It's About Time!
They have observers in Oregon now for IFQ's. Each boat is required to have one on board and if the fisherman goes over or catches the wrong fish they are not allowed to fish anymore that year.
This is a start in Alaska and we need to start clamping down on the commfish waste. This will go a long way and is just a start.
Are you sure?
Originally Posted by AKBassking
I see the article saying "Fishery observers, who are trained and overseen by the Monitoring and Analysis Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), do not play an enforcement role; they take biological samples of the catch, track bycatch and collect other data for fishery managers and scientists."
I like your way better though.....lol
Well it is a start and I would like to see them have enforcement duties like the observers in Oregon. Too much by-catch, your season is over.
Originally Posted by Derby06
Not sure about the Oregon situation, but I believe the way it already works up here is that the information gathered by observers can be used as evidence by enforcement...but the observers, themselves, are not enforcement officers (not able to write tickets/citations, etc).
You are correct MrFish. Observers simply document possible violations and then enforcement takes care of it from there. So in a way there are enforcement duties, but observers are not enforcement. AkBassking.....thanks for posting that articles, but the writer and you don't have a good grasp on the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program, or the way NMFS manages the fisheries up here. Oregon is a late-comer to putting biologists on boats.....it's been going on up here for a long time. The West Coast Observer Program is a great program, and is doing awesome work. However, they are not that big. The way the fisheres are managed is very different as well. The North Pacific Observer Program is the oldest, biggest, and what everyone else is modeled after. I heard that over 45,000 days will be monitored this year in Alaska. Then there is the difference in scale. Oregon has ITQs and they work as the fisheries are small, and there are relatively few boats. Here in the North Pacific the fisheries are huge, and we have the largest fleet in the world.
Bycatch does in fact shut down fisheries up here. Depending on the fishery it's derived in different ways, but mainly by onboard independent biologists, observers. Some vessels are managed on a haul by haul basis. Some by fleetwide/sector extrapulations. In general all commercial sectors that have vessels over 60 foot have bycatch levels they CAN'T exceed. Not all of them (Pot Cod doesn't really have any bycatch caps that matter.......but they don't have as much bycatch either)(come to think of it they caught to many octopus and almost got shut down this fall I think). Once again it's a difference in scale though as it might only take a hundred canary rockfish to shut down an Oregon fishery, but many metric tons of say halibut up here. Still though a fishery will be shut down if to much of various species are reached. heck skates and squid were prohibited this last season as the commercial sector caught more than allocated. So bycatch does shut down fisheries in Alaska. In general the fleets don't reach the bycatch caps as they try not to. You talk/write like a tansplant who has never taken the time to educate yourself on our fisheries. This is tough to do though I know. I'm not trying to talk down to you (even though likely it will come out like that), but to say that the information is available. I was lucky enough (or crazy enough) to be an observer in Alaska for 8 years, and then have a lot of experience in the fisheries up here. You say some pretty inflamatory things that are not true.
I do agree with you that more oversight, and better science are a pretty good idea. I am very excited about the restructuring of the observer program. I just take issue with you saying untrue things. Have a great night.