Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak calls for Pink Salmon Fishery Disaster Declaration

commercial vessel seen fishing for pink salmon near Furry Creek on WednesdayTwo measures of relief for Alaska’s pink salmon industry, reeling from the lowest harvest since the late 1970s, are being sought. Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, last week asked the Walker administration to declare the pink salmon season a disaster, which would open up access to federal relief funds. Pinks are Alaska’s highest volume salmon fishery, though the price tends to be the lowest. Hundreds of fishermen depend on pinks to boost their overall catches and paychecks. So far, the statewide harvest is just 36 million humpies, far less than a preseason forecast of 90 million. Last summer, 190 million pinks were caught. For pinks, every other year is typically a strong year, with a weak year in between. “This is the worst salmon year in nearly 40 years, and that’s huge,” she said. “It doesn’t just affect the fishermen — it’s a trickle-down effect on the cannery workers, the processors and nearly all businesses in the community. It’s a disaster, there’s no other way to describe it.” Read the rest here 17:17

Leave a Reply