National Fisherman

Fishing industry stakeholders and federal managers in June will begin crafting a bycatch reduction plan for trawl groundfish fisheries in the Gulf. It will include some form of catch share plan, and as the main delivery port for more than $100 million worth of pollock, cod, flats and other fishes, Kodiak is closely guarding any giveaways.

It's similar to a chess game, said Duncan Fields, a lifelong Kodiak fisherman and a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council charged with designing the new plan.

"You have multiple moving pieces and every time you move a piece, it impacts all other pieces on the board," Fields explained at a recent panel discussion in Kodiak. "You have your queen and your king– those might be your primary policy goals – but if you can get that pawn to the other end of the board, that becomes a queen. Sometimes the little components of a catch share or rationalization program can become equally as important as the big parts."

"The big question is how you win, collectively, as a community, "he added. "That revolves around defining the goals and objectives early on. At the cusp of developing a program for the Gulf of Alaska, we have to appreciate the long term nature of the decisions we may make."

Fields said he believes mirroring catch share modes being used so far in Alaska (halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea crab fisheries "will not bring a good result to the Gulf."

Any new plan must be very inclusive, said Nicole Kimball, the State's federal fisheries advisor.

"We need to recognize the interests and investments and the dependence of all sectors, so there shouldn't just be a vessel based program or one just focused on processor interests or the community. It needs to be all three," Kimball said.

Read the full story at Stories in the News>>

Inside the Industry

Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.


NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

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