News About WFC Lawsuit

Article: More Time Sought For WFC Response

Daily Sitka Sentinel by Shannon Haugland – June 5, 2024
The state of Alaska is asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to extend the comment period on a petition by the Wild Fish Conservancy to list Gulf of Alaska Chinook salmon as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act…
https://sitkasentinel.com/2012-05-10-22-08-10/local-news/24171-more-time-sought-for-wfc-response


Opinion: Don’t support organizations that don’t ‘Tell the truth’
Kitsap Daily News by Ed Johnstone – July 14, 2023 


Conservation-minded approach to fisheries management validates sustainable salmon for Southern Resident orcas — and people
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – July 21, 2023
Washingtonians and Southern Resident orcas share a unique bond — we have a shared love for the saltwater habitat off the coast and in Puget Sound, and we share a keen appetite for eating salmon.
https://wdfw.medium.com/conservation-minded-approach-to-fisheries-management-validates-sustainable-salmon-for-southern-ff759e8676a8


Opinion: Shutting down salmon trollers won’t save endangered orcas
Seattle Times by Tim Bristol – June 25, 2023 
Over 20 years ago, I was hired to enlist support from Southeast Alaska communities for removal of the four Lower Snake River Dams. This was my introduction to Southeast Alaska’s salmon troll fishermen, who I have since learned are passionate conservationists with a deep reverence for wild salmon and the environment.
https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/shutting-down-salmon-trollers-wont-save-endangered-orcas/


SOUTHEAST ALASKA/YAKUTAT SUMMER TROLL FISHERY ANNOUNCEMENT
Alaska Department of Fish and Game – June 22, 2023
The first Chinook salmon retention period of the general summer commercial troll season will begin at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, July 1, to target approximately 74,800 treaty Chinook salmon. The retention period will be managed inseason with no predetermined length and will be closed by emergency order.
https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/1487473695.pdf


In ‘major victory’ for Southeast Alaska trollers, federal appeals panel reverses fishery closure
Alaska Public Media by Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal – June 21, 2023


Ninth Circuit Court grants stay in Southeast troll lawsuit, chinook season to open July 1
KCAW by Robert Woolsey – June 21, 2023
Southeast Alaska trollers will now have a summer season for king salmon after all. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this morning (on Wednesday 6-21-23) ordered a stay of anearlier lower court ruling that would have closed the fishery indefinitely.

https://www.kcaw.org/2023/06/21/ninth-circuit-court-grants-stay-in-southeast-troll-lawsuit-chinook-season-to-open-july-1/


Alaska Congressional Delegation continues to stand behind Alaska fishermen
KINY – June 18, 2023 
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan held a press call Wednesday to address different legislation and issues across the country that impact Alaska fishermen.
https://www.kinyradio.com/news/news-of-the-north/alaska-congressional-delegation-stands-behind-alaska-fishermen-sullivan-speaks-on-this/


Tlingit & Haida files amicus brief in Wild Fish Conservancy Lawsuit on behalf of 21 Southeast Alaska tribes and ANCSA corporations
KINY – June 16, 2023
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) and 21 other Southeast Alaska Tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) corporations (Tribal Amici) filed an amicus brief Jun. 16 in the Wild Fish Conservancy vs. Jennifer Quan, et al case.
https://www.kinyradio.com/news/news-of-the-north/tlingit-and-haida-files-amicus-brief-in-wild-fish-conservancy-lawsuit-on-behalf-of-21-southeast-alaska-tribes-and-ancsa-corporations/


Federal court sides with lobster fishers in whale protection case anchored off New England
AP News by Patrick Whittle – June 16, 2023
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with commercial fishermen who say proposed restrictions aimed at saving a vanishing species of whale could put them out of business.

https://apnews.com/article/endangered-right-whale-protection-fishing-court-8f15e808222a27a901a36eea3b83f8ac


Conservation group preparing to file Endangered Species Act petition for several Alaska king salmon populations
KFSK by Shelby Herbert – June 14, 2023
A Washington-based conservation group closed this summer’s Southeast Alaska king salmon — or chinook — troll fishery after a three-year legal battle. The Wild Fish Conservancy’s case rests on the idea that king salmon harvests in Southeast Alaska drive the decline of Southern Resident orcas. 
https://www.kfsk.org/2023/06/14/wild-fish-conservancy-esa-petition/


NOAA to trollers: A revised environmental analysis could allow king fishing by August
KCAW by Robert Woolsey – June 9, 2023
The National Marine Fisheries Service hasn’t ruled out the possibility of opening the summer troll season for king salmon in Southeast Alaska, despite a federal judge’s recent ruling to the contrary.
https://www.kcaw.org/2023/06/09/noaa-to-trollers-a-revised-environmental-analysis-could-allow-king-fishing-by-august/


‘It’ll be a disaster’: Southeast Alaska fishermen fear looming closure of king salmon fishery
State officials are scrambling to open the fishery after it was effectively closed by a federal judge — but damage has already been done.
Anchorage Daily News by Sean Maguire, Michelle Theriault Boots – June 8, 2023
More than 100 salmon trollers packed a Sitka meeting Wednesday night with sharp questions about the future of an iconic Southeast Alaska fishery, facing what could be an unprecedented full shutdown of this year’s chinook trolling season.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2023/06/08/itll-be-a-disaster-southeast-alaska-fishermen-fear-looming-closure-of-king-salmon-fishery/


A conservation group’s lawsuit already closed an iconic Alaska fishery. Now, it’s pushing for Endangered Species Act protections for king salmon.
The Washington-based Wild Fish Conservancy plans to ask the federal government to list Southeast Alaska, Southwest Alaska and Cook Inlet king salmon under the Endangered Species Act.
Nathaniel Herz – June 7, 2023
A Washington-based conservation group whose actions have already caused the closure of an iconic Southeast Alaska fishery is now planning to ask the federal government to list several Alaska king salmon stocks under the Endangered Species Act.

https://northernjournal.substack.com/p/a-conservation-groups-lawsuit-already


No relief for beleaguered Southeast Alaska trollers as judge rejects request to keep fishery open
Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang said the state would appeal the denial immediately, but the clock is ticking before the scheduled July 1 start to the king salmon fishery
Alaska Beacon by Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal – May 30, 2023


Justice Department will appeal court order forcing Southeast Alaska troll fishery closure
KCAW by Katherine Rose – May 30, 2023


NMFS joins legal fight to maintain Alaska Chinook salmon troll fishery The federal agency this week filed a response in support of a motion by the state of Alaska to stay a federal judge’s order
Undercurrents News by Jason Huffman – May 26, 2023
The US’ National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has joined in the legal fight to keep the commercial Chinook salmon troll fishery in Southeast Alaska from being shut down…
https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2023/05/26/nmfs-joins-legal-fight-to-maintain-alaska-chinook-salmon-troll-fishery/


Trollers, state file new appeal in lawsuit to halt SE Alaska salmon fishery
Plaintiffs want to end program to provide more salmon to endangered whales
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – May 26, 2023


NOAA Fisheries Recent Actions in Wild Fish Conservancy v. Quan

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has recently taken several actions in Wild Fish Conservancy v. Quan (the Southeast Alaska salmon fishery case).
NOAA Fisheries – May 25, 2023
The Wild Fish Conservancy v. Quan (the Southeast Alaska salmon fishery case) involves a challenge to a 2019 biological opinion that analyzes two actions related to salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska and a third action on a conservation program for habitat improvement and hatchery production to be implemented in the Pacific Northwest to offset the effects of salmon fisheries managed under the Pacific Salmon Treaty on ESA-listed Puget Sound Chinook salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales. On May 2, 2023, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued an order directing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to address the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) deficiencies identified by the court. The court vacated portions of the incidental take statement (ITS) that exempts take of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook salmon resulting from the Chinook salmon commercial troll fishery in Southeast Alaska during the winter and summer seasons. The district court did not vacate portions of the biological opinion analyzing a prey increase program or enjoin the program, which is one component of the conservation program.
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/agency-statement/noaa-fisheries-recent-actions-wild-fish-conservancy-v-quan


Three Alaska trollers contemplate a summer without chinook
KCAW by Robert Woolsey – May 17, 2023
Barring a stay, or a successful appeal, or other eleventh-hour legal action, there will be no troll fishery for king salmon in Southeast Alaska either this summer or winter.
https://www.kcaw.org/2023/05/17/three-alaska-trollers-contemplate-a-summer-without-chinook/


Federal judge rules in favor of shutting down SE Alaska troll salmon fishery
SE commercial trollers vow to fight the order to save the multi-million-dollar harvest
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – May 5, 2023


State asks for stay of order that forces the closure of Southeast Alaska king salmon fisheryKCAW by Robert Woolsey – May 12, 2023 


NMFS, Others to Appeal Decision Halting SE Alaska Salmon Troll Fishery
Fishermen’s News – May 10, 2023


Alaska House Coalition Responds to Ruling Shutting Down Southeast Alaska Troll Fishery
Alaska Native News by Alaska House Coalition on – May 4, 2023


Alaska king salmon troll season still in limbo after orca lawsuit rulings and appeals
Alaska Public Media by Casey Grove – May 5, 2023


To protect orcas, federal judge orders closure of iconic Southeast Alaska troll fishery
Alaska Beacon by Max Graham and Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal – May 3, 2023


Federal court orders new NMFS review of king salmon 
National Fisherman by Kirk Moore – May 3, 2023
The Southeast Alaska chinook troll fishery is under renewed threat of potential suspension, after a federal judge in Seattle ruled the National Marine Fisheries Service must remake its plan for king salmon that allows the fishery to continue employing some 1,500 fishermen.
https://www.nationalfisherman.com/alaska/federal-court-orders-new-nmfs-review-of-king-salmon


Opinion: Southeast trollers aren’t ‘starving’ orcas
The WFC lawsuit is a contagion of extremist judicial activism that must be stopped.
Juneau Empire by David Richey – January 30, 2023
If war is how unworldly Americans learn geography, then getting sued by eco-terrorists is apparently how unsuspecting trollers learn Latin.
http://www.aktrollers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/JUEN230131_A05.pdf


Wild Fish Conservancy Seeks Legalized Thievery of Alaskan Kings?
Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska by David Richey, F/V Albee Rose Board Member, Seafood Producers Cooperative commercial troller, Sitka, Alaska – January 20, 2023
Did you know that Southeast Alaska commercial trollers are under imminent threat of having both their summer and winter Chinook fishery stolen from them? Total shut-down. No summer or winter king salmon har- vest for SE Alaska trollers. At all. Wait … what?
https://www.pacificfishing.com/Daily-Sitka-Sentinel.pdf


What researchers learned studying PNW orcas hunting for salmon 
Seattle Times by Isabella Breda – March 13, 2023 
In a first-of-its-kind study of the hunting behaviors of salmon-eating orcas, researchers found stark differences in two populations of killer whales that may have implications for their survival.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/what-researchers-learned-studying-pnw-orcas-hunting-for-salmon/


Press Release: Alaska Delegation Urges Court To Drop Deceptive Lawsuit Threatening Southeast Alaska Troll Fishermen
Sullivan.senate.gov – March 9, 2023 
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski (both R-Alaska), and Representative Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska), filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington this week supporting Southeast Alaska troll fishermen in a case that threatens to shut down their small boat troll fishery on the pretense that their salmon harvest is a primary contributor to the population decline of Southern resident killer whales hundreds of miles away in Puget Sound. The lawsuit does not consider the potential impacts of similar fisheries in Oregon and Washington.
https://www.sullivan.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/alaska-delegation-urges-court-to-drop-deceptive-lawsuit-threatening-southeast-alaska-troll-fishermen


Southeast Alaska troll fishery has deep local ties
Salish-Current.org by Peter Granger and Norman Pillen – March 7, 2023


Southeast trollers appreciate support amid ‘misguided’ lawsuit
Alaska will not stand by quietly as WFC tries to wipe Alaska’s fishing families off the map.
Juneau Empire by Casey Mapes – March 7, 2023
As spring approaches, thousands of Alaskan fishing families don’t yet know if they will be allowed to fish for the prized Chinook salmon this year. For full-time commercial fishermen like myself who rely on Chinook as a primary source of income, not being allowed to troll this year would be devastating to my family and Southeast’s rural communities. That’s why Southeast’s trollers are so appreciative of the dozens of communities (most recently Juneau), associations, and businesses that have stepped up with letters of support, resolutions, and donations as Alaska’s trollers fight to save Southeast’s troll fishery from the Seattle-based Wild Fish Conservancy’s misguided lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service. If the Wild Fish Conservancy gets their way with the courts, then Alaska’s winter and summer Chinook troll fishery will be shut down and Puget Sound’s orcas and Chinook will continue to suffer from habitat loss, toxic pollution and urbanization in the Pacific Northwest.
https://www.juneauempire.com/opinion/south


Federal court opinion a win for Alaska’s summer king season
KCAW by Robert Woolsey –  June 11, 2020
Commercial fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska will likely open on schedule this summer. That’s after a federal judge denied a request for an injunction to keep the season closed.
https://www.kcaw.org/2020/06/11/federal-court-opinion-a-win-for-alaskas-summer-king-season/


Legal documents From WFC Lawsuit
https://meetings.npfmc.org/CommentReview/DownloadFile?p=f04528a2-2b8f-47c5-913d-60ad9956fb9e.pdf&fileName=B4%20Wild%20Fish%20Conservancy%20vs%20NMFS%20-%20Litigation.pdf


Judge weighs shutting down Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery for Puget Sound killer whales FNX
KTUU by Grant Robinson – June 8, 2020
Fishermen in Southeast Alaska could see their season cut short if a federal judge issues an injunction requested by a Washington environmental group to protect the food supply of a subpopulation of orcas.
https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Judge-weighs-shutting-down-Southeast-Chinook-fishery-for-Puget-Sound-orcas-571121541.html


Federal judge questions venue for king salmon injunction
KCAW by Robert Woolsey – May 29, 2020
A federal judge heard oral arguments on Thursday (5-28-20) in a lawsuit brought by a Washington state environmental group seeking to shut down king salmon fishing in Alaska this summer, to protect the food supply of endangered killer whales.
https://www.kcaw.org/2020/05/29/federal-judge-questions-venue-for-king-salmon-injunction/