Southern Alaska fisheries earn victory in federal court

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a state commercial fishing organization that challenged a decision to move several southern Alaska salmon fisheries from federal to state management.

    The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Wednesday. The ruling means federal fisheries policymakers and state managers will have to come to a compromise on a new management plan.

    The United Cook Inlet Drift Association sued in 2013 over the council's decision to remove Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries from the federal fisheries management plan. The group argued that state control of the fisheries led to massive amounts of unharvested salmon and overescapement.

    North Pacific council officials say they're reviewing their next course of action.

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