Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:36 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tell NPFMC to reduce bycatch

On the week of June 4, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Kodiak to discuss halibut bycatch limits in the Gulf of Alaska. This issue is important to all Alaskans, as commercial, sport and subsistence halibut fishing play a vital role in our states economy. For the past 25 years, halibut bycatch limits for groundfish fishermen have remained untouched while halibut harvest limits have dropped by more than 63 percent.

Each year, trawlers and longline fisherman discard up to 2,300 metric tons more than 5 million pounds of halibut bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska. For a species that is undergoing rapid depletion, it is absolutely crucial that this bycatch limit be reduced. Currently, the annual halibut bycatch now exceeds the harvest limit of Southeast and Southcentral halibut sport fisheries combined; thus wasting this valuable resource.

Everyone needs to do their part to help conserve and rebuild our states halibut fisheries. Not holding all sectors to the same standards is ineffective and unfair. I encourage Southeast and Southcentral residents to write a letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council or attend the meeting in Kodiak and tell them to reduce halibut bycatch in the Gulf by 15 percent.

Dave Kubiak

F/V Mythos