Wednesday January 4, 2023


The North Pacific Fishery Management Council declined to take immediate action to limit pollock trawling that some have blamed on causing declines in populations of chum and chinook salmon, red king crab, opilio crab, and other species that come up in the tows of pollock-fishing vessels.

At the NPFMC meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, during the second week in December, representatives from Indigenous tribes and the crab- and salmon-fishing sectors pushed the council to take immediate action to close down trawling in vast areas of the Bering Sea, but the council deferred any potential action until 2023.

Though pollock have been categorized as a mid-water pelagic species, trawlers targeting the species in the Bering Sea run their nets deep when their sonars indicate dense concentrations of fish near the ocean bottom. Some fisheries scientists have blamed pollock trawlers for drastic declines of red king and opilio crab stocks in the Bering Sea and declines in salmon runs outside of Bristol Bay; for more than a decade, the Yukon River has not seen appreciable runs of chinook and chum salmon, and the experience is repeating itself with the Kuskokwim River. Resulting closures of commercial and subsistence fishing opportunities have impacted communities stretching between Emmonak, at the mouth of the Yukon, to villages dotting its tributaries in the Yukon Territory, more than 2,000 river miles upriver from the Bering Sea.

Read more >

Link copied successfully