Since statehood in 1959, the State of Alaska has made sustainable fisheries a priority.  In fact, it’s even written in the State’s Constitution.  When it comes to salmon fisheries, Alaska is regarded as the international model of sustainable salmon fishery management.  Since the beginning, biologists, fishery managers, fishermen, and state agencies have worked collaboratively to coordinate and implement the research, monitoring, and enforcement necessary to ensure optimal population levels.  Therefore, it is no surprise that Alaska salmon is certified “Sustainable” by the Marine Stewardship Council and was given the highest sustainability rating by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. 

In the Taku River we fish for salmon using a drift salmon gillnet; a mesh net with openings that are just large enough for a salmon’s head to fit in, causing their gills to get stuck (hence the name!).  The nets are specially designed to only target and capture salmon, meaning that there’s practically zero bycatch.  The net sizes (length, depth, and mesh opening) are tightly regulated by Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game whose primary goal is to ensure the future sustainability of Alaska’s native wild fish populations.

Learn more about the sustainability of Alaska’s salmon fisheries here.


What we've achieved

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  • 1959 - Alaska became the 49th State and adopted a State Constitution requiring that “fish... shall be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle."
  • 1973 - Alaska started “limited entry” licensing for the state's commercial salmon fisheries.  Doing so helped fishery managers reduce pressure on salmon populations, allowing them to better manage fishery sustainability.

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