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Alaska Salmon Fishing Approval Nixed for Lack of Mitigation

Aug. 9, 2022, 4:23 PM

Commercial salmon fisheries near southeast Alaska face potential disruption after a federal judge in Washington ruled the National Marine Fisheries Services failed to study their environmental effects and establish a clear plan to protect whales.

NMFS acknowledged that the fisheries would harm endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales absent other measures. However, the agency approved maximum allowable salmon harvest limits, saying that it would develop mitigation plans to prevent the whales from going extinct.

The agency’s 2019 Southeast Alaska Biological Opinion doesn’t have any deadlines or requirements to ensure the mitigation program is implemented, a magistrate judge in the US District ...