Alaska lawmakers support halibut bycatch cuts

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A bipartisan group of Alaska state lawmakers have asked federal fishery managers to cut halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

Twelve legislators representing coastal communities wrote a letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council asking for a 50 percent reduction in the amount of halibut that Bering Sea and Aleutian Island trawlers who target other species, such as groundfish, are allowed to catch.

The council, which manages federal fisheries offshore from Alaska and includes representation from Alaska, Oregon and Washington, is expected to take final action on the halibut bycatch issue at its June meeting in Sitka.

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