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  • Bycatch

    I will do some research, but I want to start a discussion on bycatch - what is done with it after it is caught (looking to understand whether it is wasted). What is done to minimize it? Are the commercials wasting fish? I "hear" that a lot from sport fishing folks. Would like to more understand the facts.

  • #2
    They are allowed to sell their bycatch up to a certain amount, which doesnt amount to much, but if they are wasting it, they can get in deep ****.

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    • #3
      So -

      - what happens when the reach their "level" of sold bycatch? What percentage of boats are monitored?

      Why not use the bycatch - sell it, and put it towards the yearly catch poundage?

      Would the by catch rates go way up? Limit the bycatch price somehow?

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      • #4
        I would think bycatch rates would go way up, because they would then target them.
        I would think the best way to limit bycatch would be to have observers onboard and once their bycatch quota is reached all fishing must stop.
        I can't think of any other way to stop it. I'm sure others have given this thought and will have an opinion or two.
        sigpic
        www.arcticangler.ca
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_7mPiqoqw&t=11s

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        • #5
          I can only speak from my experience on a small longliner, but this is our story:

          -We are allowed up to 10% of the total halibut weught as bycatch. Generally we are far below that, more in the range of 2-4%. If we were to go above, the money for the additional fish goes to the state. We keep rockfish, as they are dead at the surface, though other bycatch is released unharmed. We used to also keep skates in the early-mid 90's, but it came to the point where we had to have a processor's license to cut their wings off, and it simply wasn't worth the 15 cents/lb to deal with it.

          Very little fish is wasted in our operation and rockfish-prone areas are avoided if at all possible. For a wider experience, ask akbrownsfan, as he has worked as an observer on larger boats.

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          • #6
            What about salmon?

            Is there much King by-catch? Maybe the run timings differ enough that no kings are bycatch?

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            • #7
              Yes

              Originally posted by Bullelkklr View Post
              Is there much King by-catch? Maybe the run timings differ enough that no kings are bycatch?
              Last year in the gulf 39,000 kings in bycatch
              Last year in Bering 122,000 kings in bycatch

              This is why I think this years king run is so low. Currently just in Kodiak all rivers have been shut down to all king fishing. From what I hear on the forum you folks are having just as bad a year in the UCI.

              Something needs to be done before the fisheries are destroyed and that means everyone.
              Shawn Gornall
              www.ultimateislandadventures.com

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              • #8
                Bycatch is more of an issue with trawlers because their nets swallow everything. I believe the situation is getting better but the problem is that if a boat reaches its maximum amount of bycatch but they have not caught their quota of target fish they keep fishing to reach their quota but they cannot keep any of the bycatch.

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                • #9
                  So

                  the trawlers cannot keep the bycatch kings? What is the survival rate of the bycatch kings?

                  If your numbers are correct - 150k kings in the gulf and bering - those fish could be destined for most anywhere???

                  If half of them are dead or will die - they should be utilized as part of the seasonal commercial limit - when a ship reaches it's bycatch limit - they are done. Many layers of politics to this.

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                  • #10
                    is this thread really a search for facts or just another example of foregone conclusions used to vilify and condemn the commercial fishing industry?

                    boring.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      salmon bycatch info

                      Originally posted by Bullelkklr View Post
                      the trawlers cannot keep the bycatch kings? What is the survival rate of the bycatch kings?

                      If your numbers are correct - 150k kings in the gulf and bering - those fish could be destined for most anywhere???

                      If half of them are dead or will die - they should be utilized as part of the seasonal commercial limit - when a ship reaches it's bycatch limit - they are done. Many layers of politics to this.
                      I believe they are required to retain their salmon bycatch until it is counted/sampled by an observer...whether this is on-board or at the delivery to a processing plant. They are not allowed to "retain" it in a sense that it can be sold. In some cases, special permits have been granted to allow them to, at least, donate it to food banks. Otherwise, it must be discarded (after counting and sampling).

                      The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is already examing "hard cap" options for the chinook salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. The Council's website has a very detailed analysis on the salmon bycatch alternatives:
                      http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/curre...bycatch508.pdf
                      "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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                      • #12
                        I have my

                        own dilusions - but I really am looking for actual facts vs. the BS that you reference Gretchen.

                        I am new here - and am very curious as to how it all works. I am trying to condemn no-one - even if I was I suspect that my little hiney would not git er done.

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                        • #13
                          some info

                          I'll try to shed some light here.
                          Shawn is correct on last years numbers and did not give the years before which are pretty much the same. Groundfish fleets in the bering and gulf have a "soft cap" on salmon which is mainly caught in the Pollock fishery. That fishery is worth over a billion dollars. Not that that should matter.

                          the NPFMC (council) is looking at making a hard cap. This year the numbers are WAY lower with a little over 15,000 kings caught this year. Almost all kings caught as bycatch occur during A season or Jan-May. That is over. NOw the attention turns to Chums which are equally important but no one not from Y-K delta seems to care about.

                          2 years ago the Pollock fishery decided to try to do something about it and implented a "rolling hot spot" idea, where real time data is used to find out where boats are catching the most Kings or Chums and they they are told by their company to move. Didn't seem to work last year, seems to work this year. But we really don't know as it's complicated as maybe water temp has more to do with it? Very hard to say. Also as another pointed out since they were caught at sea we have no idea where they came from or are going back to. Could be russia, canada, lower 48 or alaska.

                          Bycatch in general in the North Pacific are overblown by people with limited understanding. EVERYTHING has a quota, and once reached fisheries are shut down. (except of course, salmon and pollock fisheries). So even squid shut down the pollock fleet for over a thousand square miles last year for a little while when they exceeded the seasonal cap. So while millions of pounds of something deemed "bycatch" may be caught in general I can tell you they are accounted for and are not hurting any one population as far as current data can tell.
                          Entire bering sea exploitable biomass is currently 17 million metric tons. (or almost 40 million staight tons.) We ONLY CATCH 2 Million metric tons per year. Fishermen themselves limited thier catch to this level. While it serves them well ( to much fish ruins your markets) it has also benefited the entire ecosystem.

                          As far as coverage levels go, any boat over 60 foot that fishes groundfish in alaska must have a federal observer on board who monitors catch, checks for true reporting on the boats parts, deals with some enforecement issues, and does special projects at the direction of NMFS. (like the salmon genetic project that is currently being done where every observer collects 250 salmon genetic samples.)
                          60-124 foot are called the 30% fleet in that they must have an observer on board for 30% of thier fishing days.
                          124 and over are 100% covered or they can not fish. All catcher processor trawlers in the Bering sea are actualy now 200 or 300% covered so all hauls are monitored and sampled.(one, two or three observers.) This is due to the American fishing act and the new amendment 80 for the flatfish head and gut fleet.

                          Anyway I could go on and on, but if you want or need further info let me know. In ending I'd say Shawn idea that they King bycatch could be hurting us now could be true. ............or could not be true. No way to currently tell, but maybe the genetic sampling will tell us more.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bullelkklr View Post
                            own dilusions - but I really am looking for actual facts vs. the BS that you reference Gretchen.

                            I am new here - and am very curious as to how it all works. I am trying to condemn no-one - even if I was I suspect that my little hiney would not git er done.
                            listen to mrfish, akbrownsfan, brianm, and others who understand how the commercial fisheries are tightly regulated by the north pacific fisheries management council and the state,s board of fisheries. too easy, too simple-minded to ignorantly bash the commercial fisheries every time the sport contingent fails to get what it wants.

                            you have a lot of homework to do.

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                            • #15
                              AKBrownsFan

                              Good explanation of a complex issue - thanks for the straight facts!

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