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Halibut Bycatch Continues

While summer is known as the season for salmon, AMCC eagerly awaits the final rule for Abundance Based Management (ABM) of halibut to be made official. The natal grounds for many halibut in the North Pacific continue to be trawled while halibut fishermen struggle: an estimated 18 million halibut were caught in trawls over the last ten years alone.

The pie chart here shows the non-targeted catch of halibut in various fisheries by weight, which is the most common way bycatch data is shown. What's even more revealing is the fish represented: halibut caught in the trawl sectors averaged just 5.5 pounds in recent years - juvenile fish - with science showing the majority of juvenile fish from the Bering Sea are destined to migrate out of those waters and as far south as Oregon. The conservation benefits of reducing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea are undeniable, and we are eager to see Halibut ABM finally implemented.

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