As salmon runs falter and western Alaska villagers suffer, some worry that measures will be too incremental and slow to provide meaningful help.
A federal judge ruled that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act when it published research on the Southeast king harvest that failed to address its impact on killer whales in Puget Sound.
Tribal groups in Western Alaska submitted the petition following dismal chinook and chum salmon runs this summer.
The task force will study the impacts of bycatch on what it calls “high-value” state fisheries.
The tribal groups signing the petition mostly represent areas of Alaska where salmon runs have crashed or declined dramatically in recent years.
Cook Inlet belugas have been listed as endangered since 2008. NOAA estimates that 279 individuals remain.
The field station’s research on king, chum and pink salmon and steelhead trout will continue at Little Port Walter.
The federal ruling affects the eastern Aleutians, Kodiak and Prince Williams Sound as well as the coastlines of Washington, Oregon and California.
A federal permit allowing Hilcorp to drill in Cook Inlet does not account for the harm vessel noise could pose to endangered belugas there, according to a decision yesterday from a District Court judge.
Marathon Petroleum is one step closer to reopening the Nikiski plant as an import facility.