The Federal Subsistence Board, at a meeting set for March 21-23 in Juneau, will consider a petition seeking to close or curtail commercial salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska.
Kootznoowoo Inc., the Native corporation for the village of Angoon, submitted the petition to the federal government.
The petitioner asks the feds to exercise "extraterritorial jurisdiction" to protect the subsistence priority for Angoon residents. It contends the state-managed commercial fisheries have interfered with subsistence fishing for sockeye.
Kootznoowoo wants commercial fisheries in the waters around Angoon closed or restricted. This includes fishing districts in Chatham, Icy and Peril straits.
The Native corporation also recommends reducing the harvest area adjacent to Hidden Falls Hatchery, located across Chatham Strait from Angoon.
In advance of the meeting, the Federal Subsistence Board has posted a staff report that looks at the petition, area salmon runs, Angoon subsistence practices and fishery management.
The report concludes by saying "not enough information" is available to know if a total closure of commercial purse seine fisheries would meet all of Kootznoowoo's stated needs.
The report adds, however, that it "appears more likely than not that the commercial purse seine fishery is reducing the number of sockeye salmon returning" to federally managed waters.
To see Kootznoowoo's petition and supplement, go to the Federal Subsistence Board website.
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