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Thread: Interested in learning more about Chinook bycatch issues?

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    Default Interested in learning more about Chinook bycatch issues?

    Here is a link to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/

    If you go to it, youíll see this at the top of the page

    ďAGENDA, December 3-11, 2012 Anchorage Hilton Hotel
    Listen while the Council is in session: npfmc.webex.comĒ

    If you click on the webex link you will go to a page that asks you to either load a program or use a temporary way to listen to the Council from 8 to 5. I just use the temp file to run the meeting, and log in. Then youíll be listening to the council live. They will be talking about Gulf of Alaska Chinook Bycatch Hard caps on all fisheries all day likely. The council will sometimes do stuff out of order, but the link will show you the current topic, and what they are talking about.

    The Chinook item is an interesting topic, and lots of posters seem to be very interested in it. So if you would like to hear the comments and testimony tomorrow then check out those links.
    I wish I would have thought of this yesterday as there was some really interesting reports today.

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    Salmon crisis or NPFMC crisis?

    By Don Johnson
    Soldotna

    Some people are claiming that Alaska is experiencing some kind of salmon crisis but is that what is really happening? If there were a real salmon crisis most would expect the blame to be directed towards either a freshwater or saltwater source problem. Freshwater fishermen would claim the problem to be in the saltwater and saltwater fishermen claim it to be in the freshwater. Some even see it as all sides just catching to many fish.

    In general most of our local salmon fisheries have been fishing the same way since about 1980 but there has been a substantial increase in one type of fishery.

    That fishery is our Commercial Pollock Fishery.

    This trawler fishery targets pollock and it catches a lot of them but it also accidentally kills about 3.4 king salmon per metric ton of pollock. It is a proven fact that just our legal commercial trawlers take over a million tons of pollock each year. Just doing some basic math shows a possible 3.4 million king salmon being killed and dumped by this fishery each year but the NPFMC has set annual trawler by-catch kill caps on king salmon at 25,000 in the Gulf of Alaska and 60,000 in the Bering Sea.

    While these commercial trawlers were by-catching salmon, they were also by-catching and tossing overboard dead smaller bait fish which salmon feed on; thus also reducing the prey our salmon have access to. Tremendous schools of herring, cod, rockfish, sand fish, hooligan, candle fish, smelt, stickleback, wolf fish and squid have been permanently wiped out with bait fish by-catch dumping. This environmental destruction then forces our salmon to forage longer to meet their daily and future calorie intake needs. As trawlers kill and dump this salmon prey back into the ocean, they dramatically increase a salmonís chances of never achieving sufficient fat reserves to make it back to their native freshwater rivers and streams.

    The result of all this trawlers fisheries abuse are dwindling fish stocks across the board because of the enormous amount of fish being trashed in the North Pacific Ocean. Fish are basically being killed faster than they can reproduce and just like Wall Street finally collapsed itself with poor oversight and mismanagement, our pollock fishery is also headed towards that same fate. If the North Pacific Fishery Management Council does not take decisive action to reduce pollock catch levels, this fishery must also collapse because of its own mismanagement. Of the four Alaska pollock stocks, two are currently shut down to commercial fishing and a third is just a fraction of what it used to be. In spite of all the warning signs, which include five years in a row of low juvenile survivorship, this industry has continued to target pollock spawners by taking huge numbers of pregnant females just before they release their eggs.

    The NPFMC has no idea how many salmon are out there cruising the North Pacific or how many are being trashed as a direct result of its trawler fisheries but it has arbitrarily set salmon by-catch limits anyway at 25,000 per year in the Gulf of Alaska and 60,000 per year in the Bering Sea. How does any fisheries management body set by-catch limits if it has no idea how many fish they are dealing with? With this kind of mis-management it is possible to set by-catch limits equal to total reproduction limits without knowing it, thus resulting in total resource collapse. Setting caps on salmon by-catch is not a management plan, it is only a plan for fisheries disaster.

    Do we have a salmon crisis? I believe most can see that the facts point to us actually having a fisheries management crisis. The true problem is that the NPFMC allows its members to have direct financial conflicts of interests. This membership defect reaches to the very core of the Councilís ability to correctly act on the publicís behalf to safeguard our fisheries natural resources. Just like on Wall Street, profit driven Council members are an over-riding consideration within this issue. This is not a salmon crisis, it is a NPFMC membership crisis and if it continues, it will eventually collapse all of our fisheries interests.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The tholepin blog is a guy who makes things up. I think his numbers are likely right though as far as being from NMFS as far as those chinook numbers, but it's the CATCH RATE that is the big factor in his little spreadsheet and text that is important, but of it's missing. And of course he nor Doc would ever think to bring that up.

    And that article is about as biased, and slanderous as anything I've read. It's the same as the other thread about stopping bycatch. Say impossible, unprovable, or untrue things often enough and people will believe them.

    I'd recomend folks to listen to the council tomorrow and make your own call. then read up on the issues.

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    What a waste of time to refute something as dumb as that article, but it would be ridiculous for me not to give some facts and links after saying that it was wrong and slanderous. I donít want to spend all night at this though, so my reply will have to work for now. Iíll just hit one untrue thing after another in order.

    1.In general most of our local salmon fisheries have been fishing the same way since about 1980 but there has been a substantial increase in one type of fishery. Ö.goes on to say pollock trawling.

    -Ok this one is dumb as pollock fishing and the 2,000 million metric ton limit in the BSAI, and the GOA caps regarding overall removals have been the same for the same amount of time. We have had great runs of salmon during this time, and also low returns. Mainly though itís just not a true statement. Commercial Pollock fishing has been going on since the 1980s. It would make me wonder about anything else in it just for that.

    2. This trawler fishery targets Pollock and it catches a lot of them but it also accidentally kills about 3.4 king salmon per metric ton of Pollock. It is a proven fact that just our legal commercial trawlers take over a million tons of Pollock each year. Just doing some basic math shows a possible 3.4 million king salmon being killed and dumped by this fishery each year but the NPFMC has set annual trawler by-catch kill caps on king salmon at 25,000 in the Gulf of Alaska and 60,000 in the Bering Sea.

    -Iím not sure catch rates are available, and salmon might be reported by total number only. Also catcher processors, motherships, and catcher boats all have various catch rates at different areas/times. I do know how many salmon were caught as bycatch as a real number as reported by NMFS.
    11,001 for the BSAI where millions of pounds of pollock are harvested as well as many millions of pounds of other fish.
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/2012/car120...i_with_cdq.pdf
    and 24,078 and this is all trawl gear for pollock, flatfish, rockfish, and cod.
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/2012/car120_psc_goa.pdf

    So the statement that 3.4 million King Salmon are dumped overboard every year is about as wrong as it could be. Those numbers I put above the how many are caught pretty much. I could go into how they are accounted for if you want. Itís a complicated topic and a lot of regulatory language though. The Gulf number is more of an estimated number as there isnít as much observer coverage. However, from what Iíve ever heard that just means they move the estimate upwards the more uncertainty there is. So while the actual number of Kings could be lower or higher that 24,078 it is likely lower. The BSAI numbers are pretty much reality as all salmon is accounted for, at least for Pollock. So again that was an incorrect, over-the-top statement. I would guess it was made to just make people mad who would believe it at face value.

    3.While these commercial trawlers were by-catching salmon, they were also by-catching and tossing overboard dead smaller bait fish which salmon feed on; thus also reducing the prey our salmon have access to. Tremendous schools of herring, cod, rockfish, sand fish, hooligan, candle fish, smelt, stickleback, wolf fish and squid have been permanently wiped out with bait fish by-catch dumping. This environmental destruction then forces our salmon to forage longer to meet their daily and future calorie intake needs. As trawlers kill and dump this salmon prey back into the ocean, they dramatically increase a salmonís chances of never achieving sufficient fat reserves to make it back to their native freshwater rivers and streams.

    -Ok, feed or forage fish pass though the mesh of nets. Some are caught, but itís accounted for. In the BSAI anyway from 1/5 to Ĺ (and sometimes entire hauls) of all hauls are sampled for all species by onboard biolgists on the catcher processors and motherships and they harvest 40% of all the pollock. Catcher boats have smaller samples but again all species are sampled for and therefore can be estimated, and all hauls (with some rare exceptions) are monitored. So none of those listed species groups are ďwiped outĒ. That is simply made up. I heard the status of stocks stuff today listening to the council during the TAC discussions. Also you can read the stock assessment on those groups if youíd like.
    Available here, I think. I will look for it and obtain it if anyone wants.
    http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/

    4.The result of all this trawlers fisheries abuse are dwindling fish stocks across the board because of the enormous amount of fish being trashed in the North Pacific Ocean. Fish are basically being killed faster than they can reproduce and just like Wall Street finally collapsed itself with poor oversight and mismanagement, our pollock fishery is also headed towards that same fate. If the North Pacific Fishery Management Council does not take decisive action to reduce pollock catch levels, this fishery must also collapse because of its own mismanagement. Of the four Alaska pollock stocks, two are currently shut down to commercial fishing and a third is just a fraction of what it used to be. In spite of all the warning signs, which include five years in a row of low juvenile survivorship, this industry has continued to target pollock spawners by taking huge numbers of pregnant females just before they release their eggs.

    -Just not true and not supported by any data. Pollock stocks are healthy, biomass is up, and itís mindboggling how the author could make statements like that. I will get a link later to the stock, ABC, and TAC for Pollock. However, itís likely that biomass is around 12 million metric tons and harvest was about 1.4 million metric tons of pollock this year. So given Pollock have millions of eggsÖÖ.well he is saying things that just arenít true.

    5.The NPFMC has no idea how many salmon are out there cruising the North Pacific or how many are being trashed as a direct result of its trawler fisheries but it has arbitrarily set salmon by-catch limits anyway at 25,000 per year in the Gulf of Alaska and 60,000 per year in the Bering Sea. How does any fisheries management body set by-catch limits if it has no idea how many fish they are dealing with? With this kind of mis-management it is possible to set by-catch limits equal to total reproduction limits without knowing it, thus resulting in total resource collapse. Setting caps on salmon by-catch is not a management plan, it is only a plan for fisheries disaster.

    -somewhat true in that no one knows how many salmon are out in the North Pacific, and Iím pretty sure no one knows how many stars in in the night sky either. However take is known.
    The limits are just numbers that the council came up with. However they are based on careful consideration of the standards of the MSA after years of public process.

    Anyway Iím going to bed. Articles like that depress me. While someone should feel free to discuss the amounts allowed for bycatch, all the untrue statements made just to say something crazy is horrible imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post

    Do we have a salmon crisis? I believe most can see that the facts point to us actually having a fisheries management crisis. The true problem is that the NPFMC allows its members to have direct financial conflicts of interests. This membership defect reaches to the very core of the Councilís ability to correctly act on the publicís behalf to safeguard our fisheries natural resources. Just like on Wall Street, profit driven Council members are an over-riding consideration within this issue. This is not a salmon crisis, it is a NPFMC membership crisis and if it continues, it will eventually collapse all of our fisheries interests.
    I'd say that the approval rating of NPFMC is rather low right now. The approach of letting a fleet drag a bunch of nets around catching whatever happens to be in their path, and dealing with the results later is wearing thin on most.

    Not to mention the pure distrust in all things tainted with Big Money. Unfortunatley the halibut and chinook can't make their own internet links or have their own lobbyists and lawyers.

    The system is broke, and unfortunately we are entering crisis phase for 2 of Alaska's most iconic iconic fish. The chinook and halibut.

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    The author of the posted article also believes that ESSN's selectively harvest large kings despite real data to the contrary. And that we don't need commercial fishing in the Inlet. And the the commercial fishery it the reason for the late return of kings. And that there are no inriver problems. His past articles have claimed that this 'crisis' of below average abundance is all commercial fishing's fault. Oh, and guided inriver fishing isn't commercial.

    I don't know enough about the trawl fishery to even discuss it, however I do know that the numbers are very easily distorted, and one must always remember to spread the impacts of their harvest out on many rivers of origin, which substantially diminishes impact to any one system. Is trawl bycatch an issue? Certainly. But we should't make the same mistake of simply looking downstream and blaming the next guy in line that catches these fish. Now that's low-holin!

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    Wink Those dirty _________________ (fill in the blank)

    "Figures don't lie but liars figure."

    Nuthin' new here . . . same ol' special-interest bickering with the facts and figures to prove anything you're predisposed to believe.


    Attachment 66223

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    Here is a link to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/

    If you go to it, youíll see this at the top of the page

    ďAGENDA, December 3-11, 2012 Anchorage Hilton Hotel
    Listen while the Council is in session: npfmc.webex.comĒ

    If you click on the webex link you will go to a page that asks you to either load a program or use a temporary way to listen to the Council from 8 to 5. I just use the temp file to run the meeting, and log in. Then youíll be listening to the council live. They will be talking about Gulf of Alaska Chinook Bycatch Hard caps on all fisheries all day likely. The council will sometimes do stuff out of order, but the link will show you the current topic, and what they are talking about.

    The Chinook item is an interesting topic, and lots of posters seem to be very interested in it. So if you would like to hear the comments and testimony tomorrow then check out those links.
    I wish I would have thought of this yesterday as there was some really interesting reports today.
    The Council has two separate salmon bycatch issues before them at this meting. I could be wrong, but I believe the Council is going to start this morning with the initial review discussion of alternatives for Bering Sea chum salmon bycatch (before getting to the Gulf of AK Chinook bycatch).

    And Akbrownsfan is right; Don Johnson's "basic math" is way, way off.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    . . And Akbrownsfan is right; Don Johnson's "basic math" is way, way off.

    Who knew such a thing was possible . . . ? . . .

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    Thanks AKbrownsfan.

    I almost busted a gut when I saw your original post followed up with references to the Tholepin and Don Johnson. Some folks are more interested in the garbage than the actual sessions taking place.

    Until folks quit acting like a bunch of sheep, do their own homework, and stop indulging in the pandering, the Don Johnson's and Tholepin's of the world will continue to jeopordize our fisheries. And those condoning them make it even worse.

    Good work! + 1

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    Where does Don Johnson get his numbers? That is ridiculous and shows he knows nothing about these fisheries.

    3.4 million kings? Yeah, and gas costs $80 a gallon and there are 480 hours in a day. (using 3.4 million/170,000 -- the most kings caught as bycatch is a single year)

    Also, there has never been high levels of forage fish species caught like he implies here.

    This kind of misinformation does not help solve the problem.

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    That kind of misinformation IS the problem!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post

    Until folks quit acting like a bunch of sheep, do their own homework, and stop indulging in the pandering, the Don Johnson's and Tholepin's of the world will continue to jeopordize our fisheries. And those condoning them make it even worse.

    Good work! + 1
    It ain't The Hole Pin or Don Johnson jeopordizing our fisheries..

    Wouldn't it have been nice if they had done the amount of homework on the Trawl fleet BEFORE letting them drag, as lets say what they are doing with the purposed Pebble Mine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    It ain't The Hole Pin or Don Johnson jeopordizing our fisheries..
    Sure it is. When people aren't informed or qualified to evaluate the fishery, and then publically state their opinion as fact, it jeopordizes the fishery.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Wouldn't it have been nice if they had done the amount of homework on the Trawl fleet BEFORE letting them drag, as lets say what they are doing with the purposed Pebble Mine?
    That's like saying wouldn't it have been nice if the EPA had done their homework BEFORE letting Henry Ford pump out zillions of petro-burning autos.

    There is a mountain of historical information available on the trawl fishery - scientific studies, reports, biological data, observations, regulations, legislation, and book after book has been writen. And there is actually a lot of professional historical evaluation from Japanese, Korean, Russian, and other countries who trawled the Gulf of AK prior to Americanization and the NFCMA.

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    Here's an update on the Council's progress: The Council spent all day today on the Bering Sea chum bycatch measures, which will continue for a bit into tomorrow. They still have to finish a few more people signed up for public testimony when they begin at 8:30 tomorrow (Saturday), then on to some kind of a motion (although this is not up for final action at this meeting). Hard to tell exactly how long that will take, but at least an hour or two. It's possible/likely they could get into the Gulf Chinook stuff by late morning, but they should certainly be into it by the afternoon.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    thanks MrFish, at 10am, they are just finishing Chum bycatch. I think they are moving on to GOA chinook next.

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    too funny. Now people aren't "qualified" to evaluate a fishery that just about anybody can see is not good for other fisheries in Ak. I suppose only qualified people should be able to vote for president too, as there were surely NO inaccurate articles written about that election!

    Slaughtering mass quantities of juvenille halibut before they can migrate for the last 30 years, and now they can't figure out where the halibut are going. Trawling was born of big money, controlled by big money, and ever single "cut" they take as far a bycatch goes is just a smoke screen to keep the masses quiet so they can keep raping/pillaging.

    The dragger fleet should have had to prove they could fish cleanly, before ever putting the first net down. The last 30 or so years have been a disaster for alaskan fisheries, and it's only getting worse. A small group of people got very rich off of these fisheries, and the rest of us suffer from the greed of a few.

    I have zero faith than any positive steps will be taken though. Everybody is bought and paid for, in one way or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    Sure it is. When people aren't informed or qualified to evaluate the fishery, and then publically state their opinion as fact, it jeopordizes the fishery.


    That's like saying wouldn't it have been nice if the EPA had done their homework BEFORE letting Henry Ford pump out zillions of petro-burning autos.

    There is a mountain of historical information available on the trawl fishery - scientific studies, reports, biological data, observations, regulations, legislation, and book after book has been writen. And there is actually a lot of professional historical evaluation from Japanese, Korean, Russian, and other countries who trawled the Gulf of AK prior to Americanization and the NFCMA.

  19. #19

    Default more guys who make things up??

    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    The tholepin blog is a guy who makes things up. I think his numbers are likely right though as far as being from NMFS as far as those chinook numbers, but it's the CATCH RATE that is the big factor in his little spreadsheet and text that is important, but of it's missing. And of course he nor Doc would ever think to bring that up.

    And that article is about as biased, and slanderous as anything I've read. It's the same as the other thread about stopping bycatch. Say impossible, unprovable, or untrue things often enough and people will believe them.

    I'd recomend folks to listen to the council tomorrow and make your own call. then read up on the issues.

    http://alaskacafe.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    too funny. Now people aren't "qualified" to evaluate a fishery...
    That's right, and Don Johnson and the Tholepin clearly exemplify that - it's smack-face to anyone who is well-informed. I mean, who the heck are Don Johnson and the Tholepin anyway, and how are they qualified? I doubt neither have ever stepped foot on a trawler, or spent any significant effort studying and working on the issue. They are certainly welcome to their misinformed opinions, but not to state them as fact.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I suppose only qualified people should be able to vote for president too, as there were surely NO inaccurate articles written about that election!
    You make a great point. Most voters can't recite our Articles of Constitution, or know what the Bill of Rights are, or tell you what the Declaration of Independence means, or understand how the three branches of government checks and balances work, or name one of our founding fathers - much less know what a founding father is. In my opinion, the result of that is evident in our current political system, and the direction our country is taking. Just as it is with the situation of our fisheries. Emotion and rhetoric, like Don Johnson's, rule the day. But we digress.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Slaughtering mass quantities of juvenille halibut before they can migrate for the last 30 years, and now they can't figure out where the halibut are going. Trawling was born of big money, controlled by big money, and ever single "cut" they take as far a bycatch goes is just a smoke screen to keep the masses quiet so they can keep raping/pillaging.
    Trawler bycatch has been included as part of the allowable harvestable surplus. The more trawlers wasted, the less the long-liners could take. The less trawlers wasted, the more long-liners could take. Either way it was a zero sum game, and the halibut were going to get harvested. One could argue in hind-sight about managment's modling methods, poor estimations, and slow learning curve, but they could just as well argue about anything that might be causing the decline - disease, predation, feed competition, climate changes, etc. As for the "masses"...they like their pollack, and their demand is what drives the fishery. Most of them seem to care more about getting millions of metric tons of fish sandwiches over losing 25,000 Kings.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    The dragger fleet should have had to prove they could fish cleanly, before ever putting the first net down. The last 30 or so years have been a disaster for alaskan fisheries, and it's only getting worse.
    I don't condone trawlers, but actually their bycatch rate is very low, and considered "clean" in retrospect to other trawl fisheries and in relation to the quantity of pollack they harvest. Over the last 30 years HUGE achievments in bycatch reduction have taken place, and it would be a disservice to that hard work to say that it has been a disaster. Did we vet the impacts from the other fisheries before they began?...the commercial guided fishery, personal use, subsistence, and private sportfishing? Of course not - reaction mode managment for them too.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I have zero faith than any positive steps will be taken though. Everybody is bought and paid for, in one way or another.
    How anyone could say a reduction in bycatch, an increase in observer programs, and so on are not positive steps is beyond me. Sure, there is always work to do. But as long as people want to eat their fish, we will have bycatch.

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