An emergency measure to help northern Bering Sea halibut fishermen was defeated at last week’s North Pacific Fishery Management Council in a vote split along regional lines with all the Alaska representatives supporting the measure, which failed by a 5-5 tie vote.

The measure would have transferred halibut bycatch quotas from pollock trawlers to hook-and-line halibut fishermen. It was vigorously opposed by representatives of pollock factory trawlers and onshore catcher boats.

Voting for the bycatch transfer were Duncan Fields of Kodiak, Dave Long of Wasilla, Dan Hull of Anchorage and Simon Kinneen of Nome, along with Alaska Department of Fish and Game commissioner Sam Cotten.

“I can’t imagine something that looks more like an emergency,” said Kinneen.

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