"Scarcity of King Salmon Hurt Alaskan Fishermen"

"MARSHALL, Alaska -- Just a few years ago, king salmon played an outsize role in villages along the Yukon River. Fishing provided meaningful income, fed families throughout the year, and kept alive long-held traditions of Yup'ik Eskimos and Athabascan Indians.

But this year, a total ban on commercial fishing for king salmon on the river in Alaska has strained poor communities and stripped the prized Yukon fish off menus in the lower 48 states. Unprecedented restrictions on subsistence fishing have left freezers and smokehouses half-full and hastened a shift away from a tradition of spending summers at fish camps along the river.

'This year, fishing is not really worth it,' said Aloysius Coffee, a commercial fisherman in Marshall who used to support his family and pay for new boats and snow machines with fishing income."

Stefan Milkowski reports for the New York Times October 2, 2009.

Monday, October 5, 2009