Pacific Fishery Management Council voted Friday to reduce halibut bycatch in
the Gulf of Alaska by 15 percent, the maximum amount under consideration during
its meeting here in Kodiak. The cuts to the trawl and longline fleets will be
phased in over three years. The reduction passed on a 10-1 vote, with Dave
Benson of Washington State dissenting.
Petersons is a commercial fisherman in Kodiak and works with the Alaska Marine
Conservation Council. She followed the deliberations closely and is pleased
with the outcome.
-- (Halibut 1 :37 sec "We clearly appreciate the ... that we have
step in the process is for the council to determine how to go about implementing
the bycatch reductions:
-- (Halibut 2 :34 sec "The procedure is always important ... any sooner
Bering Sea trawl fisheries the bycatch is largely salmon, and recently
retention of the non-targeted fish has begun to be implemented for the benefit
of food banks. But Peterson says it's a slightly different situation in the
Gulf of Alaska with halibut:
-- (Halibut 3 :17 sec "The halibut that are caught as ... future
two-and-a-half days much of the testimony before the council urged a reduction
of 15 percent. Huge cuts to both the commercial and charter halibut quotas in
recent years prompted a strange bedfellow alliance among the traditionally
competing user groups and generated much of the comments.
The cut of
nearly 700,000 pounds will be made to the 4.5 million pound bycatch cap put in
place nearly 25 years ago.
continues its meeting through tomorrow.