April 7, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Seiners fishing for pollock? Sign up now. More after this —
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Seiners can sign up through April 11 to test run a first ever pollock fishery in state waters.
The seine opportunity will be now through June 8 and during that time the harvest will be limited to 500,000 pounds. 2
Trent Hartill is a groundfish manager at Kodiak Fish and Game. Currently the only pollock fishery in state waters is at Prince William Sound for trawl gear. In January the Board of Fisheries gave the ok for directed pollock fishing for both seine and jig gear. Both operate under what’s called a special commissioner’s permit.
The purpose of the commissioner’s permit for seine gear is to test the efficacy of seine gear catching pollock. If it’s successful that will provide information for the Board of Fisheries to determine whether they want to pursue a full blown fishery or try another test fishery or next year move forward in whatever direction they desire.
Hartill says one boat has registered so far, but lots of interested seiners have been coming through his office.
This is the time when they will have to come forward and actually get some gear wet. We may have quite a few that come forward and we may have no vessels. I just don’t know.
Jig vessels can now also target pollock while they’re fishing for cod. So far 25 jig vessels are participating and 18 have made deliveries. Jiggers also have a pollock quota of half a million pounds, so far just 3,000 pounds has crossed the docks. Hartill says the pollock fisheries provide an interesting new opportunity –
This is definitely for jig vessels and certainly more opportunity for seine vessels because up until now there was not opportunity for seine vessels. I don’ know how it will turn out. But there is lots of interest in giving it a try.
Pollock pays out at about 14 cents a pound. Learn more this month at ComFish www.comfishalaska.com
Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.