ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's 2001 bottomfish harvests will open Jan. 20, according to Penny Dalton, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The fishing industry had been waiting for the announcement of a firm date because of uncertainty created by the Steller sea lion crisis. The Fisheries Service earlier this month announced a sweeping new fishery management plan designed to protect the endangered marine mammals.
The federal agency had warned of possible delays in pollock, cod and other fisheries because of the time necessary to draft and publish harvest regulations.
A cod fishery will be delayed by 20 days, but the billion-dollar bottomfish harvest -- the nation's largest -- will begin on time.
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