Thursday, April 21, 2011

NOAA Halibut and Chinook Mortality Report Ending April 16th


NOAA Mortality Link  Multiply halibut numbers times 2200lbs!

As you can clearly see, the draggers are pounding the hell out of the halibut and king salmon in these screen shots of the extrapolated observed numbers, (heavily gamed as they are).  These represent, at best, hints of the destruction going on in the Gulf of Alaska.  My advice: SCREAM at the agency, the governor, your senators and representatives, and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and bring down the house.  Just saying...if you want a future.  Do it.  Your discouragement is an ally to the draggers.

Here is the NPFMC contact information.  Most important is to contact the Alaska delegation, voting members, and James Balsiger.  The outsiders don't care what you say, really!

Keep yer flippers wet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rumors: Draggers Hammer Halibut in Pursuit of Flats

It seems that even as the draggers are wailing, weeping, gnashing their teeth, and licking their wounds over their apparent loss at the NPFMC regarding their excessive bycatch of king salmon, they are hammering the halibut in pursuit of their near worthless flats (flatfish).  This is known in psychology as a murderous rage.

Reports are that halibut boats on particularly good fishing, are being followed by draggers working the same edge.  Intentional or accidental, the damage to the halibut stocks remains at an unacceptable level.(IPHC)  While Gulf of Alaska halibut fishermen see smaller and smaller halibut, and fewer of them as well, and their quotas shrink by double digits, the unconstrained drag fleet sweeps halibut into oblivion.  At least 70% of the drag fleet is unobserved, the observations are skewed by carefully selecting clean areas to drag while observed.  And since only 30% of the drag time is observed, only half of that really is observed since the observers are only allowed to work 12 hour days.  So 15% percent observation results in the data that is projected by extrapolation (a kind of mathematical hocus pocus) to be the bycatch.  This is a crime.

As one halibut fishermen was heard to say, "The end is near."  Some would argue that the drag fleet feels the sooner the halibut are gone, the sooner they can do as they will with the flatfish in the Gulf.  They tried it with king salmon. It happened to red king crab in the Gulf, why not the other highly valued species; once they are gone, why protect them and constrain the draggers?

Ex-vessel value of this unconscionable waste is $5,424,000 at $6 per pound. 
Three times that to the consumer market!  How much to the charter fleet?

How high is the true loss to productivity, to sustainability?

Keep yer flippers wet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Belize Gets Rid of Trawlers to Preserve Fisheries' Health

Belize, which has one of the most forward looking fisheries management systems in the Caribbean, has rid itself of the destructive practice of trawling.  Belizean fisheries cooperatives have much sway in the way Belize handles its fisheries.  We might some day do as well.

Read here.

Keep yer flippers wet.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NPFMC Constrains Trawler PSC of King Salmon!

The NPFMC set a PSC hard cap of 22,500 king salmon for the Gulf of Alaska pollock fleet today as their preferred alternative for analysis in a stunning move toward enlightened and responsible resource management. There is plenty of credit to pass around, to all the groups and individuals who pushed for this new day in the management of the Gulf of Alaska.  Final action is scheduled in June, so do not take off the gloves yet.

But to be fair, this could not have happened without members of the NPFMC finally recognizing their responsibility to the king salmon resource.  Alaska's Governor Sean Parnell made a promise to reduce bycatch, and his choice of Fish and Game Commissioner, Cora Campbell made the successful motion.  The arguments were heated, emotional, and dramatic.  In the end the NPFMC voted to do the right thing.  This is a huge victory for the State of Alaska toward the end of colonialism in its fishery resources; a huge victory for all the little people who have been marginalised for too long.

Read more here:
Keep yer flippers wet.