Everybody... I repeat.. Everybody who has any interest in halibut fishing had better comment. Commercial,sport, charter, subsistence.. Res or Non Res.
Thank you for the link. I voiced my opinion.
According to the Alaska Dispatch, "Bycatch" accounted for 19% of the take for 2011. Sport fishing and charters each had close to 11% and commercial had 60%. It certainly seems to me that "Bycatch" is the big offender here and not the sport and charter fisheries.
DONE! Everyone should do so as well
(Now where is the petition to outlaw trawl fishing?...)
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
I also responded and put in a couple comments. I am not real confident in our government lately to do the right thing, but I hope they are able to do some good on this issue and a lot of other issues our country faces.
Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation
Done as well!
Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
Done! Thanks for the links..........
Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
Even tho I live in Texas this issue involves everyone who cares about this fishery !!
Done. Thanks for the link. This issue is long overdue to be addressed.
Done...I'm new to AK and will be fishing my first season this year, but all I can say is wow...how can they let more go to waste than what we can catch.
Done. I also commented that chinook bycatch must be addressed.
Willfish..do you have any links that support what you are saying and how you got there? I'd like to see them, and learn more about the issues. I think you might be mixing Bering Sea numbers with GOA numbers with Commercial charter numbers with Commercial fishermen using other gear types when they don't actually mix in the way you are saying. This is a pretty simple regulation within complicated politics. Your numbers could well be true in some ways, but I'm not sure. I think this thread is great though, and am happy so many have made comments and hope they continue. The council process will only work if people participate in my opinion.
I would propose a question. Ask yourself if the only reason you want a change is so that you can get more for yourself.....and if this is a good attitude to have. Then remember Alaska is a big place (a larger coastline than the rest of the USA combined with fishable shallow water tens to hundreds of miles out to sea), and all catch is very spread out........with the exception of commercial charter fishing and recreational anglers. That is very localized and mainly in about 7-10 main hubs around Southeast Alaska and Southcentral Alaska. To be clear in my opinion all bycatch in all sectors should be reduced when possible under the legal guidence of the MSFCMA (including my own, recreational angler with my own boat). Since that's also one of the pieces of the Magnuson-Stevens
Fishery Conservation and Management Act I feel great that there is real progress for it in Alaska.
Logged my comment about the trawl by-catch.
Willphish and Brownsfan,
To lump trawl bycatch in with all other commercial use of the resource is to ignore what's at the root of this problem. The trawlers in the GOA are not the same boats as the longliners, and they are managed completely differently. Actually, the trawlers are not engaged in the commercial halibut fishery at all, because they just kill them, they can't even sell them. The longliners face fines and even jail for going over their quota. At issue here is that the trawlers should suffer reductions in their bycatch amounts as the longliners have for years (and the charters are beginning to).
Brownsfan is right that AK is a big place, and most of it is inaccessible to charters and sport fishermen in general. You can't compare a pound of fish 200 miles off the Aleutians and equate that to a pound of fish 10 minutes out of Sitka. Very different, and the geography needs to be respected if we are going to get anywhere on this policy.
At the end of the day, trying to lump all commercial users into one group dilutes the effectiveness of our argument. I think we need to focus on minimizing trawl by-catch while we have the chance.
With the SE migration of juvenille halibut, what happens in the remote parts of Alaska doesn't stay in the remote part of Alaska. Those of us "downstream" of the trawlers want our halibut. Read Hare's papers on the subject.
I don’t condone bycatch, and I applaud more waste regulation on the trawlers. But Akbrownsfan makes a great point - some are using the bycatch issue as a tool to get their own sport fishery more fish. That is obvious when charters post things like, “we want our halibut.” Really, these are everyone’s halibut, mostly utilized by millions of people who buy them at the store via commercial fishing. And if you read the assessments, there is no shortage of juvenile halibut migrating “downstream”. Yes, the halibut are fewer and smaller (a result of many things), but they are healthy and sustained. Smaller halibut make for a smaller biomass and fewer spawners, even when numbers of fish are the same or more. As for reductions, the commercial fishery has taken massive cuts that dwarf the sport fishery. This has affected domestic supply and made the cost of accessing halibut at the store unobtainable for many of the public.
One thing to realize (as the article points out) is that the halibut fishery is managed based on biomass. This means that managing for sustainability of the stock includes any bycatch harvest. So it is not like this trawler bycatch is taken on top of what can sustainably be harvested – it is already included.
The issue of bycatch is really one of allocation and waste. For me it is just morally wrong, especially when the long-liners are taking the brunt of the cuts on the trawler’s behalf and the public could use those halibut. But for some here who think reducing trawler bycatch will get their sport fishery more halibut – think again. Trawler bycatch is allocated commercial fish. So reducing their bycatch will only increase the long-liner’s allowable harvest. The fish will still be taken, just not wasted. It is really an allocation issue between long-liners and trawlers. For me as a sport fisherman who has plenty of halibut already, it is an issue of waste.
Charters targeting halibut are a group...legally, and with specific areas and quotas and regulations to that sector. What is so hard to understand about that? Just like trawlers, longliners, pots, jigs, powertroll, handtroll,setnet, driftnet are sectors that are managed seperately via gear type and area. Now, recently, guided halibut charter is another sector that should be looked at seperately and are managed as such. With localized regulations and quotas whenever possible. That is why is basically dishonest to bring in all other sectors or areas when discussing very specific ones. The GOA trawl and longliner halibut bycatch limits are already seperate, and will continue to be. There will be a reduction in both sectors prohibeted species cap in regards to Haliubt. I'd wonder if any on this thread would support having a charter halibut bycatch cap? It's the same thing to me really. ALL sectors need managed, and objective data must be collected, and all bycatch must be attempted to be reduced within the other national standards. Even, yes, my own as a purely recreational angler......we get our fish off the top prior to almost everthing else....but if needed and warrented I'd support tighter reporting and lower limts for myself. Ask yourself if again, you only want to reduce others so that you get more for yourself. I'd even say if your answer is YES, that's fine, and within the framework of the MS fisheries conservation and management act..but at least be honest about it.
I notice Willfish doesn't appear to have any links. Interesting......