Monday March 27, 2023


Representatives from Alaska’s tribal subsistence sector are pushing forward with recommendations for a so-called “hard cap” on Alaska salmon bycatch for Alaska pollock trawlers as the state deals with the fallout from a precipitous drop in chum salmon stocks in western Alaska.

Bycatch is the non-targeted fish caught while commercial fishermen are harvesting a different species. A “hard cap” would force the Alaska pollock fishery to close if it reaches a specified number of bycaught chum.

At a meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), which determines fisheries regulations in federal waters off Alaska, five tribal members on the salmon bycatch committee pushed forward a recommendation that the Alaska pollock fishery be shuttered if the chum salmon bycatch reached a level in the range of 22,000-54,000 fish, citing historical fishery data from 1991 to 2022.

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