NMFS continues to disguise the damaging bycatch of Prohibited Species Catch through their statistics. By protecting the catch numbers we are left to guess at the totals taken by individual vessels. But some extreme examples stand out: Vessel Specific Bycatch:
While dockside rumors say the Pacific Star has been shut out of further rockfish dragging (this quarter? this season?) due to excessive bycatch of halibut, it appears that they are not the worst offenders. And it further appears that the US Intrepid is aptly named; appears anyway, unless their observer was compromised. Without video observer confirmation, how would we know? Appears too, because observer coverage in general is spotty and inconsistent, heavy gaming of coverage is the rule and halibut PSC is a percentage of the total catch, we are not allowed to see.
Halibut PSC needs to be in numbers of fish, so we can be informed of the real destruction going on. NUMBERS OF FISH! Yes, including the little ping pong paddles that the draggers choose to ignore as unimportant. Im told that these are converted to what would be the 'recoverable weight,' so it heavily skews and belittles the loss to the halibut resource.
Since when is killing off nurseries an acceptable practice? (Which NMFS allowed for king crab in 'cod alley). If we could see the true numbers of halibut being killed, not some craftily abstracted numbers, the decline in halibut abundance in the GOA and elsewhere would no longer be a "mystery."
How many halibut is seven tons of ping pong paddle halibut, the future? 15,400 one pounders? But the recoverable weight of a one pound live halibut can only be at best maybe 9 ounces, so go figure---27,400 individual ping pong halibut. See how it adds up? What the hell does 2000 mt of small hallibut amount to in actual numbers?
"I have seen the future, brother, it is murder." L. Cohen
Keep yer flippers wet.