This Week's Fish News

November 11, 2022

In their second-to-last meeting on Monday, the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force (ABRT) declined to pass a recommendation to redefine pelagic trawl gear as bottom trawl gear, given recent data showing that pelagic trawl gear spends 40%-100% of harvest time on the bottom of the ocean, with catcher vessels averaging 40% and catcher processors averaging 85%. The vote was a tie at 5-5, with ADF&G Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang abstaining and thereby leaving the task force at an impasse. A full audio recording of the meeting will be posted here soon. 

The Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force has one last meeting coming up on Tuesday, November 15, at 9 am. Tune in virtually here, and keep an eye out for the task force's final report later in the month.

As the state's Bycatch Review Task Force winds down, the NPFMC has formed its own Salmon Bycatch Committee. The committee consists of 12 members, and is not short on trawl interests.

Next week is Bristol Bay Salmon Week! Dozens of restaurants in the Seattle area will feature Bristol Bay sockeye on their menus November 14-20, just in time for Expo!

Salmon is being grown from cells in labs. What does that mean for Alaska's salmon resources? Will lab-grown salmon supplement wild salmon as demand increases? Will it help conservation efforts? Will it wipe out salmon fisheries? Hmm...

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the Coast Guard needs to take measures to improve safety efforts for commercial fishing vessels, making six recommendations. 

The NPFMC approved adding a dedicated Alaska Native seat on their Advisory Panel. This is separate from the amendment to the MSA that is set to add two tribal seats to the council itself. 

What happened to the snow crab? Was it the trawlers or was it climate change? Could it be a combination? This article addresses the different points of view.

In addition to requesting a fisheries disaster designation, the government of St. Paul, Alaska, has declared a cultural, economic and social emergency in anticipation of crushing economic blows due to the crab closures.

This week's Alaska Fisheries Report: "Part Two of our visit to a meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Bycatch Reduction vs. Optimum Yield Edition."

A few reminders:

BBRSDA will reimburse members up to 50% for RSW tech classes. The next class is November 13-16 in Bremerton, WA. 

The Pacific Marine Expo ("Fish Expo") is November 17-19 in Seattle.