Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation, speaks during The Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit

Blueback closure latest in Quinault climate change impacts

The decision to close commercial fishing for Quinault River blueback (sockeye) salmon for conservation purposes this year is part of the ongoing effort by the Quinault Indian Nation to deal with the very tangible costs of climate change.

After announcing the blueback closure on the river last week for 2019, Quinault President Fawn Sharp traveled to Washington, D.C. with a message for Congress about how the entire Quinault ecosystem from the glacier to the ocean is being harmed by climate conditions that have major impacts, economically as well as environmentally.

“We are really trying to do some forecasting, not only for scientific purposes to build up the resilience of our stocks across the board, but also for our business,” Sharp said of the announcement. “The Quinault have always let science drive how we handle our fisheries, but it’s also a factor in how we build our business plans. That will have a direct impact on all those fishers, but we’re likely going to declare another fisheries disaster this season.”

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