Juneau — With implementation poised to begin January 1, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game today released three chapters of new Pacific Salmon Treaty language. These three chapters will directly impact Alaska and Alaskans.
The current chapters of the Pacific Salmon Treaty that affect southeast Alaska expire December 31, 2018. Over the past several years a team of 58 Alaskans including department staff and affected users have been working towards negotiating a new agreement. In June 2018 the Pacific Salmon Commission completed negotiations regarding a new conservation and harvest sharing agreement between the United States and Canada. This new agreement forms the basis for management of southeast Alaska salmon fisheries.
The negotiated treaty language has been held in confidence for a variety of reasons. However, since the revised treaty takes effect January 1, 2019, releasing the latest version of the agreed to treaty language is in the best interest of affected users. It is important to understand that the treaty language is not open to renegotiation as it has been agreed upon formally. The release of the language will allow affected users the opportunity to become familiar with the stipulations as management strategies are developed for the upcoming season.
The revised agreement addresses a number of salmon fisheries in southeast Alaska, including those near the Alaska/British Columbia border and on several transboundary rivers.
The Pacific Salmon Treaty provides for the conservation and management of salmon that span the international borders between the U.S. and Canada. Since its ratification in 1985, the Treaty has been instrumental in reducing interceptions, preventing overfishing, and improving salmon management.
In the upcoming months the Department will be releasing its 2019 forecast and management regime for southeast Alaska fisheries under this agreement.