Fishing for king salmon ended on August 10th throughout Southeast Alaska for all commercial and sport users, and any kings taken must be released unharmed.

The unprecedented move stems from record low returns to the region, resulting in the worst commercial harvest since 1975.

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Trollers had a four day opener in July which landed 66,000 kings and were gearing up for a second fishery this month for 31,000 fish. But that’s not to be.

  “Since a large number of kings that we get in the second opener are feeder kings, we felt compelled to do as much as we could to look toward the future in terms of those stocks. Ocean conditions don’t look all that promising in 2018 and we want to do whatever we can to turn around and try to not replicate 2017 moving into 2018 and beyond.”

Charlie Swanton is Fish and Game’s Deputy Commissioner.

The king closure will be reviewed in September, he says, and it could be reopened or remain closed.

Elsewhere – the first batch of genetically modified salmon has made its way to undisclosed supermarket shelves in Canada.

Massachusetts-based AquaBounty reported that five tons of Frankenfish were shipped from its farm site in Panama selling for $53,000, or roughly $4.82 per pound.

No one besides AquaBounty knows where the fish are being sold and no labels are required to alert customers what they are buying.

AquaBounty plans to produce 1,300 tons annually, or nearly 3 million pounds, starting next year.

The genetically-tweaked fish reaches adult size in 16 to 18 months, compared to two and a half years for normal Atlantic salmon.

It was the first GM animal approved by the US for human consumption two years ago but it has yet to make it to markets.

More than 80 U.S. grocery chains and restaurants, including Costco, have stated they will not sell the GM salmon.

Lawmakers are demanding that Frankenfish must be labeled if and when it is sold in the U.S.

Thanks to the assist from KCAW in Sitka.

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