Alaska salmon fishery

Alaska Salmon Fishery

Alaska salmon fishery

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The Alaskan salmon fishery was saved due to strict mitigation measures and the implementation of policies. Alaska's successful conservation of their salmon resources is reflected in recent healthy and abundant salmon runs. Currently, the harvest in Alaska represents about 80% of the total wild-caught North American harvest of salmon, harvests from Canada representing about 15%, and harvests from Pacific Northwest states representing about 5%.


Alaska did not always have healthy stocks of salmon. The salmon catch grew rapidly with the expansion of the cannery capacity through 1920. This led to over fishing, which resulted in such low salmon stocks that President Eisenhower declared Alaska a federal disaster area in 1953. In fact, in 1959, statewide harvests totaled only about 25 million salmon, which is less than 20% of current sustained production. This was a major factor in the declines of the Alaska salmon fishery that occurred between 1920 and 1959. Alaska achieved statehood in the year of 1959. After analysis, it was clear that the reason for the decline was the lack of implementation of the federal policies in place before statehood. Furthermore, the Federal government failed to provide the financial resources needed to manage and research salmon stocks and fisheries such that fishing could be regulated and...
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