Alaskafish.news adds Bycatch Tracker links

Alaska Fish News is a 'one stop shop' to track AK fish catches. Now bycatch tallies have been added to the mix.

by | May 2, 2023

Filed Under Bycatch | Catch Updates

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:

2020: 77,500
2021: 77,500
2022: 77,500
2023: 77,500

Allowable Chum Salmon trawl bycatch limit, statewide, by year:

2020: Unlimited
2021: Unlimited
2022: Unlimited
2023: Unlimited

Allowable Yukon River sport/commercial/subsistence COMBINED limit for both King and Chum Salmon, by year:

2020: 0
2021: 0
2022: 0
2023: 0

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.

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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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