With Canadian and Pacific Northwest scientists readying a claim to yet more evidence of hatchery pink salmon overgrazing the pastures of the North Pacific Ocean to the detriment of Chinook and other prized salmon species, a growing group of Alaskans is back before the state Board of Fisheries (BOF) asking for a freeze on hatchery fry releases.
Led by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA), eight organizations and 11 individuals – most of them Cook Inlet commercial fishermen – Thursday filed a new emergency petition asking the board to rescind the permission given the Valdez Fisheries Development Association to pump another 20 million pink salmon eggs into its hatchery this summer.
An earlier petition died on a tie vote.
“This petition, though similar, is different in that it requests that the BOF exercise its own authority for oversight of hatchery salmon production and halt the 20 million additional egg take for PWS hatcheries,” KRSA executive director Ricky Gease wrote in a letter to the state. “I will follow up with nine attachments of scientific reports on issues with hatchery salmon production and the North Pacific Ocean, which are cited in the petition.”