AK Bycatch Advisory Council meets Tuesday/April 16

Bycatch Advisory Council will attempt to prioritize recommendations; a report on bycatch utilization is on the agenda.

by | April 15, 2024

Filed Under ADF&G | Bycatch | Management | Meetings | NPFMC

Bycatch updates, agenda includes’ bycatch utilizationreport

The Bycatch Advisory Council will hold a tomorrow/Tuesday starting at 9 AM/AK and public comments are welcomed.

Meeting Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87402041131

Dial in by phone: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 874 0204 1131

On the agenda:

The agenda includes:

Introduction of two new Council members; Eva Dawn Burk and Erik Velsko

a) NPFMC bycatch update – Deputy ADF&G Commissioner Rachel Baker
b) Review of townhall meetings in 2023 and plans for 2024
c) Updated progress report on the AK Bycatch Review Task Force recommendations
d) An Alaska Bycatch Utilization Subcommittee Report (PDF 165 kB)

Public comment summaries on bycatch utilization from four meetings include:

*There is a need to minimize bycatch before moving forward with a utilization program.
*It is important not to incentivize bycatch.
*Utilization of bycatch could hinder efforts to reduce bycatch and could create more problems.
*Bycatch utilization can work if infrastructure is set up and there is individual accountability with adequate monitoring.
*Processor capacity limitations pose a challenge with a lot of the non-target product that cannot be processed going to the fishmeal plants.
*All fisheries have bycatch and there may be different answers for different species.
*Significant problems with fish too small to be processed pose a challenge.
*If bycatch is allowed to be retained and sold, proceeds should go to research, observer coverage or other fishery benefit. *Concerns expressed about impact to markets, with small fish and potential quality issues.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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