December 11, 2012
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Lots of ups and downs for next year’s groundfish catches. More after this –
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A big item on the North Pacific Council’s agenda each December is approving catches for Alaska’s largest fisheries – pollock, cod, flatfish, perch and other groundfish. Some highlights of the 24 different fish species under the Council’s purview — Pollock is the nation’s largest food fishery and the Bering Sea catch got bumped up by nearly 5% to more than 1.2 million metric tons – or just under three billion pounds. Nearly 267 million pounds of pollock will come out of the Gulf, a four percent increase. …
Pacific cod catches will take a tumble in the Bering Sea next year, down just slightly to 260,000 tons, still over 500 million pounds. Cod in the Gulf took a sizeable hit to just over 133 million pounds, down nearly 8%. …
Catches for Alaska’s priciest fish – sablefish, or black cod, also will decline next year. In the Bering Sea, a take of just over 3,700 tons, or 8 million pounds, is down 13 percent. In the Gulf, the catch of 27.5 million pounds is a decrease of 3.5%. … All combined, Alaska’s catches of groundfish next year total nearly 2.5 million tons or about 5.4 billion pounds of fish, more than all of the US states combined. …
Switching to a quick salmon update: state managers have announced that there will be no fishing for Chinook salmon at the Stikine and Taku Rivers in Southeast Alaska next summer. The Chinook runs at both rivers are projected to be well below 30,000 fish.
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