Chinook origins & bycatch caps, black cod pots a go at GOA, new Bristol Bay buyer
April 14, 2015
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Chinook origins and bycatch caps… black cod pots … a new buyer at Bristol Bay – lots of fish in the news after this —
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Fishery managers clipped Chinook bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by 25% to 45,000 salmon when the returning salmon runs are determined to be low. If that number is reached, the pollock fishery would be shut down.
The lower abundance is defined as following any year when the Western Alaska Chinook run index size is less than 250,000 fish. The rate can return to the 60,000 salmon level when the index is higher. Since 2010 Chinook bycatch in the pollock fishery has fluctuated between 9,500 and 15,000 fish.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council also voted last weekend to require vessels to use salmon excluder devices at specific times, and to create incentives to reward those who best reduce bycatch.
A report by state Fish and Game genetics experts shows that , based on 2013 data, 50% of the Chinook taken as bycatch originated from Western Alaska river systems, followed by the North Alaska Peninsula and Upper Yukon.
The Council also approved the use of pot gear in the Gulf of Alaska sablefish, or black cod, fishery. Pots have been used successfully for more than a decade in the Bering Sea to prevent whales from robbing the fish from longline hooks, known as “getting whaled.”
Moving to Bristol Bay — Copper River Seafoods has purchased the Extreme Seafoods salmon plant in Naknek. Company CEO Scott Blake confirmed the deal to Undercurrent News last week.
The purchase reportedly stems from the company’s need for more sockeye for salmon jerky. Demand has outstripped supply since it debuted last month at the Boston Seafood Show.
Extreme Seafoods entered the fish business in 2013 saying it specialized in sockeye salmon products. Extreme currently lists no contact information on its website.
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