Commercial catch upsets Skeena fish group

A local fish conservation authority is upset federal officials opened a coastal commercial fishery for sockeye salmon, a move which it says goes against previous decisions.

On Aug. 23 and Aug. 24, a fishery was opened for gillnetters at the mouth of the Skeena in response to an influx in sockeye numbers that pushed the total return for this summer past the one million mark, approximately one-third of the expected number and minimum for a commercial opening.

Because the influx or “bump” happened late in August when the sockeye typically slows, Gitanyow Fisheries Authority head biologist and Skeena Fisheries Commission advisor Mark Cleveland says the commercial fishery shouldn’t have opened at all according to a conservation strategy created earlier this year.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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