New Step Taken Toward Reducing Salmon Bycatch in Gulf of Alaska

Staff of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council have been directed by
council action to prepare a discussion paper on the current Gulf of Alaska
trawl bycatch management program. The objective is to improve incentives for
prohibited species catch reduction and prohibited species catch management.

The council heard extensive testimony related to industry efforts to reduce
bycatch and also from the Kodiak Island Borough, the city of Kodiak, the Alaska
Marine Conservation Council and the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities

City and borough officials noted that they had reviewed the eight public
proposals for comprehensive management of bycatch in the Gulf groundfish trawl
fisheries published on the NPFMC website. The five proposals dealing
specifically with the inshore trawl fisheries in the Central Gulf surrounding
Kodiak provide a good, broad mix of goals, objectives, elements, options, and
concepts with which to begin the design of an effective bycatch management
program, borough and city officials said.

Officials with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Gulf of Alaska
Coastal Communities Coalition meanwhile presented a proposal with a concept in
which fishing communities are at the center of the catch share program and 100
percent of the catcher vessel quota is allocated to a community fishing
association. “Allocating 100 percent of the quota to a community fishing
association composed of fishermen, processors, city governments, and community
members is the critical starting point for this proposal,” they said.