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State Sues Over Alaskan Fishing Quotas

Washington state is going to court to try to stop the granting of additional fishing quotas to Alaskan Native villages on the Bering Sea.

The state contends the quotas unfairly reduce the possible catch of Washington fishermen, who rely heavily on the Bering Sea.

The suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It was authorized by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission on the advice of Morris Barker, Washington’s representative on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Mickey Kantor, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, is the defendant in the lawsuit.

At issue are community development quotas, which set aside part of the catch for Alaska Native villages. The issue could become moot if the Magnuson Act is reauthorized by Congress, which appears likely in September. That bill mandates community quotas.

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