Peltola served in the state House from 1999 until 2009. For the last five years, she’s led the Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fish Commission.
Scientists are hoping to map out the distribution of salmon across the North Pacific using new DNA techniques.
The tribal groups signing the petition mostly represent areas of Alaska where salmon runs have crashed or declined dramatically in recent years.
It is still a mystery to state biologists why king and chum salmon numbers are decreasing in Western Alaska. But ask any local fishermen on the Kuskokwim, and they’ll likely tell you commercial fishing trawlers in the Bering Sea are the problem.
Bycatch rates are relatively low, but because trawlers catch so much of their target species, the unintended harvest adds up.