while the B.C. commercial sector was largely shut out of last year’s harvest.

Commissioned by Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, the reports’s authors analyzed data and reports from the Pacific Salmon Commission, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Based on that data, the report estimates that Alaskan commercial fishermen on the outside of the Alaskan Panhandle caught about 800,000 sockeye, most of which would have been destined for B.C. rivers – notably the Nass, Skeena and Fraser rivers – and tens of thousands of chinook, coho, steelhead, pink and chum salmon.

The commercial harvest of salmon for B.C. commercial fishermen has dwindled almost to the vanishing point over the last decade. Last year, 60% of the B.C. commercial salmon harvest was shut down by DFO, due to low expected returns and conservation concerns.

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