West Coast salmon fishing halted

Salmon steaks on ice

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski:The annual run of king salmon is in danger. In the Sacramento River, alone, the number of spawning fish has dropped off 93 percent in six years. That led the government fisheries managers to take drastic action last night. They called off the salmon fishing season. Marketplace's Dan Grech has more.


Dan Grech: The decision would ban commercial and recreational salmon fishing off the coast of California and most of Oregon. This is the first time the federal government has scrapped the fishing season.

Brian Gorman: I mean, it's unprecedented.

That's Brian Gorman with NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency in charge of salmon management.

Gorman: I think it's really sad for fishermen. Many of these fishermen depend on income from commercial salmon fishing for their livelihoods. And if that isn't there, they're going to be in deep trouble.

The 1,000 fishermen who troll the coast stand lose three quarters of their annual incomes. In all, salmon fishing brings $30 million dollars annually to the California and Oregon economies. The federal government will likely declare a state of emergency, meaning millions in relief dollars for the region. If you have a taste for salmon, prices could double at fancy restaurants.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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