Trials of Native fishermen postponed

Trials set to begin Tuesday have been postponed for Alaska Native fishermen charged with illegal fishing during a poor summer salmon run.

Attorney James J. Davis Jr. says he sought the continuance for 11 subsistence fishermen to be tried in Bethel. Ten others are scheduled for January trials in Bethel as well.

Davis says a status conference has been scheduled for Nov. 30 to discuss how and when to proceed.

Davis wants to consolidate the 21 cases to allow a specialist on Yup’ik Eskimo culture to act as a pro bono expert for all the fishermen.

Last month, three other fishermen tried separately in Bethel were found guilty of violating strict fishing restrictions last summer. The men were each fined $250.