Fish Board makes no changes in Chignik salmon co-op

Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Board of Fisheries ended a three-day meeting and made no significant changes to the commercial salmon cooperative in Chignik.

The cooperative was formed by salmon fishermen this summer to save expenses and share profits by designating some members to fish for the entire group. The aim is to have fewer boats going after the fish, with all co-op members sharing in reduced expenses and higher profits.

However, the co-op angered those fishermen who decided not to join. They complained that the board allocated too much of the catch to co-op members.

This summer, 77 of about 100 Chignik seiners stopped fishing, allowing the rest to catch the fish. Every co-op member received at least $20,000, regardless of whether they actually did the fishing.

In a lawsuit lodged against the co-op, a Superior Court judge ruled that the co-op does not violate the Constitution. Patricia Collins found that each Chignik fishermen has the same chance to either join the co-op or remain independent.

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