Chinook bycatch getting a hard look

by Shane Iverson on December 21, 2010

A spike in chinook king salmon caught by the pollock trawl fleet has mandated consultation with federal regulators in the Lower 48. The fishing industry is resisting some of the proposals. From KMXT in Kodiak, Jacob Resneck reports.

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Consultations were triggered when 40,000 chinook are caught as bycatch. Estimates of more than50,000 kings were taken in the gulf this year with the pollock fishery responsible for the lion’s share of bycatch.
Diana Evans is a staff analyst for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. One of the options being considered by the council would to establish a hard cap of between 15,000 to 30,000 chinook.

That idea is being resisted by the pollock industry. Julie Bonney of the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank, an industry group that represents the larger boats in the pollock fleet says a hard cap would be difficult to implement.

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