Fish Radio
Halibut catches for 2015; fishing updates
February 3, 2015                           

Fishing areas of Alaska  Credit: ASMI

Fishing areas of Alaska
Credit: ASMI

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – It’s an uptick for halibut! That and more fishing updates after this-

 The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is going Beyond the Plate next month and showcasing new products made from fish parts. See the head to tail line up at www.afdf.org

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

 After a decade of decline, the Pacific halibut catch was increased by more than 6 percent this year to a coast wide total of 29.2 million pounds. The International Pacific Halibut Commission announced the good news last Friday. Alaska gets the lion’s share at 21.2 million– a boost of a million and a half pounds.

Only the Western Gulf will see a decrease in its catch limit, with increases or status quo in all other Alaska regions. Small boat fishermen at the Pribilofs held on to their nearly 600,000 pound halibut catch after fears it would be slashed to account for bycatch allowances for Bering Sea groundfish fleets.

That 5 to 6 million pound halibut bycatch level will likely remain the same, at least for this year. Halibut commissioners this week are expected to urge the North Pacific Council to reduce the region’s bycatch cap by at least 50% by 2016.

The halibut fishery this year runs from March 14 through November 7.

In other fisheries; Trawlers took to the water on January 20th for pollock, cod and other groundfish in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Bering Sea crabbers are nearing 40% of their 61 million pound snow crab quota. For Tanners, about 6 million pounds remain in that 15 million pound catch.

 Southeast Alaska’s Tanner crab and golden king crab season both open on February 13. The Tanner fishery will be assessed after five days to see how many pots are on the grounds. The Tanner stocks are looking good and last year’s take of more than 1.25 million pounds was the best in 13 years.   The limit for golden king crab is 336,000 pounds.

 Also at Southeast: the demersal shelf rockfish season opens on Feb. 6. It includes seven different rockfish species with a catch of nearly 72,000 pound. And divers are still going down for giant geoduck clams.

 Black rockfish is another catch around Kodiak while jig and pot boats await a the state cod fishery to open in a few weeks. A pot cod opens February 9 at Dutch Harbor to boats under 58 feet.

 Find catch updates for all Alaska fisheries and more at www.alaskafishradio.com

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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