Wednesday August 31, 2022

Public Radio for the Central Kenai Peninsula

Salmon stocks from up and down the Pacific coast congregate in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea to feed.

That’s also where trawlers go to harvest millions of pounds of pollock and other groundfish. And those trawlers often accidentally scoop up salmon and other fish in their nets, too — a problem known as bycatch.

Scientists with NOAA Fisheries, which oversees federal fisheries in those waters, want to understand where the bycatch is coming from — and where those fish would return to — so that they can understand the impacts of bycatch on specific stocks. That’s especially true for stocks in western Alaska, an area of the state that is seeing dismal salmon returns.

“100 percent, that’s our focus for chum, given its overweighted importance to subsistence fisheries,” said Wes Larson, a fisheries geneticist with NOAA Fisheries.

Read more >

Link copied successfully