This weekend, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to put new restrictions on the Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet in an effort to curb chinook salmon bycatch. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports.
There was almost certainly going to be a cap. All the other trawl fisheries had one, and concern over the health of Alaska’s chinook runs has only increased in recent years. The question was just how much chinook salmon could the Gulf’s trawl fleet take unintentionally before they would have to pull up their nets and stop fishing, period.
In the end, the number was 7,500 salmon. Here’s council member Bill Tweit, who represents the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Certainly, the extent and depth of the chinook conservation crisis right now gives us no choice as a council but to respond with a conservation measure.”
The move wasn’t without some disagreement. Bycatch in the fishery has fluctuated between 3,000 and 10,000 fish over the years. Conservation groups wanted a cap near the low end, while fleet representatives pushed for a limit closer to historical highs.
Read the full story at Alaska Public Media>>