The Alaska House of Representatives passed a resolution to protect Southeast Alaska’s troll fishery on Wednesday. House Joint Resolution 5 calls for state and federal agencies to defend Alaska’s troll fisheries from a lawsuit that seeks to hold them accountable for the decline in killer whales in the Puget Sound area. The legislation passed on a 35-to-1 vote. Representative David Eastman, serving District 27 in Wasilla, was the only “no” vote.
The complainant is the Wild Fish Conservancy, a conservation organization based in Washington. Their official position is that terminating Southeast’s king salmon troll fishery might allow Chinook salmon to migrate back down the coast through key hunting grounds of the Southern Resident killer whales.
The resolution to protect Alaska’s troll fishery was introduced by freshman Rep. Rebecca Himschoot of Sitka, who sits on the House Special Committee on Fisheries.
Many of the region’s local governments have passed similar resolutions opposing the lawsuit, including Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau.