Western Exposure

Alaska Natives Defy Salmon-fishing Ban

By June 30, 2009March 19th, 2015No Comments

From Marshall, Alaska, way up the Yukon River from the Bering Sea (http://bit.ly/EBGZQ), comes news that Native American fishermen are defying government orders to close the commercial king salmon fishery this year. A story from the Tundra Drums that we found on the website of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner (http://bit.ly/rKms0) says six vessels landed about 100 of the salmon. The fishermen didn’t see any wildlife agents and weren’t cited. Cleaned and sliced for freezing or drying, the salmon was delivered to tribal members who are poor, elderly or disabled, the story says, which makes it sound less like a commercial harvest than a subsistence harvest. Subsistence fishing is allowed. The fishermen, though, described their actions as civil disobedience. Usually Yukon River salmon is showing up at fish counters in the Lower 48 at this time of year. Instead, the low abundance of the run this year prompted Alaska to ask Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to declare an economic disaster.

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