SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Admiralty Island Subsistence proposal passed by Alaska Fisheries Board


March 17, 2015
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - A historic advance for Alaskan subsistence rights was passed in Sitka at the recent Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting held February 23 – March 3. Juneau-based Kootznoowoo said advocates for subsistence rights were encouraged that an immediate and substantial step was taken to balance the subsistence needs of the Southeast Alaska community of Angoon with the commercial interests of Alaska’s seining fleet.

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According to Juneau-based Kootznoowoo Incorporated, this has been many years in the making. The community of Angoon has advanced close to a dozen proposals to the Board of Fish. Furthermore, Kootznoowoo, Inc. has petitioned the U.S. Secretary of Interior and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to extend extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) around the community of Angoon. Kootznoowoo was granted this right as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA.) This ETJ would protect wild salmon returns (conservation escapement) and provide more sockeye salmon for subsistence users.

Fom the combined efforts of Kootznoowoo and the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, a compromise has been found and accepted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. This proposal will close 4 miles of coastline near Basket Bay (on Chichagof Island) to seine fisheries during the season. Additionally, the waters in front of the community of Angoon will be closed to seine fisheries. However, from the northwest shore of Admiralty Island to Point Hepburn (approximately 40 miles northwest of Angoon) will be opened up to the purse seine fishery on July 17th. On July 21st the waters from Fisher Point to Parker Point will be opened to commercial purse seining.

Kootznoowoo Chairman of the Board, Ella Bennett commented that she believes that action by the Alaksa Board of Fisheries is a “good first step” in an effort to provide for the conservation escapement and to provide for traditional uses/subsistence over time.” Over the last 10 years, Angoon has sent numerous proposals to the F&G Board with the result of no action on any of them. Kootznoowoo appreciates the policy consideration and law, in writing, that will provide for certainty of the protection of migrating sockeye salmon, crab and other resources and the assurance that these resources will be available to the people of Angoon forever.”

Kootznoowoo President & General Manager, Sharon Love said she believes that the Board of Fisheries’ actions will “cease commercial fish competition for local use of subsistence crab and sockeye that will in time increase the amounts necessary of traditional use sockeye to the households of Angoon.”

Chairman Bennett concluded by saying, “It is important for us to express our appreciation to the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association and to the individual seine permit holders who negotiated our substitute proposals to close the waters off of Admiralty Island.”

Kootznoowoo, Inc. (pronounced: Kootz' new woo) is a private corporation created through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971 as a Village Corporation for Angoon, Alaska on Admiralty Island. Kootznoowoo is the Tlingit name for Admiralty Island. Translated to English, it means Fortress of the Bears, which accurately reflects the many bears on Admiralty.

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


On the Web:

Alaska Board of Fisheries Sitka Meeting Summary: February 23–March 3, 2015



Source of News: 

Kootznoowoo, Inc

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