"In 2004, there was a substantial halibut PSC (prohibited species catch) overage for trawl gear. Despite an aggregate annual PSC limit for shallow and deep water fisheries of 2000 mt of halibut, 2824 mt (6,212,800 pounds) of halibut PSC was taken (read wasted) with trawl gear. Most (1947 mt) of this amount was taken in the shallow water target fisheries." (see Filthy Video of Halibut Waste below)
Read the NMFS report at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues/pcod/GOAPcodsplit1209.pdf
Based upon this information, the trawl fleet in the central Gulf of Alaska, based primarily in Kodiak, destroyed and wasted $18,638,400 dollars worth of halibut (at $3 a pound) in order to harvest $9,021,540 worth of cod (at $.30 a pound). This halibut could have been harvested by longliners and other user groups and utilized...not wantonly wasted. The 5,500 mt of cod ($3,630,000) which the trawlers took in spite of having exceeded their halibut PSC by 824 mt ($5,438,400), would have been part of the cod quota available for harvest by longliners, pot boats, and jig boats. Therefore it was effectively stolen from the other segments of the fleet. Shallow water fisheries are for flounders, collectively called 'flats,' and these are are of marginal economic value but are targeted by the trawlers for the allowable 'incidental' catch of cod and, in deep water, sablefish. Although called 'incidental' by draggers and their apologists, this allowable catch is targeted by draggers fishing low value species to pad out their wallets. Trawler PSC bycatch of halibut and crab in shallow water trawling for flats is a horrific waste of these highly valuable species, to say the least. The current system of management by the NPFMC is broken, disfunctional, and corrupt, (part of the proud Ted Stevens legacy). This is only one small example!
If this weren't bad enough, the trawlers are claiming a permanent right to the spoils of this misuse of the resources by claiming they should be credited directed cod catch and incidental catch in the 'sector split' that the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is about to take final action on at its December meeting in Anchorage. The NPFMC has agreed to give way to the trawlers, as they almost always do.
So, while trawling on the flats, wasting halibut and crab, in order to keep and sell cod 'incidental' catch may seem to have only short term benefits to the draggers, being GIFTED that 'incidental' catch in perpetuity through the sector split dodge (read ITQ), has clear long term benefit for these owners, their assigns, and heirs.
Express your outrage to the Council through letters, emails, phone calls, or best yet, show up and testify at the meeting in Anchorage. All members of the NPFMC are listed on their website at: www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/default.htm.
The trawler industry is counting on your non-participation in order to have their way with your resources. So far they are getting all they want. You only have everything to lose.
Keep yer flippers wet.