June 2021 Update – Call to Action


Please comment once more!

It is essential that everyone send in comments on the proposed Amendment 14 to the Alaska Salmon Fisheries Management Plan (Salmon FMP) that would close the federal waters in Cook Inlet (the EEZ) to commercial salmon fishing. This Amendment 14, that was put forth in a corrupt process by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, has now been sent to the NMFS and Secretary of Commerce for review.

This comment period ends on July 19, please send in your comments as soon as possible. Call the UCIDA office (260-9436) if you need help.

How to Comment – go to https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/05/18/2021-10450/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-cook-inlet-salmon-amendment-14

Click on “Submit a Formal Comment”. Type into the box that opens, or copy-and-paste your comment into the box. Follow the rest of the directions.

You can send in the same or similar comment that many of you did last December when the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council had this issue on their agenda. If you want to recycle your previous comment, please note that what was then “Alternative 4” is now called “proposed Amendment 14” to the Alaska Salmon FMP.

When commenting, identify yourself and your connection to the Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishing industry. Please clearly state that you oppose Amendment 14 to the Alaska Salmon FMP.

Here is some additional information that you may wish to include in your comments.

  • Proposed Amendment 14 does not meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) or the Ten National Standards.
  • The MSA requires that fishery management plans apply to the entire fishery, not just a part of a fishery.
  • Closing an area to commercial fishing that has been heavily utilized for nearly a hundred years is not a management plan.
  • Amendment 14 unfairly discriminates against the drift fleet; nearly half of the drift fleets harvest/income comes from the EEZ and it would be far more than half our harvest if we were allowed to fish there throughout the season.
  • Amendment 14 will result in the collapse of the entire commercial fishing industry in Cook Inlet. This fishery was once the second largest salmon fishery in the State, in terms of economic value, now we are having back-to-back disasters because of State of Alaska mismanagement.
  • The local economies have been badly harmed by the State mismanagement, Amendment 14 will perpetuate that harm.
  • Amendment 14 is entirely based on politics, there is no scientific basis for closing the EEZ.
  • National Standard 1 calls for achieving Optimum Yield (OY) from each fishery, to achieve OY on a continuing basis, stocks must be managed on the basis of Maximum Sustainable Yield or MSY. This requires that salmon escapement goals be set at a level that will produce MSY over the long term. There is only 1 escapement goal (Kasilof River sockeye) in Cook Inlet that is set near MSY. There is not a single stock of salmon in Cook Inlet that is being managed on the basis of MSY.
  • Amendment 14 ignores the fact that most of the coho, pink and chum salmon go unharvested. Pink salmon are the largest stock of salmon that enter Cook Inlet, some years exceeding 20 million fish, and our harvest rate is about 2% instead of the 53% that ADFG says is the MSY exploitation rate.

43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
Soldotna, Alaska
(907) 260-9436

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