Alaska Native Leadership promising to keep up fight following disappointing Area M Decision

by AVCP Staff

The Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) leadership, is committed to keeping up the fight and finding real solutions to help end the salmon crisis which is devastating Western Alaska.

A marathon session of the Alaska State Board of Fisheries ended Sunday following seven days of public testimony and Board deliberation. In the end, The Board’s actions do nothing to meaningfully address the salmon crisis. No significant changes to regulations will be made which will allow for more fish to pass through Area M and make their way to rivers and streams.

“This is very disappointing, but we are strong people and we have only just begun to bring this crisis to the attention of people who care about Natives and our subsistence way of life,” AVCP Chief Executive Officer Vivian Korthuis says. Korthuis adds, “Subsistence needs are being ignored, treaties between the United States and Canada are being ignored and the commercial fishing industry is driving the bus.”

AVCP was joined by Natives from across Alaska striving for real change to address the salmon crisis. Proposal 140 which would have reduced excessive harvest of migrating salmon in the Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay and AYK area, failed by a 4 to 3 vote of the Board.

“They (the Board) did not compromise. Proposal 140 was compromise. We are going to now step back, regroup, explore all of our options and go from there,” says Korthuis.

AVCP leaders have already reached out to the office of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s to express frustration with the process used by the Board this past week. Korthuis is set to address the salmon crisis later this week with members of the Federal Government.