There has been a big debate in recent years about Pollock fleets inadvertently catching king salmon. It has been reported that since 2000 the number is over 120,000 king salmon. Last April The North Pacific Fishery Management Council passed a hard cap on the Pollock fishery. Those who participate are allowed 60,000 kings a year and if that cap is reached the council will close down the fishery. In order to help protect the precious king salmon, and allow them to return to spawn to start the next generation. The fisheries who don’t join the program have a cap of just 47, 951 fish.
The small villages along the Yukon river who rely on the salmon and the smokehouses are at a great loss, this year hiring fewer employee’s than years past. Biologists state other possible reasons for the declining numbers of king salmon are changing ocean currents, plankton blooms, and even the carnivorous nature of the king salmon themselves.
Many of the rivers have even been closed to fishing this year due to the depleted numbers of salmon returning to spawn. The lower Yukon villages are particularly devastated.
Lets hope the measures taken to preserve the kings result in better numbers next year, as we enjoy the salmon, but respect the earth and seek to only participate in sustainable, healthy and fair fishing practices!