Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The State of Alaska has moved to intervene in a federal case that threatens state management of Alaska's salmon fisheries.
The Wild Fish Conservancy, a conservation organization based in Washington state, claims that Alaska's management of fisheries under the Pacific Salmon Treaty threatens the survival of several salmon stocks in Washington and Oregon, and the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales that depend on them.
The lawsuit seeks to shut down all salmon fisheries in the federal waters off the coast of Southeast Alaska.
Federal waters run 3 to 200 miles offshore and comprise approximately 87 percent of the fishable area in Southeast Alaska.
Authority to manage salmon fishing in the federal waters of Southeast Alaska was delegated to the State by the National Marine Fisheries Service consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The State of Alaska intends to join National Marine Fisheries Service and the Alaska Trollers Association in defending the Southeast Alaska salmon fishery.