Alaska Native Organizations Sue the Feds for Subsistence Fishing Rights


April 14, 2023

Two Alaska Native organizations are suing the federal government to protect subsistence fishing rights on two of the state's largest river systems amidst a worsening salmon crisis.

Earth Justice, a nonprofit public interest environmental law organization, filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of the plaintiffs - the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) and Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) - against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in U.S. District Court asking it to reexamine groundfish catch limits for the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.

Collectively, AVCP and TCC represent more than 100 tribal communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region who have been fishing the area salmon for thousands of years. The tribes claim that a restriction on fishing for subsistence in the region with a preference for commercial fishing has halted the centuries-old practice for more than a decade.


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