Written by Jen Finn
PORTLAND — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted late last week to ban the use of gillnets to catch fish on the main stem of the Columbia River, relegating the primary commercial-fishing tool to side channels and tributaries.
Washington's fish commission was scheduled to decide soon on similar rules, eliminating the centuries-old practice from both sides of the river.
The gillnet ban was pushed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who hopes to mediate a longstanding conflict between commercial and recreational fishers while transitioning to new methods of commercial fishing. Recreational fishers say gillnets are harmful to the recovery of endangered salmon.
Read the full story at Ashland Daily Tidings>>
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...