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This Week in Bycatch - July 17

Nancy Heise

Bycatch of prohibited species in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands regulatory areas continued to be relatively low this week across all fisheries, according to the update by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) covering the week of July 6.  Only fifty kings and two thousand non-king salmon were caught incidentally. The bycatch of crab has also been low, only five thousand total animals. NMFS does not separate mortality from total bycatch in its salmon and crab reports, which it does for halibut.

Halibut bycatch mortality also hovered around its lowest point this year, a total of twenty-one metric tons, or 45,525 pounds with non-pelagic trawl gear, up very slightly from last week but down considerably from previous weeks.  Pelagic trawlers recorded 134 pounds of total bycatch. Non-IFQ longliners targeting Pacific Cod took just over thirty thousand pounds of halibut, with about two thousand five hundred pounds marked as dead.

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