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?