This Week in Bycatch - 07/23

Jul 24, 2019

Credit Nancy Heise / Wikimedia

Longliners targeting Pacific Cod posted the highest poundage of halibut bycatch for the week of July 13, according to public data released by the National Marine Fisheries Service, with 48,702 pounds.  Onboard observers recorded 3,946 pounds of that halibut was dead. Non-pelagic, or bottom, trawlers recorded a total halibut mortality of 46,319 pounds. The largest share of bycatch from this sector this week, about seventeen thousand pounds, was from statistical area 513, in the Bering Sea just east of the Pribilof Islands, by vessels targeting flathead and yellowfin sole.  The pelagic trawl fleet, targeting pollock, added another 5,401 pounds to total mortality.  

Total halibut mortality for the year to date is approximately four million seven hundred ninety thousand pounds.  Roughly ninety-two percent comes from the non-pelagic trawl fishery. The non-IFQ longline and pelagic trawl fisheries contribute between three and four percent each, with the remainder attributable to the Pacific cod and sablefish pot fisheries.  

Incidental catch of chinook salmon continued to be low at sixty-four  fish. Bycatch of non-chinook salmon species was 21,031 fish. Only a few thousand crab were reported by observers.