Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rumours are that recently, the Pacific Star, dragging rockfish, observer onboard, using bottom drag, nailed the halibut big time.  So much halibut in fact as to piss off the other dragger because it potentially closes off some quota access.  We'll see if this surfaces officially.  Another example of the Rockfish Pilot Program's great potential? 

With no observer aboard, the Golden Fleas has been spending a lot of time hammering away on the flats off Chiniak.  Halibut boats nearby are getting lots of small halibut too, so the unobserved Golden Fleas (special exemption) must be helping reduce the abundance of small halibut in the GOA.  Time to collar the secretive Golden Fleas.  Unobserved solitary draggers are scarier than whole fleets, since they are more capable of secrecy.

"(ii) Amendment 80 vessels in the GOA processors. Except for the F/V GOLDEN FLEECE (USCG Documentation Number 609951), all Amendment 80 vessels, except when directed fishing for scallops using dredge gear, in the GOA must have onboard at least one NMFS-certified observer for each day that the vessel is used to harvest, receive, or process groundfish in the GOA management areas or adjacent waters open by the State of Alaska for which it adopts a Federal fishing season."

Why? Who arranged that exception, and for how much cash?  Uncle Ted or Yon Dung?

State of Alaska's backbone on King salmon bycatch by GOA pollock draggers appears to be weakening.  Julie and her gang have been banging out their statistical bullshit to some affect, claiming 'stranded quota' of pollock trumps King salmon damage by GOA draggers.  This is a free admission that the drag fleet is incapable of controlling themselves or their bycatch.  Isn't that why we have laws?  'Stranded quota' should never be an argument for allowing wasteful behavior.

Warm fuzzies and wet smoochie kisses to all the fat spinning spiders for getting the food banks involved in covering the sins of the drag fleet.  This feel good program does perhaps pass on a fraction of the otherwise groundup high value bycatch to hungry people, but it diffuses the outrage at that waste, and so is an enemy of good management. 

Starting in August, more fish will be delivered from the Gulf of Alaska.
"A lot of the processors who work in the Bering Sea also work in the Gulf," said Jim Harmon, Sea Share director. "They came to us earlier this year and said, 'We want to provide more fish to hunger relief, and we want to include the "prohibited species catch" we get in the Gulf pollock fishery.'"

Thieves, who give their victims' bodies to beggars, are still thieves.

Keep yer flippers wet.


Anonymous said...

It is apparent with 100% observer coverage that there is unacceptable Halibut bycatch, as demonstrated by the Pac-star. With the previous 30% coverage (before RPP) they were able to successfully harvest the quota that has been allocated to them. This was done by carefully selecting areas to bring observers to. The rockfish program is a stepping stone towards GOA rationalization. The only way that it will be possible for the Sole and Cod fisheries to follow the same route as the RPP is if there are NO halibut left.
With the Halibut quotas being cut by 50% in recent years it is imminent that this sequence will take place. As the council takes notice of what is happening they continue to enable this destruction. On the agenda is a cut to the by-catch quota of either 5,10, or 15% with no mention of better observer coverage. Cutting the bycatch by 15% will do little to deter the real destruction that takes place as the real cost is not extrapolated through the observed tows (It's worse than even Wiglaf thinks). Murderous rage is close to point but it really boils down to tactful planning.
Seems as if even a witness or 10 witnesses is not enough to convince people of what really goes on. There is no way to stop what is occurring, similar to jumping in front of a train to stop it from derailing. It's been a novel effort Mr. Wiglaf, but the ship has sailed.

Wiglaf said...

FO, friend, fight until death! Any other way is the Way of the Wimp.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiglaf said...

Good. At least you don't have ant illusions of immortality. So speak not of quitting, unless you are a dragger.

Anonymous said...

So is it worthwhile to testify about Halibut bycatch if the best result is 15% reduction with no improvement to observing? Sounds like a way to stall and draw people out. Before you know it the real halibut stock numbers will be released and we'll find out it's already over.

Anonymous said...

The problem is a systemic one and we fishermen can't see it.

We think everything will be ok if we can just get OUR guy on the council.

Rulemakers go to jail in Congress for taking money from lobbyists, in the council system lobbyists make the rules and can take all the money they want from industry.

There is no more corrupt rule making body in US government.

Trawl species could be harvested without this destruction but the big money is behind the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Where is the info on the bycatch donation program?

Anonymous said...

Julie and her bullshit statistics enabling further chinook collapse?

Here's some real statistics and some real bullshit-
Boats in the central gulf are being rebuilt, allowing for larger nets, faster towing,cod-ends that sift bait, and fishing in worse weather. Boats are harvesting more volume alot faster. As the quota has greatly increased fishing days have decreased.
With the shortened season and increased fuel price comes less time to look for fish. Where a season was once open for weeks it is now open for hours/days.
Boats that would usually spend a few days looking for fish are now left to guesswork/scratch fishing in bait. This causes the large catches of eulachon and capelin that King Salmon forage on. The only reason boats can even fish on these shitpiles is new cod-end technology that sifts out undersized fish.