NDP's Tredger Calls for Action on Yukon River Chinook Salmon
Yukon government should work with First Nations, Alaska and Canada on recovery plan
WHITEHORSE – Jim Tredger has added his voice to the growing chorus calling for a coordinated response to the dismal chinook salmon return on the Yukon River. The Yukon NDP MLA for Mayo-Tatchun made the comments after attending an emergency meeting organized by Chief Eddie Skookum and the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation earlier this week.
“This year’s chinook salmon return on the Yukon River is shaping up to be the lowest on record,” Tredger said.
“For the First Nation people who depend on the salmon fishery for subsistence, the situation is especially dire. I’m calling on Premier Pasloski to end his silence on this important issue and work with his political counterparts in Alaska, Ottawa and Yukon First Nation governments to put a comprehensive action plan in place.”
Earlier this year, Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell declared a state of emergency for the villages along the Yukon River. And just last month, Parnell and Pasloski re-signed the Alaska-Yukon Accord.
“In June we heard the Premier promote Yukon’s important partnership with Alaska,” Tredger said.
“While Alaskan Governor Parnell has been vocal on the Yukon River chinook salmon situation, Premier Pasloski has said nothing. Has he even spoken with his Alaskan counterpart, First Nation chiefs or the Government of Canada about the situation?”
Dwindling Yukon River chinook salmon stocks have been an issue for years. Solutions are complicated by the political boundaries the salmon cross over their life cycle and jurisdiction for matters affecting salmon stocks being shared by various orders of government.
“Cross-boundary issues like this one are complicated and difficult to resolve,” Tredger said.
“We have no illusions that a simple fix can be found overnight. However, a good starting point would be for the Yukon government to acknowledge the problem and work with others to find solutions. That’s what real leadership’s all about, and it’s what the Yukon River chinook salmon and the people who depend on them need from the Premier.”