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Trawlers get cut in halibut bycatch
Trawlers are ready to absorb 15 percent cut in halibut bycatch, but not until 2014, say a report.
After series of contentious hearings, federal fisheries managers voted to minimize the bycatch of halibut caught by trawlers and certain other commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Alaska by 15 percent. After much hue and cry the halibut bycatch has been restricted and the billion dollar trawling industry has for years lobbied hard against any bycatch limits.
At the meeting at Kodiak the members of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has approved the proposal by voting 10-1 at the close of the meeting. Theresa Peterson, fisherman and Kodiak Outreach Coordinator for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, said that the decision to reduce bycatch limit will help protect the dying population of halibut in the region.
She further said that this will boost the jobs of commercial and charter halibut fishermen in its coastal communities relying on halibut. In recent years, the halibut population has been shrinking -- as has the average size of the flatfish landed. But the trawling industry has killed a lot of halibut while pursuing Pollock. Trawlers use big nets that basically strip-mine the ocean and kill other fish. T
With this decision the limit to catch halibut by the trawlers has become tighter. The harvests of commercial halibut and sport fishermen have already been severely reduced over the past few years, in some cases by 50 percent.
WorldFishingToday d. 13-06-2012