National Fisherman

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — State prosecutors are disputing religious protection claims by Alaska Native fishermen cited for illegal fishing who say bans on their subsistence lifestyle violate their spiritual freedoms.

The fishermen "raised an issue without adequately briefing it," the state said in a court filing this week.

Prosecutors were responding to a motion seeking to consolidate the April trials of 21 fishermen to allow two specialists to testify as pro bono experts on Yup'ik Eskimo culture and spiritual matters.

The fishermen were among dozens of Alaska Natives cited last year during a weak king salmon run.

Read the full story at Anchorage Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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