April 7, 2014
Kodiak seiners will be scooping up pollock in their nets starting this week. You heard right. Seiners have a chance to test the waters to determine if a directed pollock fishery makes sense for that type of gear in the Gulf.
Except for a small jig fishery, the only pollock fishery operating in state waters (out to three miles) is at Prince William Sound where trawlers this year have an 8.5 million pound catch.
“The initial seine opportunity will just run from April 11 through June 8 so we don’t overlap with salmon season. And during that time the harvest will be limited to 500,000 pounds,” said Trent Hartill, a groundfish manager at ADF&G in Kodiak. Pollock weigh three to four pounds on average.
The proposal for the trial pollock fishery got the nod in January from the state Board of Fisheries to operate under a special “commissioner’s permit,” Hartill said.
“The purpose of that permit is to test the efficacy of seine gear in catching pollock,” he explained. “If it’s successful, it will provide information for the Board to determine whether they want to pursue a full blown fishery or move in whatever direction they desire.”
Roughly 190 salmon seiners are currently operating out of Kodiak and Hartill said there is lots of interest in giving pollock a try. The dock price in town is 12-14 cents a pound.