State questions religious protection for fishermen

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.

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