National Fisherman


Federal fisheries officials said Feb. 19 they have implemented a plan to tighten limits on halibut bycatch that can be caught in commercial groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska.
 
Amendment 95 to the fishery management plan is intended to minimize halibut bycatch in Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries to the extent practicable while preserving the potential for the full harvest of groundfish in the Gulf, NOAA Fisheries officials said.
 
Halibut bycatch refers to halibut caught by vessels targeting groundfish species, such as pollock, Pacific cod, rockfish and various flatfish species.
 
NOAA Fisheries sets annually limits to minimize halibut bycatch in federal groundfish fisheries in the Gulf. Those limits are divided annually and seasonally among different groundfish sectors. If a sector reaches its halibut bycatch limit before catching it allowed quota of groundfish, vessels participating in that sector must stop fishing for groundfish.
The two broad sectors that harvest groundfish in the Gulf who will be directly affected are 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>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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