Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 2 of Dec. NPFMC AP meeting

Crazy times at the AP. As we addressed a discussion paper on Chinook salmon bycatch, Julie Bonney testified that we 'thoughtfully' move forward with forming a stakeholder group to create a GOA groundfish Catch Share program. This agenda item was moved two days early, because of NMFS staff schedules. The AP motion, to move down the Gulf Ratz Road, passed 11- 8. I voted with the 'super 8' minority on this. In a more sane afternoon, the AP voted to recommend the Council take final action to approve Adak as a CQE community. APICDA and Akutan Hugh Pelkey also got a win from the AP, which voted to bring back the analysis for 'fish up' in areas 4A & 4B. I voted for both of these motions. For instant updates from the Hilton, listen to the Council online, or check aebfish.org, at the bottom of the page for Facebook updates...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interim Halibut meeting

The International Pacific Halibut Commission met this week to discuss recommendations for catch limits for 2012 and future research projects . This was the interim meeting; the annual meeting will occur in Anchorage, January 24 - 27. In area 3B the catch is recommended to drop 32% from 7.5 million pounds in 2011 to just over 5 million pounds in 2012. You can find the IPHC recommendations for all areas here.
One research project of note is the Ichthyophonus Prevalence Pilot Study. Ichthyophonus is a internal parasite that can be found in all visceral organs and musculature of infected hosts. It has been isolated from over 80 fish species worldwide, and effects of infection vary greatly among individual and host species. IPHC scientists don't want to speculate, but agree that the parasite COULD be a cause of the low growth of halibut in the Pacific. Initially, the parasite has been found in 26.6% of halibut in the Bering Sea, 33.8% off the Oregon coast, and an alarming 76.7% of the halibut in Prince William Sound.