Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Pacific Salmon Treaty Goes into Effect

A new Pacific Salmon Treaty approved by the governments of Canada and the United States is now in effect for the coming decade. The old 10-year treaty expired on Dec. 31. The revised agreement impacts management of salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska, including those near the border of Alaska and British Columbia, and on several transboundary rivers.

The original treaty dates back to March 1985, when the United States and Canada agreed to cooperate on management, research and enhancement of Pacific salmon stocks of mutual concern. The two nations committed to preventing over-fishing and providing for optimum production, and to ensure that both counties benefitted equally from production of salmon originating in their waters.

Efforts to reach an agreement on a new treaty began several years ago, and included a team of 58 Alaskans, among them staff from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and affected users.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released links to three chapters of the new treaty that directly impact Alaska fisheries:

Chapter1: Transboundary Rivers

Chapter 2: Northern British Columbia and Southeastern Alaska

Chapter 3: Chinook Salmon

Doug Vincent-Lang, acting Commissioner of ADF&G, said that the negotiated treaty language had been held in confidence for several reasons, but since the revised treaty is now in effect, releasing the latest version of the agreed upon treaty language is in the best interest of those impacted. At this time, no part of the new treaty is open to renegotiation.

Vincent-Lang said that in upcoming months ADF&G will be releasing its 2019 forecast and management regime for Southeast Alaska fisheries under the new Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Spokespersons for Alaska’s commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska were not immediately available for extensive comment on the new treaty.

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