National Fisherman

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 — We left Sitka in a hurry after an 8-hour turnaround at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, and headed out across the Gulf of Alaska to fish for halibut and blackcod in the 3A (halibut) and CG (Central Gulf blackcod) regions (the areas overlap). The weather was very nice running across, so baiting up was easy and enjoyable. We baited all our gear, then started fishing upon our arrival at the halibut grounds in the Seward Gully on Thursday morning.

Halibut fishing was good, but as planned we fished only one day of halibut, then shifted to blackcod for Friday and Saturday. The whales joined us while we were hauling, and helped us out with a few of the big ones. I made up a rhyme about the whales, "We feed 'em, and the Japanese EAT 'em!"

We cut our trip short a day because the ice we got in Sitka wasn't very cold, and was melting away in the hatch. That was the story from George, who was the one who put the ice into the hatch. It didn't matter; the decision to deliver had been made, so that is what we would do. We baited up a string on the haul-back to reduce our in-town time when we delivered.

The delivery crew was waiting for us at Resurrection Bay Seafoods' dock, first thing on Sunday, April 1. We baited gear while we were delivering, then we flushed out our hatch, took ice, I got a few groceries, and we were outta there by 4 p.m. If it didn't actually happen, I'd have said it was an April Fool's day joke; an 8-hour turnaround is fast, and this was the second one of the season… back to back!

So we were off again, hoping to enjoy nice weather and good fishing in the Gulf of Alaska!


Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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