This Week in Bycatch - August 27

Aug 27, 2019

Credit Nancy Heise / Wikimedia

Halibut bycatch mortality rose in the week ending August 17 to 134,000 pounds from a little under 75,000 pounds the previous week.  Bycatch mortality in both the Pacific cod longline fishery and the pollock pelagic trawl fishery was lower than the prior week, while the share of the non-pelagic, or bottom, trawl fishery more than doubled to 125,000 pounds. The largest increases were in Area 630, covering the Central Gulf of Alaska between the east side of Kodiak and Prince William Sound, and its western neighbor Area 620.

Total halibut bycatch mortality for 2019 has now topped 5.1 million pounds.  The total to this point in 2018 was slightly lower, 4.8 million pounds.  To this point in 2017, 5.3 million pounds of halibut mortality was recorded. 

King salmon bycatch fell during the same week, from over a thousand fish to 238.  Onboard observers counted just under ten thousand salmon of all other species. 

The total incidental catch of opilio, tanner, and king crab across all fisheries was 5836 crab.