National Fisherman

Federal fisheries officials are seeking public input through Oct. 17 on a plan that would tighten limits on how much halibut bycatch can be harvested by the commercial groundfish fleet in the Gulf of Alaska.

The proposed fishery management plan amendment, Amendment 95, would minimize halibut bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries to the extent practicable, while preserving the potential for the full harvest of groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Sept. 17.

Halibut bycatch refers to halibut caught by vessels targeting groundfish, including pollock, Pacific cod, rockfish and various flatfish species.

NOAA Fisheries sets limits annually to minimize halibut bycatch in federal groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska. Those limits are divided annually and seasonally among different groundfish sectors. If a sector reaches its halibut bycatch limit before harvesting its allowable amount of groundfish, vessels participating in that sector must cease fishing for groundfish.

Two broad sectors that harvest groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska would be directly affected by the amendment: vessels using hook-and-line gear and vessels using trawl gear. The hook-and-line gear sector is further divided into catcher vessels and catcher/processor vessels.

Read the full story at Cordova Times>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

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Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

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