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NPFMC deciding Cook Inlet salmon management

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has before it the fate of commercial salmon fishing in Cook Inlet. 
    There is a thousand-square-mile block of waters south of Kalgin Island that is part of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and therefore subject to federal regulation. Cook Inlet commercial fishermen, unhappy with state management which favored Kenai River sportsfishing, sued to have the waters federally managed. Whether the feds want to manage that water, turn it over to the state, or stop fishing in it altogether, is currently what’s before the council. 
    In a special meeting the day before Thanksgiving, the Homer City Council voted unanimously to oppose “Alternative 4” in the proposal, which would close the federal waters in question to salmon fishing.
    Matt Haakenson, fleet manager for Pacific Star Seafoods said the loss of salmon deliveries from that area would put halibut landings in Homer in jeopardy as well.
    Haakenson said the area is vital to the Peninsula’s salmon industry, and sees Option Four as a slap in the face to commercial fishermen who sued seeking better management.
    Homer City Councilmember Donna Aderhold helped write the city’s resolution in opposition to Alternative 4, and said adverse economic impacts were important to emphasize to the NPFMC.
    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is currently meeting -- virtually through video conference.