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Thread: Pollack Trawl Fishery in PWS - and your favorite Rockfish Hole

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Pollack Trawl Fishery in PWS - and your favorite Rockfish Hole

    What do they have in common? Nothing, until now........

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ap.../379227017.pdf

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Out of ignorance I will ask, what do they have to do with each other? And yes, I read the link.


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    If they tried to do a trawl through whhere I catch 8 to 12 lb Rockfish, they would loose their gear .... underwater hills and rockey peaks are not what works for trawls ...

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
    Out of ignorance I will ask, what do they have to do with each other? And yes, I read the link.
    Pollock trawlers fish off the bottom, but often not very far off the bottom; rockfish are easy bycatch victims of pollock trawlers. This statement from the OP document "The revenues generated from the pollock test fishery will be used to offset the cost of PWS groundfish assessment and management." give a clue that the PWS trawl fishery is a destructive experiment; allow trawl fishing in PWS and study the severity of the damage.

    Trawl fishing should be banned in general, but it's especially inappropriate in enclosed waters such as PWS.
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    There's been a pollock trawl fishery in PWS for a while now...and this solicitation from ADFG is just for a test fishery at the end of the regular fishery.

    iofthetaiga is right that pollock are caught near the bottom. Some pollock trawl fisheries use non-pelagic (bottom) gear and others use pelagic gear that can be torn up badly if it comes into significant contact with rough bottom. If I'm not mistaken and in general, the Bering sea pollock fishery is a pelagic fishery, but the Gulf of AK fisheries allow non-pelagic gear.

    I don't know, specifically, what the PWS fishery allows, nor do I know from which areas within the Sound the pollock is usually taken, but I'm sure that information is readily available if someone wants to find out more. Not sure if he's the right person for this question, but Wayne Donaldson with ADFG is a great resource.
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    The pollock trawl fishery in PWS has been going on I believe for 5-6 years. The pollock biomass was getting way to big and was thought be be inhibiting the herring and salmon fisheries. They use a mid water trawl and the advancements of the trawl gear in the last 10 years is amazing. The material the trawl is made of has acoustic properties that herd the pollock into the net. There's also cameras and duecers that monitor what is going into the net. In the the wheelhouse of large trawlers it's kind of like a spaceship with lots of monitors and controls. The captain is monitoring the net, the fish going into the net, and the amount of fish. The way these fish school up and where in the water column they school up is a tell tale sign of what type of fish they are (ie cod looks like hay bails, rockfish look like pillars, etc.) and the captain that has an auto trawl system can raise and lower the net from the wheelhouse so that he can miss certain underwater obstacles and unwanted biomasses. The bycatch issue has been around a long time and the trawl fleet has put a lot of time and energy into limiting that. There are consequences for trawlers for catching to many prohibited species of fish. The fishery can be shut done and fines can be levied. I'm not a huge fan of trawling but I do see the necessity for them.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    There's been a pollock trawl fishery in PWS for a while now...and this solicitation from ADFG is just for a test fishery at the end of the regular fishery...
    They didn't really start exploiting this fishery until the mid to late 1990's. Then, in 1999 the BOF directed ADF&G the establish a pollock fishery in PWS to "geographically apportion the catch"; the idea being to reduce the impact of pollock fishing on Steller sea lion populations in other areas of the gulf. I believe it was an ill conceived idea. What was/is known about the pollock population in PWS is minimal. Potential impact to the resident (speculation (they didn't/don't know)) pollock population and bycatch species was virtually a complete unknown and is being studied as they go. Launching destructive experiments based on total WAG's is a BAD idea IMO. By the time the longer term impact to non-target PWS groundfish species is recognized, documented and brought to light it will be too late, the damage will have been done. IMO, trawl fishing should be banned everywhere, but it's especially inappropriate in the enclosed waters of PWS.
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    I wish they would come get a few million tons of pollock from K-Bay.

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    Is trawler bi-catch impacting salmon numbers? Seems like a viable connection.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outaMT View Post
    Is trawler bi-catch impacting salmon numbers? Seems like a viable connection.
    The short answer is.........YES
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    Iofthetaiga,

    About two years ago (during Jul/Aug) I sold a rifle to a guyand we started talking about the declining salmon runs the last few years. He went on to tell me that state or fedofficials upped the Pollack quota the year before (2010 or so). He also said that Kings were the number onebi-catch regarding the Pollack fishery.

    He also went on to explain that when fry head to the salt,they donít just go off on their own, but stay in their schools, and that one trawlercould literally decimate an entire salmon fishery. He said that was a mojor cuase of poor salmon returns yearly.

    I donít know who the guy is, or if heís credible but heseemed pretty passionate and knowledgeable about the issue.

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    So are these the observed trawls or the unobserved trawls?

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Pollack Trawl Fishery in PWS - and your favorite Rockfish Hole

    Quote Originally Posted by outaMT View Post

    He also went on to explain that when fry head to the salt,they donít just go off on their own, but stay in their schools, and that one trawlercould literally decimate an entire salmon fishery. He said that was a mojor cuase of poor salmon returns yearly.

    How are fry being caught in nets sized for pollack? Just a question.


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    Hoyt - he was referring to grown salmon returning to spawn. Just to clarify, other then that conversation I had, and what I'm reading on this thread, I have no personnel knowledge on what's opinion, science or political when it comes to the industry - in this case trawlers and bi-catch. This is a good thread - hope it sticks around for a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    So are these the observed trawls or the unobserved trawls?
    In the Gulf of Alaska, trawlers particulate in the restructured Observer Program, which means that they have observers onboard about13% of the time. The rest of the time they are on the "honor" system.

    Yes Trawlers are among the most high tech fish catching machines on the water, but unobserved there is absolutely no consequence for by catch of any kind. They can and do catch unimaginable amounts of juvenile halibut, rockfish and salmon and discard them.

    Think about that next time some fisheries enforcement personal boards your private boat and wastes an hour of your time. They could have been on a trawler checking by catchÖ.

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    What's really interesting is the trawler highlighted on the T-Hole Pin blog. When they went to 100% coverage, the amount of of kings and halibut just skyrocketed.

    http://tholepin.blogspot.com/2013/11...r-program.html

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    What gov agency determines quotas, regs and policy in PWS, and who do the observers work for? I know there's a difference between those who make policy from those who enforce it. 13% seems like a token effort to observe/manage bi-catch. Not flamin' anyone here, just looking to learn.

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    When I troll for salmon I frequently get pollock as a by-catch, so it makes sense that trawels going after pollock would get salmon. I do agree with ocnfish in that my favorite rockfish spot is a submerged hill. Rises from 100' to 35'. The non-pelagic rockfish on that hill are relatively safe from trawels.

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    While in PWS three weeks ago, there was a large boat in Lower Herring bay that had a group of people studying the pollock. They were monitoring the daily movements of the pollock via tagged fish as they came in/out of the that particular bay.
    The guys said they were studying them as no one really knew much about their activities in PWS.
    BK

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    While in PWS three weeks ago, there was a large boat in Lower Herring bay that had a group of people studying the pollock. They were monitoring the daily movements of the pollock via tagged fish as they came in/out of the that particular bay.
    The guys said they were studying them as no one really knew much about their activities in PWS.
    BK
    Was the boat the Motague ?? buddy of mine owns it.

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