A meeting with the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Scientific and Technical Committee and Steering Committee was conducted with participation by many village elders. Concern was expressed for the ability of the salmon populations to sustain themselves.
Testimony was presented by representatives of Algaaciq Tribal Government, the Federal Regional Advisory Council, Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, Lower Yukon River communities, Emmonak Tribal Council, Nerklikmut Native Corporation Andrefski, Alaska Fish and Game, and Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association. The discussion of upstream versus downstream fisheries led to issues of intercepts by offshore fisheries and bycatch. Conflicts between subsistence fisheries were outlined, including changing the timing and duration of the windows for the intercept fishery either within the river system or in the open ocean. Concerns about the changing ecosystem were expressed, including the recent abundance of eels, beluga whales, and jellyfish in Bering Sea coastal waters. Increased populations of beavers were cited as a possible cause for the demise of the salmon populations. It was believed that Alaska Fish and Game was making a concerted effort to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge into their management decisions. Is the climate changing? The community hosted a potluck dinner.
Representatives of the Kuskokwim Native Association, Alaska State Legislature, Middle and Upper Kuskokwim River communities, Central Kuskokwim State Advisory Committee, Alaska Fish and Game, and individual citizens gave testimony. They expressed concern about erosion of the way of life. There are conflicts between commercial fishing and mining communities and subsistence fishers. This is divided further by the differences between the upstream and downstream fishing communities. Problems with spawning grounds were mentioned including jet boats, beavers, and spot fishers. Open ocean conditions were con-