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International agreement may require cutting salmon catch

The agreement covers pink, coho, sockeye, chum and king salmon and spans a territory from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to southeast Alaska.

Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Canada are working to approve an international agreement that would set terms for cooperation to protect and revive the salmon population.

After two years of intense negotiations involving fishermen and tribes in both countries, the Pacific Salmon Commission on Monday recommended a conservation plan that stretches to 2028.

CBS reports that this plan, if ratified, would require Washington to reduce its catch of salmon.

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The agreement covers pink, coho, sockeye, chum and king salmon and spans a territory from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to southeast Alaska.

One of the most significant parts of the new treaty is reductions in the allowed harvest of chinook salmon, and particularly of king populations that are listed under the US Endangered Species Act, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

That includes king stocks from the Puget Sound in Washington and the Columbia River basin that straddles Oregon and Washington. These salmon migrate north hundreds of miles to British Columbia and southeast Alaska, making it important to protect their numbers all along the journey, commission members agreed.

Orca whales in the Puget Sound, which rely on kings as a primary food source, have struggled recently because so few salmon are making it to the Pacific Ocean.

Alaska will reduce its catch by 7.5 percent in the southeast when poor king returns are expected. Canada will do so by 12.5 percent and Oregon and Washington will reduce their catch anywhere from 5 to 15 percent, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The current agreement expires December 31.

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