Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement Announced

Includes Improvements in Modeling, Mitigation, Stock Assessments, and Implementation Funding

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today welcomed the announcement of the Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement between the U.S. and Canada that determines shared harvest levels for B.C., Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. For the first time since the creation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty in 1985, the 59-member Alaska Treaty Team unanimously supported the Alaska position contained within the ten-year conservation and harvest agreement.

“Coming to an agreement like this no easy task, so to know that the renegotiated Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement received unanimous support from the Alaska Treaty Team, for the first time in history, is extremely telling. While this agreement is not perfect, I know our Alaskan negotiators worked very hard over these past few years to represent Alaskan’s interests. I expect that all parties will continue the cooperative efforts to maintain a conservation-based salmon management system. While any reduction is difficult, I understand that Alaska’s 7.5% reduction in Chinook harvest share was viewed as a necessary compromise by the Alaska Treaty Team and that Alaska will see the smallest harvest reduction of the Treaty parties, as we share the burden of conservation.” said Senator Murkowski. “Through my work on the Appropriations Committee, I look forward to supporting the next 10 years of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. I will continue to push for robust funding to sustain its implementation and support necessary mitigation and work to ensure that all parties are meeting their Treaty obligations. I remain committed to ensuring Alaska’s priorities are taken into consideration and that our federal government is meeting its commitments regarding the appropriate management of ESA-listed salmon stocks.”

Chinook harvest share reductions within the new 10-year agreement: Alaska will take a 7.5% reduction; Washington and Oregon will take a variable 5-15% reduction depending on the stock; Canada will take a 12.5% reduction.

Background: The bilateral Pacific Salmon Treaty governs the shared harvest and conservation of Pacific salmon species along the Pacific Northwest coast. Treaty-based agreements for harvest sharing and fishery management between the United States and Canada are renegotiated every ten years, with the last renegotiated annex signed in 2009. The 2018 agreement, announced on Monday, September 17, includes additional funding for Treaty implementation, accountability provisions to ensure management is based on standardized and unbiased science, and renewed commitments from both the United States and Canada to apply appropriate management measures to transboundary and coast-wide salmon stocks.

Related Issues: Alaska's Fisheries