270i I wanted to reply to you as your concern is laudable. I'm sure there is some bycatch but it's part of the deep water flatfish complex and is manged as a group. So if they do catch halibut at a certain point it will shut down all deep water flatfish fishing.
There can be no "new fleet of draggers" as an LLP is in place. The fishers who would target Arrowtooth are already here and fishing. (have been for years). I would hope you would support this fishery as it will (*maybe) help halibut and other finfish stocks.
Monkey is it is a fairly large fishery. Not huge, but millions of pounds are likely for the Gulf. From what I understand it's relatively clean for a bottom fishery. If I have time I'll look up the numbers, but hopefully I'll be fishing and not talking fishery management.
For everyone else. Arrowtooth is edible but like most mentioned breaks down very fast. I don't mind catching them, but would prefer other fish for sure.
Tight lines folks!!
Arrowtooth is one of the largest biomasses in the GOA. The draggers target them, but only get a few cents a pound. Like AKBrownsfan said it all depends on when they hit the hard TAC on halibut so they are never even close to reaching the TAC on arrowtooth, which is 100's of millions of pounds. They have to do a 24 hour turnaround on them and the product is flash frozen as soon as it hits the processing plants to neutralize the enzym that makes the meat mush. It's then sent to China for fillets. The flounder on Long John Silver's Alaskan platter is arrowtooth.
Originally the only valuable part of the fish was they fin meat. They sold it to Korea I think. Anyway the fishery has been around for awhile, but it always comes after the higher value fisheries have been executed.
I'm preparing a report right now and there's arrowtooth broken out in it. Here are some stats for the Port of Kodiak
Pounds of Arrowtooth caught out of Kodiak in 2008: 38.3 Million lbs.
Exvessel value (paid at the dock) in 2008: $2.68 Million
Pounds of Arrowtooth caught in 2009: 29.5 Million lbs.
Exvessel value in 2009: $1.77 Million
That breaks out to 6 or 7 cent a pound. Like I said above the TAC on arrowtooth is in the 100's of millions of pounds though so it is definitely under utilized. They just need to figure out a way to catch them without getting the halibut.
I saw Arrowtooth on sale here in Vancouver's Chinatown for $1.00/lb today-from the look of those things they weren't selling all that well.
Who would have known that there was such a market........
1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
Arrowtooth aka turbit will not hit their own and they live with the halibut.
Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.