A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a state commercial fishing organization that challenged a decision to move several southern Alaska salmon fisheries from federal to state management.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned the decision by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The ruling means the case will go back to U.S. Alaska District Court and that federal fisheries policymakers will have to work with state managers on a new management plan, The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported.

The United Cook Inlet Drift Association sued over the council's 2011 decision to remove Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries from the federal fisheries management plan. The 2013 suit was initially rejected by District Court Judge Timothy Burgess. But the group appealed, arguing that the state's plan doesn't adhere to the same high standards as federal rules.

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