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Proposed Endangered Listing for Alaska King Salmon Called 'Wrongheaded' by Murkowski

Sen. Murkowski opposes effort to list Alaska king salmon as endangered. She says it's wrong and threatens state's fisheries.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has spoken out against the Wild Fish Conservancy's attempt to put Alaska king salmon on the federal endangered-species list. She believes that the conservation group's efforts are misguided and could have negative impacts on Alaska's wild fisheries.

According to Murkowski, Alaska's fisheries are facing threats from various sources, including environmental pressure from climate change and warming oceans, as well as economic pressure from Russia's oversupply of traditional seafood markets. She also mentioned ongoing litigation by the Wild Fish Conservancy, which sued NOAA Fisheries in 2020 to shut down the commercial troll fishery for kings in Southeast Alaska.

Murkowski emphasized that no one has a greater interest in preserving Alaska's wild salmon stocks than Alaskans themselves, as they depend on healthy stocks for their livelihoods. She also highlighted the importance of proper monitoring and resources to address the challenges that fisheries and fishing communities are facing.

The petition to list king salmon in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska is currently under review by NOAA Fisheries, with a decision expected soon. However, the question could potentially end up in court for years.

During a recent Senate recess, Murkowski had a packed schedule in Sitka, Alaska, which included meetings with local officials, visits to schools, and discussions with various community organizations. She also highlighted the housing and workforce challenges faced by constituents across the state, including Sitka.

Additionally, Murkowski expressed her excitement about meeting Sitka High senior Felix Myers, one of two Alaskan students selected for the U.S. Senate Youth Program. She described the program as a phenomenal opportunity for young leaders and looked forward to engaging with the students during their visit to Washington.

Overall, Murkowski's efforts to address the challenges faced by Alaska's fisheries and communities, as well as her engagement with local constituents and young leaders, demonstrate her commitment to representing the interests of Alaskans at the federal level.

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