Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chinook bycatch headlines council agenda

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting this week in Juneau, and Chinook bycatch is heading the agenda.

The council is set to take final action on measures to control the incidental take of Chinook in Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries targeting species such as Pacific cod, flatfish and rockfish.

The options include an annual limit, or "hard cap," of between 5,000 and 12,500 Chinook salmon.

Chinook bycatch, of course, is a very hot topic these days given the weak Chinook returns to many of Alaska's river systems.

The council has been working methodically to rein in this bycatch.

In June 2011, the council set a cap of 25,000 Chinook in the Gulf pollock fishery.

Regulators also have set caps in the giant Bering Sea pollock fishery.


Anonymous said...

Will the Council do the right thing? Hmmm. Look at the make up of the voting members. The irony is that while they labor over bycatch limits of 5-12k in the goa-non-pollock fisheries, the stock composition of that GOA bycatch is relatively low for ALASKA stocks. On the other hand, we have up to 60,000 Chinook byctatch allowed in the Bering Sea and close to 80% of those fish are ALASKA FISH, upon which ALASKANS harvest for subsistence and sustenance.

Anonymous said...

The Pollock Fishery Chinook Bycatch has already done the damage - it would have made a difference if the issue was out in the open and dealt with in a timely manner 25-30 years ago.

Zero tolerance is the only way the Western Alaska King Salmon will be saved from extinction. Zero limits with high fines and possible pollock fishery shut-down is the only way to go now.

Anonymous said...

To blogger at June 5 6:50 PM - where have you beeeeen? Alaskans in Western Alaska can't harvest king salmon for subsistence anymore - runs are too weak and have been for a long, long time. Inriver poor people carrying the burden of rich people's greed.

Talking about Pollock Fishery Chinook Salmon Bycatch is 30 years too late!

Anonymous said...

Will trolling be around for our children?

Anonymous said...

I'm was long time Alaskan fisherman,retired now. I was a deckhand on the Area M boats and also in the Bering Sea on the Crabbers and Trawlers, even a Factory Trawler at one point in time. I salmon fished many years as well. Here's what I saw...When crabbing, we harvested many sizable keepers, but also had females and smalls; actual mortality rate of discard? Probably very little, but we made an aggressive attempt to save them for our interest. We also had non targeted species, but very little, as ADFG regulations provide for escapement methods for Codfish,Pollock, small crab, and anything else that could fit through the stainless escapement rings on the pots. When I went Trawling, with nets that targeted both Cod-fish and Pollock,at different times of the year/seasons, I saw that there was absolutely no way to control what you might catch in the nets. We caught lots of targeted Pollock and Cod fish, yes. But we also hauled up tons of Skate Eggs, Sea Snails, Fan Coral, Octopus, Squid, Herring, King Salmon, Sockeye,Pink, and Dog Salmon, King Crab, Opilio and Bairdi Tanner Crab, King Lancet fish, Atka Mackerel,Arrow-tooth founder, HALIBUT,Scallops,Kelp Greenling, different species of Rockfishes,one Sea Lion, and many more crustacea and invertibrates that I think aren't positively identified yet. After fishing with all these guys out there, what it says to me is this..."IF the "TRAWLERS" COULD only target the fish that they Wanted to Harvest was possible, they would by all means do that at all costs!" But the problem is that they CANNOT CONTROL what they take from the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Moral Conscience

Anonymous said...

Jeez, Wesley, you are so naive! The NPFMC isn't going to rein in their favorite gear type in any kind of meaningful way. Wake up. Be a critical journalist, or give up the moniker.