By doing a sort of data provided on-line by NMFS http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/2010/pscinfo.htm we can see who the dirtiest draggers are in the GOA, our area of concern. While the majority of the NPFMC refused to recognize the gaming of bycatch figures of tanner crab bycatch, and refused to close down areas of concern for tanner crab protection, the figures provided by NMFS leave us with a very dirty picture of trawling in the GOA.
Crab: Week ending 27 March 2010, FV Golden Fleece, bottom dragging cod, caught 352 tanner crab per metric ton of bottom fish in four observed tows. Were these supposedly clean 'observer tows?' What happened once the observer left?
Halibut: Week ending 11 Sept 2010, FV Dusk, bottom dragging cod, caught 2526 pounds of halibut for every 2000 pounds of groundfish in two observed tows, so about 57% catch was PSC (prohibited species catch). This is just like the video we posted here last year http://www.tholepin.blogspot.com/2009/10/filthy-video-of-halibut-waste.html
Were these supposedly clean 'observer tows?' What happened once the observer left?
Chinook: Week ending 9 October 2010, FV Michelle Rene, pelagic trawling mid water pollock, caught 2606 Chinook in one observed tow. Only one tow observed. "Get that observer off, man, this is going to look bad!" But Michelle Rene had gotten 636 Chinook in one observed tow the week before. So much for avoiding hot spots. FV Pacific Star was there too, with 601 Chinook in two observed tows.
Week ending 9 October 2010, FV Sea Mac, pelagic bottom trawling pollock caught 864 Chinook in two observed tows, while the FV Half Moon Bay caught 674 in four observed tows. Again they were pelagic bottom trawling pollock. And you thought pelagic trawls couldn't bottom trawl? Well the FV Sea Storm apparently didn't know about that (or didn't care) and while pelagic bottom trawling hammered another 1002 Chinook in those same first two weeks of October.
Remember these are the observed tows, what happens when the observer leaves is the real story...but for the NPFMC, if it isn't observed it doesn't exist.
Total count so far this year in observed Chinook waste is nearly 57 thousand fish!
No telling what the real numbers are, but you can be sure this is a fragment of the real number and accounts in large part for diminishing Chinook salmon runs in the Cook Inlet, Kodiak Island, and Alaska Peninsula regions. Other drainages in western Alaska? Probably.
Get engaged, get active, save us from the destruction that dragging brings.
Keep yer flippers wet.