Council May Ban Salmon Fishing

March 21, 2008

In the wake of the apparent collapse of California’s Chinook salmon population, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is deciding among three plans of action: a total ban on Pacific salmon fishing from Oregon to Mexico, shortened seasons and smaller areas in which commercial and local fishermen can operate, and a reduction of salmon fishing to the minimal level required for scientific study of the species and its collapse.

The status of Sacramento [River] fall chinook has suddenly collapsed to an unprecedented low level,” says Donald Hansen, chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) – a quasifederal body that assesses and recommends environmental policy to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “The effect on California and Oregon salmon fisheries is a disaster by any definition.

The council will make its decision on how to proceed by April 6.

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