An 11-member task force has been created to address the problems of the commercial salmon industry in Alaska.

The Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force will hold public hearings to try to develop a strategy to help salmon fishermen, packers and the communities in which they live to cope with the growth in competition from foreign salmon farmers.

"We want to do something that makes a difference," said state Sen. Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, the task force's chairman. "I don't think the task force is the answer to the problems, but I hope it can be part of the solution."

The Alaska salmon industry expects to post is poorest results in more than a decade for the current summer harvest. The Anchorage Daily News reports that fishermen will net about US$140m at the docks, down from the US$216m reported last year.