Son of Icicle Seafoods founder has 37-tonne salmon catch confiscated for allegedly fishing in closed waters

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“And anybody coming in there with a seine could easily mop up 90% of the run for the year for that stream.”

In an incident dispatch, the Alaska Department OF Public Safety has posted that fishing industry lobbyist Bob Thorstenson Jr has been cited for commercial fishing closed waters.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post were patrolling the commercial salmon seine opening at Crawfish Inlet in Sitka, Alaska, when Thorstenson’s fishing vessel, the “Magnus Martens” was observed operating gear less than 200 yards from an anadromous stream. Permit holder Robert Thorstenson was seized with 83.2 pounds (37 tonnes) of chum salmon.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game area biologist Eric Coonradt told CoastAlaska that drought conditions have made the native pink salmon especially vulnerable near freshwater streams.

“The vast majority of the run is sitting in saltwater in basically one giant school,” the Sitka-based fisheries manager said Thursday. “And anybody coming in there with a seine could easily mop up 90% of the run for the year for that stream.”

The publication added that If convicted of the misdemeanour, Thorstenson faces up to a USD 15,000 fine, year imprisonment plus the gross value of the catch — estimated to be around USD 50,000.

Bob is the son of Robert Thorstenson Sr who was instrumental in setting up Icicle Seafoods in the 1960s. Salmon farmer Cooke bought the major player in Alaskan salmon fisheries in 2016.