By Bob Poe
Earlier this month in Anchorage, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council was faced with the Solomonic choice between maintaining the lucrative Bering Sea Pollock fishery and significantly reducing Chinook bycatch to restore salmon runs in the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.
Residents of western Alaskan villages like Emmonak, Kotlik and Nunam Iqua were hopeful the Council would make real reductions in allowable salmon bycatch. Commercial salmon fishing is one of the only ways to earn cash in villages along the Yukon and Kuskokwim. Recent low Chinook returns combined with record high fuel prices forced some western Alaska residents this year to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families.
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I received a Facebook friend request from Alaska gubernatorial candidate, Bob Poe. When I accepted, he replied with this article about bycatch issues in the Yukon Delta fishery. He offered his permission to print it at anonymous bloggers. Additionally, Mr. Poe has expressed an interest in listening to my input, and that from all of us here at anonymous bloggers, in addressing issues facing rural Alaska.
I look forward to working with not only Mr. Poe, but all current and future elected officials in building more sustainable bush communities.