National Fisherman

A NOAA Fisheries official offered no short-term hope for Sitka small-boat bottom-fishermen who are objecting to the possibility of having on-board bycatch observers starting this year. In a meeting with about 45 fishermen last week, Martin Loefflad said electronic monitoring of potential bycatch in the halibut and black cod fishery is at least two years away, following NOAA testing that's starting this spring. As KCAW reports, NOAA has already rejected a fishermen-proposed electronic monitoring program. The fishermen feel their boats are too small and there are too many expenses and complications involved in having a monitor aboard.

Speaking from the audience, Linda Behnken, the director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, noted that 90 percent of the catch was landed at on-shore processors, where this data could be easily collected. Loefflad suggested that was inadequate.

"If there are some beasts that never make it to the dock, the only way to get those beasts is on the boat."

Read the full story at the Anchorage Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

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.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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