Updated bycatch numbers for Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska
Alaska Fish News is a ‘one stop shop’ to track catches of all kinds at its Alaska Fish Catches sidebar.
The outlook for the 2023 salmon season is posted there, which also provides an overview of the 2022 salmon fishery. When Alaska’s salmon season officially opens this month with the arrival of sockeyes and Chinook to the Copper River near Cordova, you can link to daily catch updates via ADF&G’s “Blue Sheet” for every Alaska region, along with seasonal trends.
The Pacific halibut catches are updated daily, along with the Alaska ports where halibut is being delivered.
The catches of Bering Sea Tanner and golden king crab also are posted.
You’ll also find links to State of Alaska fisheries and federal fishery information.
Now, a Bycatch Tracker has been added to the sidebar with numbers from trawl and hook and line gear in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.
Bycatch updates for 2023 through April 22
(Courtesy of David Bayes at STOP Alaskan Trawl Bycatch using NOAA data)
Chinook Salmon: 20,517 individual fish
Halibut: 2,160,530 pounds, with an average of approximately 5 pounds per fish
Opilio (snow crab): 58,778 individual crabs. Snow crab is closed to crabbers for the first time ever but the trawler bycatch allotment for 2023 is 3,623,201 crabs. Trawl bycatch is not included in the NPFMC’s 10-year rebuilding plan for snow crab.
Tanner Crab: 179,2003 individual crab. The 2023 pre-approved total trawl bycatch for bairdi Tanners is 2,604,904 individual crabs. The allowable catch for the crab fleet was just under 2 million pounds.
Red King Crab: 4,700 individual crabs so far. Total trawl bycatch allowed for 2023 is 26,445 red king crabs.
(Crab bycatch only includes whole crabs brought aboard; legs or sections of crabs are not counted towards bycatch totals.)
Herring: 1,298,522 pounds
A closer look at salmon trawl bycatch, 2020-2023
Allowable Chinook Salmon trawl bycatch limit, statewide, by year:
Allowable Chum Salmon trawl bycatch limit, statewide, by year:
Allowable Yukon River sport/commercial/subsistence COMBINED limit for both King and Chum Salmon, by year:
NPFMC action taken:
2020: propose to study the issue
2021: study the issue and propose to study more issues of the issue.
2022: study the issue and propose to study more issues of the issue. Restrict and censor written public comment after receiving record amounts of feedback on the issue.
2023: study the issue and propose to study more issues of the issue. Form special task force to study the issue and report back on issues with the issue.