National Fisherman


At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

March 27-28, 2006 — With the bulk of our Southeast quota on the dock at the Seafood Producers Cooperative plant in Sitka, we wasted no time in turning around for another trip, as the nice weather continued with no end in sight. We were headed back out by noon on Monday, March 27, and seven hours later we were setting our blackcod gear, three strings of 25 skates each.

We started in at 2 the next morning. We hauled one blackcod string, then ran in and set out a 15-skate halibut string, then ran back to finish up the blackcod gear. Roald felt we needed to bait up one more short string of blackcod gear to make sure we caught our quota, so while we were hauling our second blackcod string, we baited 15 more skates and set them out immediately after we finished hauling.

From here on out there was nothing left to do but haul. We hauled the third blackcod string, then ran in and hauled the halibut string before it got dark, since sand fleas will eat the fish right off the hook if the gear is allowed to sit on the bottom after dark.

The string brought us just the right amount of halibut, then we ran back out to the blackcod grounds to haul our fourth and final blackcod string, which was the one we had set back. When that was aboard we were running for Sitka by 9 p.m.; we completed the second trip, catching more than 20,000 pounds of fish, in less than 19 hours of fishing.

The cannery was still backed up with herring, and there were a bunch of smaller longliners delivering who took advantage of the nice weather. We delivered late in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 29. We were too close for comfort to the legal limit on our halibut quota; 27 pounds under the maximum allowed (10 percent over the target number).

Had we caught one more medium-sized fish or two smalls, we would have been over, and there would have been all kinds of headaches. I have never been through that meat grinder, but judging from the sigh of relief by the guy writing up our landing, it is not a pretty procedure.

So that is all there is to the 2006 Southeast halibut and blackcod season. Now it is off to the Kodiak/Seward/Homer area of the Gulf of Alaska to catch more of the same!

TO BE CONTINUED...

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...
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