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King Salmon by-catch should cost the abuser big

Posted: July 31, 2012 - 8:40am

Many Alaskans are wondering what can or should be done to resolve the decline in king salmon within the Cook Inlet area. If you ask the Alaska Department of Fish and Game they will point to a snowstorm of data and graphs, which in the end leaves the viewer even more confused about our commercial by-catch problems. I have been reviewing our king loss data since 2002 and have come to a single conclusion. That conclusion is that many things may need to change within our commercial fisheries but key within those changes is that statewide we must stop all commercial fisheries from profiting “in any way” when they killing non-targeted species as by-catch. This means that commercial fisheries should be legally required to retain and process all by-catch and then donate it to a charity. This means that if you “by-catch kill” a beluga whale calf; you are forced to retain, process and donate it. If you by-catch kill a king salmon: you must retain, process and donate it.  

By charity I mean some kind of food bank. This would prevent commercial fisheries from donating it to their favorite “commercial fisheries non-profit”. This change alone, over time would eventually resolve most of Alaska’s current by-catch problems. With this change commercial fisheries would eventually be forced to at least begin thinking about avoiding non-targeted “by-catch” species. 

The king salmon by-catch issue is 100 percent about money; if you can make by-catch non-profitable, commercial fisheries will eventually find a way to prevent the financial drain. If we leave things the way they are we will be permanently losing many marine species and fisheries in the very near future.  

As long as commercial fisheries are allowed to profit in any way from allowing by-catch, the by-catch issue will never go away and therefore all our Alaskan natural resources and fisheries will go on suffering forever. 

The Alaskan general public must organize on this commercial fisheries by-catch issue and tightly focus on this single goal. That goal must be to remove all the profit from all commercial fisheries by-catch. The new reality in our fisheries future must be that commercial by-catch is going to cost you big. It really does not matter if it is a large fine or the charity donation, the Alaskan [filtered word] needs to organize and do whatever it takes to begin the process of eventually holding commercial fisheries accountable for the marine destruction it is causing within our ocean. The wholesale slaughter of non-targeted species is no longer just acceptable losses. This mean that the Alaskan public must rise up and compel the Alaska Board of Fish and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. To take action and make substantial changes in the way all by-catch is processed by all of our commercial fisheries. 

This is a very reasonable goal for the Alaskan public to pursue in resolving this very unreasonable waste of our common Alaskan natural resource heritage.

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jcarr
7
Points
jcarr 07/31/12 - 02:49 pm
5
1
You have some very bizarre

You have some very bizarre ideas. Perhaps if you had guided for longer than ten years, you would realize that king salmon are not a commercial fisheries by-catch. When fish and game where allocating king salmon, a third of the return was deemed spawners, a third of the return was designated for in-river use, and a third of the return was designated for the commercial fisheries. Unfortunately, the guide businesses have drastically increased on the peninsula over the past fifteen years. Now the guides want more than their originally designated share of fish-they want them all.

northernlights
216
Points
northernlights 07/31/12 - 09:23 pm
2
1
Don Johnson

He is a guide, and he will do what ever it takes to take the focus off of guides in the river and put it on commercial. He fools you with all his in depth thinking and scientific research, BS. Get the guides out of the Kenai River, they rake the fishing holes over and over until they are completely fished out. They know it and will use what tactics they can to allow them to continue fishing the rivers. They have done nothing but plug up and jam every fishable river here on the Peninsula and he is one of them, him and his crew! Money money money!!!!!!!! He has no love or respect for the health of the kenai river, he wants his paycheck and has been hurt because the river was shut down. now he's on a big kick to demolish the commercial fleet. I won't be satisfied until the guides are gone for good.

julie
135
Points
julie 08/01/12 - 07:06 am
1
0
End Salmon Bycatch Petition

NONE of the bycatch should be happening! It should only be donated after being processed to charity (Native villages?) at the cost of the commercial fishermen UNTIL such time that ALL BYCATCH is eliminated. Say in a 5 year plan!?! The problem isn't to donate it but GET RID OF BYCATCH so the run can come up the rivers! The trawlers are making too much money off of throwing fish away! Sign our petition to try and stop the trawlers that kill thousands of chinook! http://signon.org/sign/end-salmon-halibut-bycatch
Please sign it, forward it to your facebook page & ALL your email contacts. For more info go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Trawling-Bycatch-of-Salmon-Halibut-Petition/407719715940319

Leman
10
Points
Leman 08/01/12 - 04:29 pm
2
0
"By-catch"

I've seen this term commonly misused in this forum. The upper Cook Inlet East side commercial fisherman sell Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, Chum and Pink salmon to the canneries and buying stations...which means none of the five species of salmon (including Kings) are by-catch. Where does this sense of entitlement come from, that Kings exclusively belong to sport fishermen? The 2002-2012 review of the Kenai River King escapement is available on the ADF&G website, (http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.kenaiChinook) and it has the "Chinook Sport Harvest Below Soldotna Estimated by Creel Survey" count at 103,044 vs. the "Commercial Set Net Harvest" count at 92,667. So in an 11 year period, the sport fishermen have out-fished the set netters by 10,000 fish, yet Miami Vice over here is using the set netters as a scapegoat for the poor run of "his" Kings.

smithtb
240
Points
smithtb 08/01/12 - 08:18 pm
2
1
Limits

Roger that Leman.

Deep water bycatch is an issue. There is currently a limit on bycatch, but it may well be too high.

Inlet gillnetters are allowed to harvest kings, and have always traditionally done so. It is not bycatch, we harvest a mixed stock fishery. Nevertheless, our king harvest rates have gone down significantly over the years. The number of nets in this fishery has been limited for many years.

There are two fisheries in this equation with no limits. The in river Personal Use and Sport/Guided fisheries. Only after we have established some sort of enforcable limits on these fisheries can we meaningfully talk about conservation. We cannot allow unrestricted growth in users and in harvest of a limited resource.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/03/12 - 05:19 pm
1
1
set netters as scapegoat?

Leman, the above article never even uses the word set netters, so how can anyone claim the article attempts to use the set netters as scapegoat for the poor run of "his" Kings?
This must be set netter guilty conscious or something? The article is addressing the marine life which is non-targeted but killed anyway by commercial fisheries; that non-targeted killing is then termed by-catch and should be donated to a non-profit charity to reduce the benefit behind by-catch. This is the same reason we do not allow people who run over a moose to sell the dead animal to a restaurant. We are attempting to remove the reasons for people running them over. The same needs to happen with commercial fishermen running over king salmon and taking them home and selling them.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/03/12 - 03:07 pm
1
0
.

.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/03/12 - 03:05 pm
1
0
.

.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/04/12 - 12:13 am
1
0
northernlights trying to wish his neighbors away

northernlights, what a brilliant conclusion, "I won't be satisfied until the guides are gone for good". So I guess the next person is suppose to just say the same. "I won't be happy until everyone but me is GONE?" How on earth can you ever expect to resolve anything trying to wish your neighbors away? Are your neighbors then suppose to try wishing you away? HELLO, earth to commercial fishermen; people wishing each other away will result in everyone wishing our fisheries away. How can you not see this? If you want to make it a contest between guides and commercial fishermen fine but guides are part of a our common use fishery, therefore guides have a guaranteed constitutional right to harvest surplus state fishery resources, where commercial fisheries in Alaska do not. Limited Entry gave commercial fishermen exclusive access to surplus state fisheries in exchange for commercial fisheries being permanently removed from constitutional common use access. This is why the state can give limited entry permit holders "everything or nothing" when it comes to surplus fish stocks. Also the state can legally remove a limited entry permit with zero compensation to the permit holder. So northernlights you may hate those common user guides and anglers which get in your way as they attempt to access Alaska's salmon resources but they are the ones with a "permanent constitutional permit" which will allow them to be around long after the last limited entry permit is removed. So you can wish your neighbors away all you want northernlights but they "as common users" will be around long after you are history.

julie
135
Points
julie 08/03/12 - 02:58 pm
1
0
End Salmon BycatchPetition

I'm talking about trawler bycatch. I have no issue with any other group fishing. Sign the petition and get fish back in the rivers and most likely everyone in the state that lives here can fish! Sign & forward this petition to everyone you know. If we get the big commercial trawlers from SEATTLE out during the run of salmon perhaps there will be LOTS OF FISH? http://signon.org/sign/end-salmon-halibut-bycatch

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/04/12 - 12:19 am
0
0
by-catch of kings is too high,

smithtb, I agree that our current allowable statewide by-catch of kings is too high, but our Inlet gill netters are not allowed to target kings for a specific reason. That reason is because kings have been specifically designated by our Alaska Board of Fish as being targeted and managed for recreational fisheries. Sockeyes have been specifically designated by our Alaska Board of Fish as being targeted and managed for commercial fisheries. You are incorrect regarding the term by-catch. By-catch relates to the state managing or "targeting" a specific stock. Cook Inlet sockeye salmon are specifically managed "primary" for harvest by commercial fisheries. Recreational anglers may fish for and deliberately catch sockeyes but the by-catch term is a management term and does not apply to this personal consumption. Gulf of Alaska trawlers target pollock or (fishstick fisheries) and king salmon are managed as by-catch, non-targeted stocks. Cook Inlet sockeye salmon are targeted by commercial fisheries management and king salmon are non-targeted therefore they are by-catch. There are no "traditional by-catch factors" on either the Gulf of Alaska or Cook Inlet kings and the term is "by-catch" for either location. Yes, Cook Inlet, commercial set gilletters reported king salmon harvest rates have significantly reduced over the years, right along with the increase in total poundage of kings being non-reported and directly shipped air-freighted to New York. Do you really believe we have any enforcement out there checking the origin and destination on every king salmon flying out of Alaska? Let me be the first to announce it; our commercial gill nets of Cook Inlet are catching as many kings today as yesterday but they are not all being reported to the canneries.

Leman
10
Points
Leman 08/03/12 - 04:18 pm
0
0
And the Creel Survey is

And the Creel Survey is accurate?

In reference to your comment directed at me, forgive me, I had a comment of yours from an earlier post confused with this one. The quote from the earlier post:
"Those 5 kings you strangled to death in your set nets are 5 kings which you had no right to accidentally intercept, the commercial gill net fleet has been allocated the majority of our sockeye salmon but the state has allocated those kings to anglers, not set gill nets."

So yes, I would say you are using set netters as a scapegoat for the poor King run, obviously.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/03/12 - 05:41 pm
0
0
jcarr, I have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

jcarr, I have no idea what you are talking about, do you? You claimed that "king salmon are not a commercial fisheries by-catch" King salmon have been specifically designated by our Alaska Board of Fish as being targeted and managed for recreational fisheries. Sockeyes have been specifically designated by our Alaska Board of Fish as being targeted and managed for commercial fisheries. The term by-catch relates to fisheries managers targeting specific stocks and accidently killing something else; the something else is termed by-catch. By-catch relates to the state managing or "targeting" a specific stock. Cook Inlet sockeye salmon are specifically managed primarily for harvest by commercial fisheries. Recreational anglers may fish for and deliberately catch sockeyes but the by-catch terms is a management term and does not apply because the term "by-catch" regards management of a fishery. Gulf of Alaska trawlers target pollock or (fishstick fisheries) and king salmon are managed as by-catch "non-targeted stocks". Cook Inlet sockeye salmon are targeted by commercial fisheries management and king salmon are non-targeted therefore they are by-catch. There are no "traditional by-catch factors" on either the Gulf of Alaska or Cook Inlet kings and the term by-catch works for either fisheries management location.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/03/12 - 06:22 pm
1
0
Leman, as far as "set netters being the scapegoat.

Leman, as far as "set netters being the scapegoat for poor king runs"; this may be the truth but not for the reason you think. Cook Inlet set netters may be responsible for around 12% of our total Kenai River king salmon losses but they are not the domain by-catch factor.
We are seeing by-catch fisheries data pointing to hundreds of thousands of kings being slaughtered and dumped annually south of Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet set nets may be involved within Kenai River king losses but they are not the major player in the over-all issue. Numbers appear to be near 70% Gulf of Alaska trawlers king by-catch, 15% Kodiak commercial gill net king by-catch, 3% Cook Inlet commercial drift gill net king by-catch, 12% Cook Inlet commercial set gill net king by-catch. The major king by-catch player is the trawlers but Kodiak and Cook Inlet are just making a bad situation even worst. Cook Inlet set netters and Kenai River anglers are both being force to pay for massive Gulf of Alaska king salmon by-catch by the trawlers. They shred them down south and we pay for the shredding when they don't return home. This is a real life rip-off, everyone involved in the by-catch of kings should be paying for it rather than forcing the blunt of the cost onto a few users nearest the location the kings do not show up. So right now both Cook Inlet set netters and recreational anglers on the Kenai River are "scapegoat" for the trawler industry; they made the bucks down south and we are left to pay the bill for them shredding the ocean. Great!
I expect to see Cook Inlet set netters and Kenai River anglers together on this issue as they both attempt to tell the Alaska Board of Fish and the North Pacific Fisheries anagement Council about this giant RIP-OFF!

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 08/04/12 - 12:04 am
1
1
traditionally harvested kings?

smithtb, you claim that "Inlet gill-netters have always traditionally harvested kings and that the number of nets has been limited for many years". Why try to tell half-truth to the readers? What if Cook Inlet had a thousand commercial gill-nets scattered all over it back thirty years ago and you suddenly grabbed those nets and jammed them all out in front of the mouth of the Kenai River? Is that something we should be concerned about? Certainly not something you would want to post on this forum right? Instead you spread around that "the number of nets has been limited for many years", sounds pretty good on the surface don't it? Just don't asks where those nets used to be and where they are now because then the smoke and mirror goes away and the truth comes out. The truth is that many commercial gill-netters saw all the fish returning to the Kenai River and moved their permits and effort to off the Kenai River mouth. Set-net sites which may have been half use or not fished at all suddenly were fully active. So a commercial gill-netter will pose to the reader that the gill-net effort in Cook Inlet is constant, while the actual effort off the Kenai River has sky-rocketed.
This is how a reader is pulled into believing "anything" commercial gill-netters wants them to believe.
With regard to the alleged "traditional" commercial gill-net harvest of kings; yes even the old fish traps "traditionally" harvested kings and we all know where they are today...
The moral of the story is that you can cling to half-truth and tradition all you want but it did not save the old fish traps and won't save those today who are abusing our oceans.

smithtb
240
Points
smithtb 08/04/12 - 03:29 pm
1
0
Misinformed

Kenai 123, it is laughable that you choose to try and discredit the commercial catch numbers. Commercial catch data is some of the most immediate, accurate, historic, and useful catch data that fish and game has. The voluntary weekly cards you turn in, the extrapolated numbers earned from kreel surveys, and the post season estimates and assesments of didson data and personal use catches pail in comparasion to the data our industry has provided.

It is difficult and very risky to run an underground "black market" for any commercial caught salmon. Both the buyers and sellers risk losing their whole business, significant fines, and even jail time. The legal fresh market price for king salmon is over $5.00 a pound. The amount of commercially caught fish that goes unreported due to subsistence consumption or barter with friends is neglegeble compared to the amount of fish legally shipped out of our state freely as a result of lack of limits on the commercial sport or personal use fishery. Many of your fellow businessmen have DEC approved processing facilities right in your lodges. A trip to FEDEX or UPS is a sickening reminder at how freely we give this valuable resource away. Truckloads.

While commercial permits may have moved around, not nearly as recently or as much as youd like everyone to think, at least limits have been established as a good and necessary thing for our fishery and our resource, and we've made signifcant efforts to deal with this problem. Our nets have to be 600 feet apart. How far apart do your boats have to be? We have to register for what area we want to fish. Do you? I bet you offer guided trips all over the Peninsula for whatever species your client wants. Limits. Accountability. Sustainability. That's something you obviously cant fathom.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 08/08/12 - 10:36 am
0
0
"Commercial" Fishing

Guides are not recreational fishermen. They take money for what they do and therefore are commercial fishermen just like the gillnetters, setnetters, seiners, and yes, trawlers. The guide fishery must be termed commercial and therefore must follow the same rules as other commercial fisheries. Watch the rhetoric then!

julie
135
Points
julie 08/10/12 - 07:38 am
0
0
End Salmon Bycatch Petition

Get rid of the trawlers! We are going to NWFMC meeting in October in Anchorage. Ban with us by signing our petition we will be presenting and come with us to show we mean business and want our salmon back. We don't want them processed and given to a food bank, we want them to change fishing practices to stop all bycatch. Let the fish come to the river or there will be no donating or anything! Please share the petition with everyone you know! http://signon.org/sign/end-salmon-halibut-bycatch

soldotna
50
Points
soldotna 08/10/12 - 09:53 am
1
0
By-catch ?????

I have no doubt that by-catch does hurt the salmon runs but my question is why are there other rivers in Alaska that are having their best KING salmon runs in years and they do not seem to be affected by by-catch?

I am only asking this because right now everyone is pointing their fingers at by-catch but what if you are not 100% correct. Then you are just pushing the problem 4 to 5 years or at least one cycle of kings. On best case an educated guess but never the less still a guess.

Just some food for thought.

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