Thursday June 6, 2024

Anchorage Daily News

On fishing vessels harvesting seafood from federal waters off Alaska, key information about performance and rule compliance comes from employees who observe the catches or from electronic equipment that monitors the amount and types of marine life that are brought aboard.

Because of concerns about salmon bycatch and the fishery-related deaths of marine mammals, there have been calls to increase observer coverage in the federally managed fisheries off Alaska.

About half the 463 vessels engaged in those federally managed fisheries last year had either human observers or electronic monitoring systems on board, said an annual report presented to fishery managers meeting this week in Kodiak. About 44% of the vessel trips were covered by such observations, the report said. Those percentages were a bit higher than those recorded in 2022, when about 44% of vessels had human observers or electronic monitoring, and about 40% of trips were covered.

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