Deckboss regrets he wasn't in the meeting room yesterday, when analysts with the National Marine Fisheries Service were scheduled to give a presentation on the economic impacts of bycatch in U.S. commercial fisheries.
Here's an eye-opening summary of their talk:
This presentation will describe the economic impacts of early closures due to bycatch in US fisheries, by describing past case studies as well as evaluating the economic impacts of discarding fish in US commercial fisheries. Premature closures in the fisheries reviewed resulted in potential losses ranging from $34.4 million to $453.0 million annually. Nationally, bycatch estimates in the form of regulatory discards are annually reducing the potential yield of fisheries by $427.0 million in ex-vessel revenues, and as much as $4.2 billion in seafood-related sales, $1.5 billion in income, and 64,000 jobs.
Here's an update on various herring fisheries around the state, as compiled from Department of Fish and Game announcements this morning.
• The Kodiak herring harvest stood at about 2,500 tons.
• At Togiak in remote Southwest Alaska, scene of the state's largest herring fishery, the harvest tally was 16,951 tons. Nearly 11,000 tons remain on the preseason quota.
• A good bit of herring is available farther north in the Kuskokwim Bay, Nelson Island and Cape Romanzof areas. But the fish likely will go unharvested due to "lack of industry interest," with no processors registered to buy.