Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do Not Certify Pollock as Green!

The blue tangles of threads on this tanner crab is chafing gear from a trawl net proving they are contacting the bottom and fragile crab, as well as everyting else! These were common during tanner crab season 2009 in Kodiak.

The Marine Stewardship Council ( is about to re-certify the pollock trawl fishery as green and sustainable. Of course it is neither green or sustainable. It has a dark history going back at least as far as the joint venture days when hundreds (some say thousands)of my fellow sea lions were killed in the Shelikof Strait. More recently huge numbers of salmon, especially chum and chinook are taken by trawlers here in the Gulf of Alaska and in the Bering Sea, where resultant shortages of fish have closed the Red and the Karluk Rivers to fishing on Kodiak Island, and have starved the residents of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers who depend on these fish for food and income. These systems have been declared a disaster for lack of fish, bycaught by the Bering Sea trawlers.

Here in the Gulf of Alaska, it is well known that the 'midwater' trawls frequently contact the bottom (they call it 'kissing') crushing crab and other species while the trawlermen chase the pollock close to the bottom. Furthermore, juvenile pollock excluder gear allows for larger average fish size while excluding these juveniles. As a result of going through the excluder mesh, these smaller pollock are damaged and most do not survive thus distorting the catch stats. Since there is no accounting, these excluded/killed fish are not counted against the total allowable catch quota. Like the king and tanner crab that are crushed, if you don't see 'em you can't count 'em.

There is no way the pollock fishery is green or sustainable. You can make an objection to the Marine Stewardship Council, but only if you are a registered participant and are willing to pay up to $30k. Now that's some green!

Keep yer flippers wet.


Anonymous said...

The joke amongst observers is "pelagic rocks"


Sounds like they will be pushing to reinstall rockhopper rollergear soon, instead of STAYING OFF THE BOTTOM, as REQUIRED BY LAW!! The ONLY WAY to MAKE THEM OBEY the LAW is to shorten their Towlines, or 100% Observer coverage ON DECK, and COUNTING fathoms of wire released, and comparing it to known depth. They want rollergear to protect their net investment. They argue that it CRUSHES CRAB DOWNward instead of UP into the DEATH BAG. STAY OFF THE BOTTOM!! NO MORE "Bottom Kissing" you dirty drag kings!! (No offense, other PEOPLE).