Canada donates fund to salmon conservation funds

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Canada has deposited $335,000 into two conservation funds to help rehabilitate salmon runs on the West Coast.

Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, suggested the donation last year as a way to resolve a lingering issue stemming from the U.S.-Canada salmon dispute that erupted in 1994. At that time, Canada charged a fee for U.S. fishing vessels using the Inside Passage to get to Alaska fishing grounds.

Although the fee was in place for only a few weeks, U.S. fishing vessels paid approximately $284,000.

The U.S. maintained the fee was a violation of international law while Canada argued that it was legal under its interpretation of international law.

While the fishermen were reimbursed for their losses by the U.S. government, Muwkoski called on the government of Canada to repay the U.S. treasury.

Murkowski wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien last July to suggest he could defuse the issue by helping to capitalize the conservation funds established under the revised Pacific salmon treaty.

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