National Fisherman

JUNEAU — A delegation of commercial and sport fishermen and tour operators traveled to the nation's capital this last week to press Congress to enact stronger protections for salmon and trout in the country's largest national forest.

The Tongass National Forest, a 17-million-acre temperate rainforest in Southeast, is home to one of the world's largest and healthiest wild salmon fisheries. Despite its bounty as America's salmon forest, some 65-percent of salmon and trout habitat in the Tongass is not protected at the watershed scale.

The delegation asked Congress to support a legislative proposal called the Tongass 77. If enacted into law, the Tongass 77 would permanently conserve at the watershed scale some 1.9 million acres of high-value salmon and trout habitat on the Tongass National Forest and make fish and wildlife the highest management priority in these watersheds. These 77 watersheds are currently open to development activities such as logging, road building, and privatization that can harm fish.

David Clark, a Juneau seiner and owner of a commercial fishing blog who, was one of the individuals who traveled to Washington, D.C.

"I asked Congress to step up to the plate and support the Tongass 77. This would be the first significant piece of pro-salmon legislation passed in the Tongass in more than 20 years," Clark said. "It's time for people to realize the Tongass is a huge salmon producer and yet much of the best land is not managed for fish first."

Read the full story at the Juneau Empire>>

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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